Category Archives: Features

INSTAGRAM: 18 facts and statistics you probably never knew

Instagram is currently one of the world’s most popular social networks by usage and membership. Owned by Facebook, and lovingly known by its fans as simply ‘Insta’, the site is a valuable treasure trove of pictures and memories and offers a glimpse into the lives of its 600 million or so active users. While Instagram has developed a reputation as a bit of a narcissist’s heaven with many users flooding it with selfies, posing like there is no tomorrow, it also has become a valuable resource for creatives such as photographers and graphic designers to showcase their work, and many celebrities use it to give their fanbase a way of keeping up to date with their daily goings-on. And of course, if you ever feel hungry or have no idea what’s for supper tonight, then Instagram’s impressive collection of food photos is the ideal place for culinary inspiration. Not to mention those awesome filters.

 

 

With the help of content, social media and online marketing blog The Social Ms, here are twenty facts and statistics about the photo-sharing network you probably had no idea about.

  1. By the end of 2016, Instagram reported it had 600 million active users, that is, people who use their accounts and upload photos or images. This is an additional 100 million shutterbugs joining the service since September 2015
  2. Instagram has a rapidly increasingly ‘growth base’ with rises of 15 per cent, and there is no sign of it slowing down. In the United States alone (its biggest market), the number of users is expected to hit 116.3 million (34.8 per cent of the then population) and become the second-most popular social network, overtaking Twitter, fellow photo social network Pinterest and micro-blog Tumblr, according to recent figures by eMarketer.
  3. Not surprisingly, just like all social networks, Insta is a hit with the young ‘uns. For all age groups of Internet users, 28 per cent use it, 55 per cent of people between the ages of 18-29 are Insta-fanatics, forming its largest demographic, according to the Pew Research Center in the US. The centre also reported that 52 per cent of teens aged between 13 and 17 were also fans of Instagram.
  4. Instagram has good product loyalty. Fifty-nine per cent of its users post daily, and another 17 per cent use it at least once weekly, according to the Pew Research Center.
  5. The site has enjoyed massive growth rates in some subjects, according to MediaPost. Beauty (74% growth rate), ‘big box’ (128%) and household goods (149%) have been some of the most popular topics, at least for businesses using their Instagram accounts to promote their goods to private users. For the rest of us, I assume selfies probably have a growth rate of 100,000 per cent (I kid).
  6. Instagram is big money for marketers. In 2015, it netted advertising revenue of USD $500 million (GBP £407 million). It is expected that this year, Insta will make more money from its advertising platform on American mobile handsets than Google and Twitter, claims eMarketer.
  7. Although Instagram is US-founded and run by a big American tech company, most of its success has been from outside. Eighty per cent of its users are non-American.
  8. Over 80 million photos are uploaded per day. There is believed to be more than 40 billion images crammed into Insta’s servers and users generate an astonishing 3.5 billion likes per day, says ClickZ.
  9. The most prestigious account, going by popularity and celebrity anyway, is the one owned by U.S. singer Selena Gomez. She has 99.5 million followers allegedly.
  10. The most liked photo over all of Insta was one by reality show star Kendall Jenner. The picture of her lying on her back, eyes closed with her hair spread out and arranged into hearts got 3.5 million likes.
  11. If you post a photo, fifty per cent of comments will appear within six hours, meaning a good post will stick around and not get lost in the noise.
  12. Instagram is quite secure, with only eight per cent of its accounts said to be fake, according to an unnamed Italian security firm.
  13. Like any social network, people sometimes do get bored of posting or other things happen in their life that pull them away. The same Italian firm discovered that nearly 30 per cent of account are rarely used or inactive, usually posting one post per month or less, according to Business Insider.
  14. For businesses, Insta is marketing gold. Forrester published stats that suggest people engage with brands ten times more on Insta than they do on Facebook. Facebook ads are annoying, I grant you that.
  15. One-third of Instagram users have used their mobile to purchase a product online.
  16. Fifty-three per cent of Instagrammers, as fans are sometimes called, are following brands.
  17. As humans love seeing faces, this fact is probably not surprising, but selfies and group photos on average are 38 per cent more likely to get liked, than other kinds of pictures, such as inanimate objects.
  18. The most Instagrammed food is… pizza.

 

SOURCES:
HEM Bloggers List, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-bloggers-list
Susanna Gebauer‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/dreckbaerfrau
“20 Instagram Facts And Statistics You Should Know” – Susanna Gebauer, The Social Ms/Friendly Fellows UG (haftungsbeschränkt) (23 September 2016) https://blog.thesocialms.com/19-instagram-facts-and-statistics-you-should-know/
IMAGE CREDIT:
freestocks.org via Pexels (13 January 2016) https://www.pexels.com/photo/lg-smartphone-instagram-social-media-35177/

AUROVILLE: A unique city

Auroville, a young city lying around 10 kilometres from the former French colony of Puducherry (Pondicherry), now an Indian union territory, is an important hub of Hindu spirituality, which draws in thousands of people from all over the world. Set deep in the forests straddling the border of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, Auroville’s buildings are laid out in a unique formation reminiscent of the stars of a galaxy. Designed by architect Roger Anger, Auroville takes its name from Sri Aurobindo, a great philosopher and was established in 1968 by The Mother, also known by her birth name Mirra Alfassa, who was a close disciple of Sri Aurobindo and who hailed from France. Auroville came about as a haven from the religious and political strife of the time, and its whole mentality is geared towards serving God and realising the inner self.

 

 

One of the main ideas that governs the city is the improvement of personal relations among people, at a time when there was much strife and rivalry, and nowadays it encourages the perfection of people collaborating together as one humanity, and the devotees of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo courageously work together to improve relations between different groups of humanity. Auroville even received recognition in this dynamism from once Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, who spoke of the commune’s work in promoting harmony between different cultures and furthering understanding of how coexistence among human beings can help promote spiritual growth.

According to the Census of India 2014, only around 2,300 people live in Auroville, tiny by Indian standards. Around two-thirds originate from India, France and Germany. They are all governed by the civic cardinal rule, unique to Auroville, which states that no political, religious or spiritual organisation should use Auroville as a platform to proselytise for their faith or recruit followers. As a result, there are no political parties or political operations in Auroville, and there is also no concept of private property or money, with the land and homes held under a communal basis, via the auspices of the Auroville Foundation. Auroville also engages with intra-community activities with neighbouring villages and social outreach work.

Unlike the mayor’s office and local councils found in mainstream cities around the world, Auroville is administered by a committee elected by the locals, and residents can support or veto any measures put forward by the committee without having to deal with council red tape. In return, residents are expected to engage in daily programmes of work, for at least five hours a day, seven days a week, either on their own or collectively. When not working, many of Auroville’s inhabitants like to congregate at the Matrimandir to meditate and pray to and honour God, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother of Pondicherry.

 

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
Tecnología GM‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/TecnologiaGM
“Esta es la ciudad más extraña del mundo: Auroville” – GrandesMedios.com – Cultura/Grandes Medios (21 February 2016) https://www.grandesmedios.com/esta-es-la-ciudad-mas-extrana-del-mundo-auroville/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Auroville puducherry.jpg” – sillybugger/Ian.A, Flickr via Wikimedia Commons (1 May 2008) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Auroville_puducherry.jpg  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

SULLEE J: Slangin Knowledge with Don Streat and Mastermind DaGenius

 

 

Fresh for 2017, Baltimore rapper and lyrical master Sullee J has partnered up with Don Streat and Mastermind DaGenius, two up-and-coming musicians on the local hip-hop scene, to bring out a trappy new single named “Slangin’ Knowledge”.

Taken from the forthcoming EP ‘Donnie Justice’ this track features ‘straight facts over a trap beat’, paying homage to one of the newest and freshest music trends to come out of urban America. Produced by Cracker Jack Productions, the video was shot in Chicago, featuring a quote from and street art of, the legendary US statesman, civil rights campaigner and orator Martin Luther King, as well as scenes from the city’s North Avenue, the scene of riots since the election of President Trump. Other footage was filmed in the premises of Coppin State College.

With deep lyrics and great passion, this new track is one Sullee J and collaborators have put a lot of heart into and it speaks a great message.

 

WARNING: Contains adult language.

officialsulleej.com

 

 

SOURCE/CREDITS:
Sullee J Management.

SULLEE J: Solo

Baltimore’s finest underground rapper Sullee J has just released his autobiographical album, entitled SOLO, that tells the story of his musical journey. The mixtape is guaranteed to be a treat for fans of the upcoming musician, it being packed full of phenomenal bars and wisdom for every listener, with a story behind every track.

To make the launch of SOLO, Sullee J has also released a special music video on YouTube, produced by BCHILL Music and directed by Michael ‘G-Nut’ Flores. It was filmed on the streets of Chicago and features contemporary footage of recent events since the shock election of Donald Trump as the American president this past 8th November, revealing the stark intimidation people face under a new order. Sullee J delivers hard-hitting poetic justice over a gentle Nineties beat, asking where do we all go?

 

 

Sullee J also used the album launch to reveal his latest thoughtful slogan “Let’s Keep America Awake” – a direct reinterpretation of the election slogan of the Trump campaign “Make America Great Again”.

The artist was recently picked up by indie record label Bogish Brand Ent. owned by King Ca$his, who was himself previously signed as an artist to Shady Records. His latest single with his group TRIPL3 Threat was just released last week on iTunes, Apple Music & other locations, featuring Slaughterhouse’s Royce Da 5’9. 

SOLO’s headliner track is available on YouTube and SoundCloud, and you can stream the full album at Sullee J’s Bandcamp page below.

 

 

BANDCAMP https://sulleej.bandcamp.com/album/solo-by-sullee-j

officialsulleej.com

 

SOURCE/IMAGE & VIDEO CREDITS:
Sullee J Management/Team Justice.

QUOTE MOMENT: Smiles drive the sadness away

A superb quote I found this morning on social media, posted by a relative living here in London.

 

“Smile, even if it’s a sad smile, because sadder than a sad smile

is the sadness of not knowing how to smile.”

SOURCE/IMAGE CREDIT:
Marie Hiles.
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/
“Mother And Baby Smiling” – Vera Kratochvil, PublicDomainPictures.net http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=11276

QUOTE MOMENT: The science of silence

 

When dealing with those awkward questions or when someone is giving you a piece of their mind, sometimes it is better to keep those lips sealed and let the absence of voice do the talking. There are those who have a habit of saying things to provoke or upset and silence is the best way to frustrate them.

This quote was said to be uttered by Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Imam Ali or the fourth Caliph in the early days of Islam. He was also a cousin and son-in-law of the founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammed.

IMAGE CREDITS:
Forgive me Allah, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/LordForgiveMe/
Alia Hellz Bachell.

A LOT OF CUDDLES: New York City’s largest cat

New York, UNITED STATES
VIJAY SHAH

New York city is famous for its big breakfasts and tiny apartments. It is also a haven for pet-lovers and one cat has certainly taken local, and now international media by storm.

His name is Samson. A Maine Coon cat (normally a hefty, but not giant-sized breed), the chubby tabby has a length of 4 feet (1.22 metres) and weighs 28 lbs (12.7 kg) compared with the average housecat’s 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg). He in fact is larger and weighs more than most toddlers and practically carpets his owner, when Samson lies on him. And the crazy thing is, Samson may not have yet finished growing.

Though he should really be named Goliath, Samson, aged four, is in fact highly friendly and playful and spends his days lounging around and batting his paw at mini-drones with owner and ‘daddy’ Jonathan Zurbel, in the district of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where he attracts a lot of attention when he is taken outside in his distinctive green buggy. Samson has even being reimagined as a body positivity icon, and despite many people assuming that the cat is in a bad way due to his size, Zurbel’s local vet has given him a rating of good health.

 

 

SOURCES/VIDEO CREDITS:
“catstradamus” – Samson (Catstradamus) and Jonathan Zurbel, Instragram https://www.instagram.com/catstradamus/
“This Cat Is The Biggest Cat In NYC” – The Dodo, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/thedodosite/
“Meet Samson, the largest cat in New York City who’s becoming a body-positive icon” – Melissa Stanger, Revelist/CafeMedia Family/CMI MARKETING (12 August 2016) http://www.revelist.com/animals/largest-cat-new-york-city/4215/follow-samson-on-instagram/9

QUOTE MOMENT: Don’t let words control you

 

Don’t let the nasty utterances of other people bring you down and cause you to lash out in anger. Let their comments and attitudes flow over you like water over a stone. Remember the old adage – “Sticks and stones may break  my bones, but words can never hurt me”. Be impervious to people who talk rubbish, don’t give them the reaction they want, and you will come out looking the stronger and better person.

SOURCE/IMAGE CREDITS:
Forgive me Allah, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/LordForgiveMe/
Alia Hellz Bachell.

SULLEE J: What You Talkin Bout with Fuji Mollotti & Toy-T

Baltimore’s finest Sullee J is back with a new single, where he gets toe-to-toe with fresh talent from the city of Chicago. It’s his latest return to the music scene of the Windy City after collaborating with local singer Lebanese Tweety in April 2016’s Anyway.

This time Sullee J is being featured alongside Chicago Gangland’s Fuji Mollotti and Toy-T. They have released their latest single, entitled What You Talkin Bout” – which was dropped last Tuesday. The song is all about hip-hop coming together to make a difference, and aims to bring to listeners nothing but street knowledge and showing them just how the game works.

It’s a raw track, straight from the belly of Great Lakes hip-hop and filtered through the tough ganglands of Chi-Town, with a classic beat and a masterful flow. Definitely one for those who like to get back to their rapping roots. Chicago vs. Baltimore.

The video was filmed in Chicago and produced by Moevi Films Production. Filming was by director Moe Omar (Ugly Moe).

 

@UglyMoe #moevifilms
@FujiMollotti | @SulleeJ85 | @killaklantoyt

officialsulleej.com

SOURCE:
Sullee J Management.

THOUGHT MOMENT: Refugees

 

As some sections of society in Europe become agitated at the prospect of the continent being a final place of safety for thousands of refugees fleeing among other things, the Daesh and civil war in Syria, a tweet starkly illustrates a taste of why so many people are running for their lives and risking everything. Above is a bombed out boulevard somewhere in Syria. Now is a time for compassion, not xenophobia.

SOURCES/IMAGE:
Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
TV, Film, Media…, Stephanie Lang , Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/DrStephanieLang/lists/tv-film-media
Marie McInerney, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/mariemcinerney
Top-Up Their Phones, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/connect_refugee