Hashtag Trending Sept. 15 – Instagram harms teens; Wozniak for space; Virtual influencer rakes in sponsorships

Instagram is shown to be harmful to teens per a Facebook-led report, Steve Wozniak looks towards the cosmos, and a surprising social media influencer is raking in the sponsorships.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, September 15, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

An internal research team at Facebook has found that Instagram is dramatically affecting the mental health of teens. According to an article from CNET, the three-year study concluded that Instagram is “harmful to a sizeable percentage” of teen girls. The platform has already been linked in previous studies to higher levels of depression, anxiety, as well as issues with body image. Instagram’s head of public policy explained that the platform has looked extensively into the question of what social media has done to people’s minds, and what apps like instagram have done for people, both good and bad. The service has faced criticism in the past for its links to mental illnesses, especially amongst those aforementioned younger audiences.

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak is entering the space race in a different way, with his new private company Privateer. The company, whose website is currently in “stealth mode” according to The Independent, was announced via Tweet by Wozniak himself on Sunday night, with a short video accompanying his Tweet. Wozniak’s tweet claimed that the company was “unlike the others”, with the accompanying YouTube video reaching over 50,000 views. While not official, the belief is that Wozniak’s company will be focused on dealing with space debris, an increasingly prevalent problem in the Earth’s orbit. The amount of space debris has more than doubled over the past decade, with some fearing that the increase could leave us trapped on Earth by making “terrestrial space launches impossible”.

And finally, an AI-generated social media influencer is garnering hundreds of sponsorships. Sidus Studio X, a South Korean company, has created an entirely virtual social media influencer named “Rozy” which has landed over 100 social media sponsorships according to the company’s CEO. The studio explained that a big part of Rozy’s appeal to advertisers is her “inability” to find herself embroiled in scandal, due obviously to her entirely fictional persona. Rozy will also “forever be 22” according to an article from All Kpop, further enhancing the virtual influencer’s appeal to advertisers. The company claims they expect Rozy to generate nearly $1 million USD in advertising revenue by the end of 2021, with no plans of slowing down the project anytime soon.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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