Don't b a twit - think b4 u tweet

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 14:20 23/12/2013
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Social media has resulted in people sharing more about themselves than before, and trend watchers say sharing is only going to increase as social video becomes more common.

University of Canterbury social media expert Ekant Veer says social media has undergone great change this year.

With a growing percentage of social media users owning a smartphone and internet connection, 2013 had seen an "explosion" of shared photos.

Snapchat has been particularly successful, but has gained a reputation for naughty sexting. Snapchat allows users to share photos for about 10 seconds before they're destroyed.

However, some Canterbury teens have been caught out this year when users learned how to save Snapchat photos. The result was name-and- shame Facebook pages.

"Think before you send a sexy picture even if you think it will be destroyed seconds later," Veer said.

Video functionality is now becoming increasingly common.

Photo-sharing app Instagram launched video-sharing this year, and Snapchat launched Snapchat Stories which allowed users to make 24-hour movies.

For the first time since its launch, Facebook use has nosedived among teenagers, while Twitter seems to be taking over the world one TwitPic at a time.

"Teenagers don't really want to be on the same social media platform as their parents - it's become mainstream and less of a cool place to hang out," Veer said.

When it comes to updating social media, short and sweet is in vogue, deep and meaningful Facebook posts are not.

"Generally, we're finding people are engaging with social media with less content, but doing it more regularly," Veer said. "It's more a quick message about how much your life sucks right now or how much you love your pet."

However, even as we snap, tweet, instaPic and post our way into other people's lives, the true jewel in the crown of social media is celebrities on Twitter.

Veer said more people are publicising their thoughts regardless of how stupid they sound, and some of the biggest offenders are celebs.

Earlier this year, Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith) tweeted "how can mirrors be real if our eyes aren't real".

Veers said celebrities had mixed success on Twitter.

"Twitter, especially, encourages short and quick messages with little thought or cognition attached," he said. "These can be done at the spur of the moment and really damage your celeb brand."

Veer's advice for social media use: "Don't take social media too seriously. Face your frustrations, don't Facebook them."

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TRENDING 2013

1. Be Seen: an explosion in photo sharing via appls like Flickr

2. Keep it short and sweet: Social media use shiould be punchy and brief

3. Going to the movies: Video is the new photo

4. Less content, more often: Facebook's out, Twitter is in

5. There aren't more idiots in the world; they're just easier to find

- The Press

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