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The social media pop culture marvel is an explosion of interconnectedness through numerous virtual platforms, exploited by billions of users. Recent studies show that roughly two-thirds of American adults are Facebook users and three-quarters of American adults YouTube users. The percentages skyrocket for younger Americans ages 18-24, and includes several other platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, to name a few of the bighitters. While Facebook and YouTube remain the top players, 78% of 18-24 year-olds use Snapchat, 71% use Instagram, and close to 45% use Twitter. With the expansion of social media to users of all ages,—e.g., Facebook has 2.2 billion users worldwide, with exponential growth in users ages 55 and older—the utility of social media has vastly departed from serving its original, designated purpose. Take, for instance, Instagram. Instagram was originally created as a photo-sharing mobile application (“app”) to connect with friends (or other “followers”) by uploading and editing pictures of pretty sunsets, selfies, and the like to your personalized account. The app has steadily broadened its horizons, becoming a feeding frenzy for consumer marketing and advertising. An individual’s feed now includes a photo of a McDonald’s Big Mac among your friend’s post depicting her wedding proposal.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on November 14, 2018. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.

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