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Business Critical: Americans Branching Out, Telemedicine, More Hacks

Ryan Parlee

By Ryan Parlee

Business Critical is our weekly collection of what’s new, exciting, and insightful for business leaders from the world of the web, marketing, social media, and more.


Almost half of adult Americans branching out from Facebook

Zuckerberg’s brainchild still dominates social media participation, a recent survey from Pew Internet shows. 71% of American adults use the site, up from 67% in last year’s study.

But, we’re branching out. The new study also revealed that 42% of those polled are now using two or more social networking sites, such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

So, even with news of Facebook losing favor to competing sites, it’s apparent that it’s still a hotbed for most Americans. But, those same people can increasingly be found on other sites as well. This presents an opportunity for brands to connect with consumers through different channels and take advantage of each site’s unique traits. (Just remember: Not all social media are created equal — customize your strategy.)


Doctor’s notes are going digital

Getting checked out by a doctor via video chat from home probably sounds like something from the Jetson’s to most people. But, the reality is that we’ve had the technology to — at least, in theory — make this happen for quite sometime. At least, for your routine doctor visits and check ups.

Google’s latest product release — Helpouts, which they officially unveiled this past November — is pushing the envelope even further, giving a real boost to the idea with potential to break it into the mainstream. The technology allows people to lend their expertise via a Hangout-like technology and helps to connect helpers with helpees. The Connectivist recently ran a story on some of the companies using this technology to change the way we get our sniffles checked out.

Check out The Connectivist’s scoop on the emerging telemedicine market.

Snapchat’s private user data made not-so-private

On the heels of Target’s data breach last week, one of the most-talked-about mobile apps, Snapchat, also befell a lapse in security when some 4.6 million users of their exploding-image-sharing app had their usernames and phone numbers exposed by hackers this week.

This is, of course, just the latest in a series of security-related news stories to make headlines in the last year, with the NSA spying scandal and other issues raising concerns over the protection provided for user and customer data. This latest story seems to indicate that privacy concerns don’t seem to be waning in the new year — if anything, it remains more pertinent and relevant than ever.

Entrepreneur covers the Snapchat (and Skype social media) hacks.


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