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There’s a lot to love about social media – engaging with your friends and personal networks, connecting with content and people of interest in new ways.

What’s interesting is that the development of social media is a relatively recent phenomenon, so it’s early days in terms of understanding how social media is impacting our lives and the way that we interact with the world around us.

In this article we take a look at some of emerging trends in the world of social media.

Social media is a tool to boost your personal brand

Smartphone maker HTC has conducted a study recently that reveals that people in Great Britain not only judge each other based on their social media profiles, but they are also actively using their social media profiles and timelines to make their own lives seem more exciting.

In a way this probably confirms what we had all suspected, your friends and contacts are looking at what you post on Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook, and they are forming opinions about you and what you are doing.

The study also confirms that, perhaps instinctively, we know that everyone is judging what we are posting, so we are actively seeking to post things that will boost our personal brand and public perception, even embellishing our activities and experiences to make them appear as impressive as possible.

HTC has drawn the conclusion from the research that this is one of the reasons that the penetration of smartphones continues to rise – social media relies on strong images and instant communication and engagement, functionality that is inherent with all smartphone devices.

A new app so that you can let people really know what you think of them

New app Peeple is an interesting concept – it is an app that enables you to rate everyone that you know from one to five stars. The point of the app is to help you to choose who you connect with or do business with based on how the rest of the world views them (according to the internet). Scenarios include if you are considering someone for a job, taking on board a new client, going on a date with someone, whether to befriend someone moving into your neighbourhood, interviewing a new housemate, or getting some inside information on the people who are teaching your children. In principle this might sound like a good idea, although even that is debatable, but the obvious problem is that our experience of the internet to date demonstrates that we’re not very objective or measured when it comes to giving online comments or feedback. Have you read the YouTube comments on anything recently? Imagine if the world could comment on you – the idea terrifies me.

New Zealand sets the trend

Social media users in New Zealand have embraced a new trend – the frozen chook (which is another word for chicken). To be part of the frozen chook trend you need to strip off your clothes and curl into a ball resembling a chicken ready for the oven. You have to get someone to take a photo of you and then you post it on social media. Are you up for the challenge?