TIME celebrity

North West Just Took Her First Steps, Is Now One Step Closer to World Domination

North West Walks With Me

Keeping up with North West just got a little more difficult. Kim Kardashian’s baby North took her first steps Wednesday getting out of a pool after swim lessons. The reality television star posted a photo to Instagram taken by her husband Kanye West with the caption:

Our baby girl finished one week of swimming lessons today then took her 1st steps right when she got out of the pool!!!! Mommy & Daddy are so proud of you!!!! Photo cred: Daddy

She’s walking her way right into E’s next reality television show.

TIME celebrities

Beyoncé Just Posted the Ultimate Feminist Photo

She woke up like this

Well, obviously Beyoncé can do it. The 17-time Grammy winner posted a photo to Instagram Tuesday that mirrors the famous Rosie the Riveter poster, a cultural icon that recognizes the contributions made by women during World War II. Beyonce, a self-described “modern-day feminist,” incorporated ideas often symbolized by Rosie in her most recent album. The photo racked up more than 300,000 likes within half an hour.

Beyoncé is currently on the road with husband Jay Z for their joint “On the Run” tour.

TIME beauty

‘Skinny Girl’ Bethenny Frankel Wears 4-Year-Old’s Clothes

Instagram post was met with a horrified response from her followers

Bethenny Frankel, former reality TV star and owner of the “Skinnygirl” beverages line, has outraged her Instagram followers after posing in her four-year-old daughter’s clothes.

Frankel, 43, who became famous after starring on The Real Housewives of New York City, sparked horror online after dressing in her daughter Bryn’s pajamas.

She posted the photo Sunday morning along with the caption: “This is my daughter’s nightgown and PJ shorts. Think we’re ready to start sharing clothes yet?”

Most people online did not think that. User jenmo2222 wrote: “I’m sorry this isn’t cute…a grown woman shouldn’t be the size of a 4-year-old especially when they have admitted to having an eating disorder in the past…!”

Fellow Instagram user, nonniedidit echoed her sentiments, commenting: “Women shouldn’t brag about being as thin as a small child… Go eat a sandwich.”

Frankel, however, defied her critics on Twitter, tweeting Monday:

In response to a fan who offered their support Frankel wrote:

Frankel, who sold Skinnygirl in March 2011 for a reported $100 million, has admitted to struggling with her weight. In a 2010 interview with People magazine she confessed: “I was owned by dieting. “I hated myself. I was completely obsessed and consumed.”

 

TIME celebrity

Drake Was Really Bored on Instagram Last Night

Just a regular guy posting regular memes

Drake was on his worst behavior on Instagram late Monday night. In an apparent fit of boredom, the Grammy-award winning hip hop artist posted a slew of photos, including this gem of his dad:

“Haaaaa. Ok this is it. I’m done. I have no caption. My dad is just wavy.”

Then there were the memes:

“Might slide in ya dm’s like…”

“See you across the club like…”

“Catch you at Starbucks like….”

“Oh you back with your ex huh? Bet.”

Superstar rappers, they’re just like us: clogging your Insta feed when they can’t sleep.

 

TIME Culture

Millennials Are Proud of #Murica Despite Awareness of Its Flaws, MTV Says

MTV study challenges typical notions of young Americans

Search #murica on Instagram and you’ll get an eclectic mix of overtly patriotic content and photos parodying some less flattering perceptions of the United States. So an image of fingernails painted in red, white, and blue may exist right on top of a snarky note about a gas station where you can buy cigarettes, beer and fireworks all at once.

The contradictory way young people use this hashtag offers insight into the way millennials, a term typically used to describe people born in the 1980s, 90s, and early 2000s, think about America, according to new research conducted by MTV.

Of the 2,000 young people (ages 16-24) that MTV reached out to, 86% said they feel “proud to be American,” a fact that the “Millenials & #Merica” study notes contradicts Pew’s “Millennials in Adulthood” study earlier this year, which reported self-proclaimed patriotism to be at 49%. At the same time, MTV found that millennials are conscious of and concerned about the country’s problems.

This dichotomy can in part be attributed to the availability of differing perspectives in the media and online, Vice President of MTV Insights Alison Hillhouse told TIME.

For older generations, “any information was filtered through the nightly news, filtered through newspapers,” she said. “Millennials are so much more exposed to how other people think about the country on a daily basis.”

Nearly 90% of millennials ascribed equality and fairness as values they considered to be “American.” However, 80% said that sometimes the government acts in a way that makes it difficult to feel patriotic, and more than 50% said that the country has let them down personally.

Hillhouse said that the research, which collected data through focus groups, conversation, and other online methods, will help guide MTV programming as well as many of the company’s social initiatives.

This is based on a press release with key findings; the full study has not been released by MTV.

TIME Internet

Study: Teens Aren’t Fleeing Facebook After All

US-FACEBOOK-MENLO PARK
A thumbs up or "Like" icon at the Facebook main campus ROBYN BECK—AFP/Getty Images

Kids are actually using the social network more than they did a year ago

Facebook isn’t dead yet. Far from it, in fact.

In October 2013, Facebook’s CFO admitted that young teens were visiting the social network less frequently. Following that announcement, anecdotal reports and a few different studies suggested that teens—the arbiters of cool—were fleeing Facebook en masse. Even if they kept an account, it wasn’t their primary social network. Teens in the U.S. especially were supposedly opting out of Facebook and into networks like Twitter and Tumblr.

But Facebook is making a comeback. Nearly 80% of U.S. teens still use Facebook and are more active on the social networking site than any other, according to a Forrester Research report. The survey, which polled 4,517 U.S. teens and tweens, found that almost half of the respondents (aged 12 to 17) said they use Facebook more than they did a year ago. And 28% of respondents say they’re on Facebook “all the time” (as opposed to “about once a day” or “at least a few times a day”), a higher percentage than any other service.

The results are actually consistent with a comScore report from earlier this year that found even though there was a three-percentage-point drop in Facebook usage among college-aged adults, 89% of those college kids still use the site. That is, again, better than any other social network is doing in that demographic.

Instagram was runner-up to Facebook in terms of time spent on the network, followed by Snapchat, Twitter, Vine and WhatsApp. That’s great news for Facebook: the company owns Instagram and is in the process of acquiring WhatsApp.

TIME celebrity

Everyone’s BFF Taylor Swift Is Leaving Her Fans Nice Instagram Comments

She knows them all too well

Taylor Swift may not love dudes dieting, but the singer absolutely adores her fans. Justifying all of our delusions that she’s our real life best friend, Swift has been leaving incredibly nice, off-the-cuff comments on her fans’ Instagrams.

While it is incredibly easy to chalk this up as a publicity stunt…

This has quietly been going on for months. Here’s one from May 1:

She’s invested in her fans’ relationships:

And their health:

Swift is just a normal 20-something who gets social media in an unscripted, organic way. Stars, they’re just like us!

TIME Television

Blossom Joins Wonder Years, Full House in Sitcom Reunion Trend

Blossom
Mayim Bialik as Blossom Russo Alice S. Hall /NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

In my opinionation, sitcom reunions are more popular than ever

Blossom, the ’90s sitcom starring Mayim Bialik as its hat-wearing heroine, is coming back to TV for a syndication marathon in July — but in the social-media consciousness of many of its fans, it’s already here. The network Hub, which will air the marathon, hosted a cast reunion for actors Mayim Bialik, Joey Lawrence, Michael Stoyanov and Jenna von Oÿ, and yesterday the photos from that event made it to Instagram and Twitter.

Blossom is only the latest nostalgia-worthy TV show to take advantage of social media to drum up interest in a reunion. Though reunions are nothing new for morning shows, alumni shows and magazine covers, Twitter and Instagram have proved to be capable of summoning huge interest in shows that have been off the air for decades. Mayim Bialik’s Instagram picture of the Blossom reunion has been liked nearly 7,000 times in just one day.

And perhaps it’s not just coincidence: according to a 2013 Pew study, use of Twitter and Instagram is sharply correlated with youth, and the millennials and Gen-Xers who are most likely to use those services are also the ones who were the right age to enjoy sitcoms about young people in the late ’80s and ’90s.

Like:

Older shows have had reunions — The Bob Newhart Show, anyone? — but the viral traction hasn’t been so high. And, with former cast members openly pushing for more, it’s a trend likely to continue. The logical next step: Snapchats with Teletubbies.

TIME World Cup

U.S. Soccer Captain Clint Dempsey Posts Adorable Father’s Day Instagram

U.S. soccer wins Instragram

Clint Dempsey may be the captain of the United States’ men’s national soccer team but he’s also apparently the team’s captain of adorable-ness. Dempsey posted this amazing photo to Instagram just a day before the American striker leads the U.S. squad in its opening World Cup contest against team Ghana (Monday at 6 p.m. EST folks — get your caxirolas ready!). A pair of tickets to the next World Cup says that the young lad summiting Dempsey’s shoulders and the two in his lap are quite possibly the happiest kids in the world tonight. The aww-inducing pic has already racked up thousands of likes on Instagram.

TIME language

You’ll Never Guess the Real Name for a Hashtag

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Computer hashtag Richard Goerg—Getty Images

Nope, it isn’t “pound sign”

The word hashtag has officially been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, the OED announced in a blog post Friday. But that’s not the most exciting thing in its announcement.

The word hashtag denotes the symbol deployed in front of a word or phrase on social media to loop the post into a wider conversation on the topic but it has #already taken on a #life of its own, used in #some #cases as a self-referential #joke or to #make #fun of #people whose social posts are #so2011.

But you, sophisticated TIME reader, already knew all of that. What you may not have known is that there was already a word for hashtag. And it isn’t the “number sign” or the “pound sign,” as it was called back in the #DarkAges before Twitter.

The technical term for a hashtag is “octothorp,” according to the OED; octo, in reference to the eight points in the figure, and Thorpe, OED says cryptically, from “the surname Thorpe.” Whatever that means.

“Hash probably arose as an alteration of ‘hatch’,” OED says in its blog post, “originally in the phrase ‘hatch mark’. By 1961 hash was being used in computing contexts to refer to the octothorp symbol, especially in computing and telecommunications contexts.”

#FarOut, right?

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