Change is the basis of this world. It is the only constant in life, after all. But needless to say, change is seldom readily accepted. This statement gains an elevated opposite meaning if we consider the Social Media Transition and Succession of Instagram over Facebook.

To start off with some numbers:

  • Flourishing nascent advertising business of Instagram: The mobile app which had 30 million users and zero revenue when Facebook bought it is expected to reach $10 billion in revenue by 2019.
  • Record User Additions: In 2017, Instagram added 100 million users to its existing 700 million users in less than 5 months. More than 800 million people use Instagram now. With 800+ million users, it’s in a virtually uncharted territory.

A very important question to ask, then, is how has Instagram become the new Facebook? With the introduction of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg gave birth to a community. It was a community of people wishing to know each other and develop deep and meaningful relationships through the medium of Facebook. This pure idea gained rapid root in the human minds of the early 21st century. For 6-8 years, Facebook was invincible. But it was in 2012 that Facebook tumbled for the first time when Instagram silently crossed over from being one of those ‘tech’ things that some people sometimes did to one of those ‘tech’ things that everyone you know does every day. Hence, in its truest form, Instagram was an escape from Facebook.

A survey conducted by a Web portal in USA quoted various users of Instagram. “I just think it’s a nicer place to be,” a 28-year-old blogger from Littleton, Colo., says about Instagram. Someone else said that on Facebook, “everything feels like an advertisement or an argument.” Whereas Facebook was about having an opinion and expression, it soon gained a darker aspect when reports of mental abuse and harassment surfaced frequently. As Facebook posts became lesser in terms of their significant merit, a huge section of its users sought solace elsewhere. Coincidentally, they found this refuge in Instagram, a picture-sharing portal that transcends outright bullying prejudices. It feels as though Instagram is a lot about artistry. A picture speaks volumes for itself than a textual snippet could. Through visual communication, Instagram seeks to solve another of our many millennial problems. It gained ground as an app that essentially works through pictures, raw and real or even fabricated or mystical. It indeed allowed a picture to speak a thousand words.

Things went downhill when the #DeleteFacebook movement gained momentum after the Cambridge Analytica Leaks earlier this year. The breach of privacy worked disasters into Facebook’s struggles. Thousands and thousands of Facebook users went away to Instagram, to retain the little dignity spared by Facebook.

Instagram’s popularity has risen so much that it has become the home ground of various trends and it has become the reason of various challenges-from the Ice Bucket Challenge to the Kiki Challenge. Its appeal is highlighted by its algorithm that targets people’s preferences and shows them the lists they’d like to see on their feed. Unlike Facebook, posts on Instagram are quite filtered that way. To some people, Instagram may also become more personalised if they have a private account. ‘Instagram Bloggers’ is an actual term now, and people who are into travel, food blogging, and artistic expression actually earn money through this concept. The latest offering by Instagram is IGTV that solves the dissatisfaction of the ‘one-minute videos’ design. IGTV has bloomed with a bang and there are web series and stories on it already. It is not wrong to say that our times have become all about trends and hashtags, and Instagram has provided a fertile ground for the same. To the ‘GenNext’, this seems more interesting and lively rather than the usual feed consisting of just photos, videos, and quotes. They feel involved in it rather than just being spectators.

With the advent of good camera phones and a restless human liking for innovation, Instagram gains more and more everyday-be it in terms of users, brand sponsorships or advertisements, revenue, or goodwill. But then the next question would be—how long until Instagram becomes the next Facebook? Let’s hope this doesn’t happen anytime soon.
Feature Image Credits: MediaBuzz

Kartik Chauhan

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Gurleen Kaur

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The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has brought the issue of privacy in a digital age close to our screens again. The article traces how such revelations point towards an increasingly dangerous world where our privacy is highly compromised.
Recently, Facebook has been in choppy waters with its stocks dipping and a “delete Facebook” campaign doing the rounds. Allegations by whistleblower Christopher Wiley showed how the US based data mining firm Cambridge Analytica harvested data from over 50 million American users of Facebook for “psychological profiling” during the Trump campaign. According to Wiley, he met Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, who orchestrated a deal between the firm and hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer that led to Wiley and his team engaging in what he calls “full-service propaganda”. By partnering with a Cambridge professor, Aleksandr Krogan who built an app called “thisisyourdigitallife”, the firm gained access to information on millions of Facebook users as well as their friends, unbeknownst to both Facebook and the users. However, this story is not new. Facebook had been informed of Cambridge Analytica back in 2015 and although it had demanded the data on users to be deleted, no follow-up measures had been taken after that. In a recent CNN interview, Zuckerberg apologised saying “We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data and if we can’t do that then we don’t deserve the opportunity to serve people.”

Even though some experts believe that the amount of people that the data was taken from could be overstated, it is nevertheless evident that there are some crucial aspects to such a story which makes it noteworthy. Firstly, it is evident that regardless of the reliability of Wiley’s claim we now inhabit an increasingly frightening world where even our private communications can be easily monitored. This is not a hyperbole as was seen back in 2013. Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked millions of documents of the intelligence agency National Security Agency (NSA) of the US and its programs like PRISM, Upstream etc. that again collects bulk information from people both within the US and outside the US through their cell phones, emails, texts, and social media. Large companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Apple Inc. were also seen to be complicit in allowing the US government access to their servers. In an interview, Snowden called these companies the “surveillance sheriffs” of the NSA.
Secondly, the kind of information we have access to through our social media often determines our political views, our ideas and our actions, and when there are vested interests in spreading such information, the narrative gets coloured by propaganda.

In an interview with the Guardian, Wiley notes how Cambridge Analytica had a bunch of developers working to create content that would be receptive to the target population. He calls it “an unethical experiment where you’re playing with the psychology of an entire nation…in the context of a democratic process.” The firm, according to a report by The Quartz, also collaborated with various political parties during elections in India through its operation centres. The firm has its offices in ten Indian cities including Ahmedababd, Cuttack, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Patna, and Pune. While it is not unusual for political parties to partner with tech firms to “better understand the political environment”, when there is deliberate, reckless tampering with the private data of citizens to do this, there is a great possibility of the crumbling down of a shared sense of understanding, as Wiley observes.

Thirdly, we need to understand that our privacy is tenuous and free will might just be an illusion. Our social media profiles, when connected to the other countless apps we use, creates certain digital profiles which could provide key aspects of our identity, our personalities to anyone who might have access to them. In such a case, we need to hold our representatives and the authorities in charge responsible for the protection of our already diminishing privacy. The recent controversy regarding the Aadhaar card in India saw many experts casting doubt on the reliability of the biometrics used as well as the implementation of the scheme itself.
Lastly, our digital privacy determines our physical privacy. Cyber crimes over the years are testament to this fact. In such a case, there is a crucial need for an informed public debate on the responsibility that comes with allowing access to governmental and private agencies our information. There is also a greater responsibility on the part of us as citizens to have a healthy dose of scepticism (as Wiley says) while coming across any information in the media. The more doubtful we are, the more likely are we to make informed decisions.


Feature Image Credits: Time

Sara Sohail
[email protected]

Whenever I scroll Facebook, I come across some really great articles. The write-ups or articles sometimes put a smile on my face while also making me resonate with them on a deeper level. These pages have given me a way to utilise my long metro travel hours by always enriching my knowledge in some way or the other. For all art and literature lovers, these pages are sure to be something that you look forward to every time you open Facebook.

The Artidote


This page is on the top of the list for a reason. The art, write-ups, or quotations that they put up makes you stop for a while and catch your breath. It is sometimes so relatable that it gives you satisfaction to think that someone can draw or write your innermost fears on a piece of paper or just the fact that someone else is also facing the same insecurities as you.

Berlin ArtParasites

Their writings are inspirational, romantic, and bound to touch your heart. They make you connect with yourself and explore a side of yourself that you may have lost in the hustle bustle of the life. The calm that descends on you after going through their writings is unparalleled. So following this page is a must.

The Scribbled Stories


This small community has grown tremendously in the past few years. Their success is inspirational, and so is their content. There is a certain depth to their writings which makes it very easy to connect with the text. The Scribbled Stories continuously keeps on improving their standards, and hence you may find yourself going back to them again and again.



A friend of mine recently introduced me to this and I cannot be more grateful to her for doing so. Their write-ups have the ability to put a smile on my face even in the direst of situations. They are sweet, crisp, and heart touching. Therefore, they surely deserve a mention in this list.

The Anonymous Writers


The Anonymous Writers was one of the first pages that I followed on Facebook. They still remain one of my favourites. I used to get so hooked up by their writings that it became a habit of mine to read them again and again, almost a hundred times. The place that this page holds in my heart cannot be replaced by any else.

So I hope that this list helps you with your leisure readings and may you find words to things and feelings that you can’t spell.


Image Credits: The Artidote

Anukriti Mishra

[email protected]

Recently, I realised that I have become addicted to social media. The signs had been all there. I found myself scrolling through Facebook and Instagram inadvertently most of the time. I could not stop the urge to open my social media accounts every half an hour and check the new updates.

I would like to use the term ‘addiction’ for this urge because that is exactly what this is. We, without even realising, slowly become addicted to the social media. We like to know what is happening in someone else’s life with whom we might have not even exchanged more than few words. Subconsciously we even start comparing our lives with theirs and become disheartened by how different or unadventurous our lives are. This, as I clearly do not need to point out is all but a facade. We realize the truth and from time to time even put a check on ourselves. There is a brief moment of clarity where we decide to abstain from social media. Alas! We “rush to fall into snares of delusion all over again.”

So when I had this brief moment of clarity about a month back, I decided to delete all social media applications from my mobile phone. This time my decision was firm to not revert to old ways. However, I did not delete my accounts. I also had to keep my WhatsApp because well, it is an occupational hazard. Since I could open my accounts only on my laptop, the access to them was restricted due to the inconvenience involved. The first week was hard, I must say. But after the fifteenth day, I realised that I had more time on my hands. I finally took to reading some of the books which I had not been able to time for. Without the distraction of the chaotic world of social media, I also found time to put into words some of the ideas that had been floating around in my head.

Yes, I agree that it is not possible to completely avoid social media. In fact I believe that one shouldn’t so because in a way or so they are essential too. But what I have discerned in some past few weeks is that we allow ourselves to get completely hooked to it. One of the reasons might be that we are seeking too much validation from everyone around us. Perhaps, this best explains our constant need to upload snippets from our lives for everyone to see. Some days back, I read about a study from Microsoft Corporation in a TIME article. It said that since 2000 the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. This essentially means that even a goldfish known for being ill-focussed has a longer attention span at nine seconds. So I hope that if you too are suffering from this addiction, you decide to take a step towards curbing it. I assure you from my experience that life will become more productive and meaningful.


Feature Image Credits: Matthew Muccio

Anukriti Mishra
[email protected]

One of the biggest hurdles towards effective studying during the exam season is the internet. In particular, social media seems to be impossible to avoid. Here are a few tips on resisting the temptation to avoid checking the screen all the time.

There need not be any elaboration on the point that social media is a major irritant during exam time. It’s one of the most intense love-hate relationships of modern times. We love the fact that we can collectively laugh at the typos, puns, wordplays, and even at death and depression in the form of memes. We can connect with best friends and those we love over distances. We simultaneously also hate the feelings of anxiousness and nervousness we get as we wait for important replies, the feeling of emptiness when we see nothing new as we refresh our feeds at 2 a.m., and when we realise that we are way more dependent on social media than we should be.

While one should ideally reduce social media usage for general mental well-being and one’s eyesight, the fact that it distracts people from their exams that are to take place in a month will probably be the biggest encouragement people need. So as exams are nearing, here are some general precautions you can take to stop your validation-seeking, FOMO-avoiding (that’s Fear Of Missing Out, for all you acronym illiterates) side from running to the warm embrace of red notification pops, waiting to be clicked on.

Firstly, notice which apps you spend the most time on. Whatever they are, uninstall them. If you cannot seem to do so, then limit your use. Set time limits mentally, or set alarms if you can’t seem to check on yourself. Realise that memes and Instagram feeds will remain even after you’ve finished studying and that they will have no contribution in telling you the pointers of that 5 marker.

Note what kind of things make you spiral out of control. If they are YouTube videos, set limits on the amount you see. If they are WhatsApp messages, then mute your notifications or switch your internet off when you’re not on your phone. Whatsapp usage is actually easier to reduce nowadays. Why? Those ugly new emojis, obviously. (sorry for the burn, WhatsApp, but it’s true and we all think so.)

Finally, if you have zero self-control, then appoint a friend to police you and send reminders to stop scrolling. It might seem a little intense but if you’ve read this far into the article, you might need it. Remember, a friend in need during times of no restraint, is a friend indeed.

Image Credits: Sagoon

Rishika Singh

[email protected]

Looks like Delhi University is in the middle of updating its curriculum for several courses. It’s only been a day since the speculations of Chetan Bhagat’s bestselling book, ‘Five Point Someone’s inclusion as English Generic Elective floated that another interesting addition (proposal) has also come to light.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Delhi University is planning to include ‘Facebook post writing’ as part of its English literature curriculum.  This change was recommended by a core committee of the Choice Based Credit System at Delhi University’s English department. The proposed components will be part of the Skill Enhancement Courses. Alongside the Facebook posts, other generic but important and frequently used writing such as, blog posts and cover letters are also included.

The English department has sent the proposed changes to all colleges and the teachers are suppose to send in their feedback by May 1st. Since there is no particular plan on how to conduct the course, any further instructions will be given once initial feedback has been received.

Many people are critiquing the addition of Facebook post writing in English Literature on the grounds that this is juvenile and unimportant. Besides, Facebook is sort of an informal platform where people choose to express freely and therefore it is not feasible to add it in the academics.  However, in their defense the core committee resonates that social media is an important tool of communication and it will advantageous for students to learn how to use it effectively.

On being asked about how this new step is going to affect the academics Dr. Siddhart Kanoujia of Hindu College said ” Important aspect is if we are making it a part of our syllabus then isn’t there a danger of homogenization and stratification in terms of correct language, grammar and other norms which the educator deems fit. I don’t think there is any intervention required except a few lectures on net ettiquettes, but then that doesn’t remain within the purview of academic writing.” He also said the attempt would turn futile because facebook is a platform that allows freedom of expression and this exercise would be imposing set of rules on written form which would create homogeneity and would turn out to restrict the freedom of thought.

Whether or not these proposed changes will be implemented or not, we will get to know only after the new syllabus is released.


Image Credits: Vanity Fair


Niharika Dabral

[email protected]

College life is driven by a lot of factors. Although, technology is not a very major one, it helps you to keep tab on various aspects of your college life. So, here’s the first part of the list of the hardware that we think would really help you in your undergraduate journey:

  1. Smartphone 

    Source: pixabey.com

With time changing more swiftly than weather, a smartphone is a must for all new fuchchas out there unless you want to get on back foot for losing out on the random WhatsApp chats and latest class time updates and last minute changes declared by your popular class representative (CR). From taking a perfect selfie to calculating your monthly expenses, your smartphone can be the gateway to the world.




2. Earphones

Source: www.publicdomainpictures.net
Source: www.publicdomainpictures.net

From the drum beats of the theatre society to the noises of students bunking classes, you have to face a whole new level of distractions while trying to concentrate on something in college. In this situation a good earphone can come as a great rescue in time. With a great combination of right volume and right music it has the power to shift you to a different world where you can focus on your work in hand. No doubt some awesome companies like Google, Facebook and apple have earphone vending machines on their office premises.


3. Power Banks

Source: wikimedia.org
Source: wikimedia.org

From waking you up in the morning for the 8:30 classes to satisfying your soul with music during break within classes, your phone works harder than you. With WhatsApp and Facebook notifications pinging up in every ten minutes your phone’s battery life is going to get tired like you at the end or even middle of the day. A good power bank can ensure that your lifeline i.e. – phone doesn’t go out of its life and make your life more difficult. Go get one, before you decide between whether to make a last call of the day or to play your favourite song.




Having the right hardware is just not enough. One needs to know how to use it. Else it’s just dead weight that you’re carrying. So here’s the first part of the list of apps and software that would really help you in your undergraduate journey:

  1. For Social Needs

WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – These are the four pillars of a good social life in not just DU, but in any university across the nation. Most of you, are already on Facebook and WhatsApp. Instagram and Snapchat are the ones on which many of you still aren’t. For an all-round social life, you need to be on the other two as well. You’ll realise their importance once the fest season comes. So register yourself right now and like the DU Beat pages (Yes! That is essential for a very cool social life as well. True Story!).


2. For Documentation and Project Needs

Open Office & Libre Office – These three are free license office suites which will help you to do all your digital assignments, presentation, reports and projects on Laptop or PC. Microsoft Office suite is one the best but it is paid. These are the best free alternatives.

53. For Utility

Truecaller – If you have an active social life in college or you’re involved in various co-curricular activities, you’ll need to filter out the incoming calls. This app comes in handy. It’s a universal caller ID which gives you the name of the person along with some additional information. User can also block numbers, making it an excellent ‘pervert management tool for girls.

ColorNote– The app is one of the best apps for taking quick notes and messages on your phone. You can make check lists and can even pin your TODOs in the notification bar. It’s available for Android and Windows phone. Similar variants are available for Apple iPhones easily.

Pocket– The ultimate apps for bookmarks. There are various links leading to articles about plethora of things on various social networks which will resonate with your personality. This app helps you save such links so that they can be read anywhere, on any platform or device. You can even save them offline and load it later. All you need to do is save them under your pocket account.


We wrap up the first part of our tech list here. Stay tuned for more. Do tell us about your personal experiences with apps and software in similar categories.

Image credits: natashascrazylife.blogspot.com

Kavach Chandra and Srivedant Kar
[email protected]
[email protected]

We’ve always heard of major portion of the Indian youth entering into engineering colleges, but we hardly come across any Indian names in the field of technology. Strange, right? Well, don’t worry, as DU Beat brings to you some technical personalities which might help to sweep away Mark Zuckerberg’s charm a bit.

  1. Ajay Bhatt

Well, you should thank him every time you plug in your phone for charging; every time you connect your external HDD; transfer photos from phone to your PC. He is the man behind USB standard. It is because of him that we are moving towards a unified wire for all sorts of electronic purposes.


Credits: america.pink

  1. Vinod Dham

He is the man behind the revolutionary processor from Intel that changed the standards of speed in the heads of consumers. Yes, he is the father of Intel’s Pentium Processor. He rose to the ranks of VP of Micro Processors in Intel and then changed to AMD, Intel’s biggest rival in 1995. He is now a venture capitalist funding various start-ups in India.


Credits: iammadeinindia.com

  1. Vic Gundotra

Google’s social media man, Vic is credited with being the man behind the Google+ social network. Before being a Google Guy, Vic was a Microsoft Man joining the company in 1991 and working there as a general manager of platform evangelism. He made sure independent developer’s get Microsoft’s services. He left Microsoft in 2007 to join Google.


Ccredits: idownloadblog.com

  1. Amit Singhal

“Google it” – this phrase wouldn’t have ever caught on if Google wouldn’t have keep doing best what is does best- search. Not among the senior management, Amit Singhal is the man overseeing the service which is at the tip of your fingers- Google Search. He is responsible for algorithms and techniques that Google uses to produce search results when someone queries for anything.


Credits: youtube.com

  1. Ruchi Sanghvi

Men are not the only ones representing Indian achievements in the field of technology. Ruchi Sanghvi was Facebook’s first female engineer. She was part of the team that developed Facebook’s most critically panned feature at the time of the launch- The News Feed. This feature became one of the main features later on but just after launch it was criticised heavily, which led to her and her team to go under a 48 hour coding session amounting to the first rendition of Facebook’s complicated privacy setting. She co-founded Cove, a start-up in 2011 which was acquired by Dropbox in 2012 where she currently serves as a VP.


Credits: radicalnews.in

  1. Rashmi Sinha

She is the brains behind the website that most of you would probably know as the place to get presentation on any topic – slideshare. She founded the website in 2006 which lets the user upload their work in form of presentation. The company was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012 for $199 million dollars.

Credits: women2.com

Featured Image Credits: nytimes.com

So many of us take up a virtual internship for some reason. Maybe you have entrance exams, or you are occupied with some other work or obligation. And more often than not, the internship job description entails work in the social media department. We’d love to believe that social media is the future, and with the jobs in social media becoming serious every passing day, it is only obvious that many of us are considering a career in this field.

Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of a social media internship.


  1. Quantifiable performance enables you to learn faster while working. We can always assess performances through metrics and analytics such as reach, views, likes, retweets, favourite etc. It becomes easier to learn on your own when you have insight into what works and what doesn’t
  2. You become a pro at knee-jerk reactions. The business environment is more dynamic than ever. Same goes for social media. And a social media internship prepares you well to jump at every opportunity, what with unleashing hashtags when you see something trending on Twitter.
  3. Data analysis becomes a constant job. And sans the agonizing theory of statistics, you get to learn the real world application of mean, mode, median. In an attempt to constantly gauge what works and what doesn’t, you understand the tricks of data analysis faster than any textbook can ever teach you.
  4. You get to be the cool one- from creating memes, trolling the celebrity you dislike, or even the healthy banter that companies nowadays engage in- you get to bring the cool quotient into the otherwise dull and drab corporate affairs.


  1. No kidding here, but the “glued-to-devices-24*7” isn’t really glamorous. It is all back aches and tired eyes at the end of the day, and you may as well just crash into your bed, with a feeling of hopelessness at yet another unproductive day, when you cannot see the results.
  2. You need to be personally invested and detached simultaneously. Haters gonna hate, and social media makes it so easy for them to lash out on you, whether as a brand or as a person.
  3. The constant urge to stay updated leads to Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and life becomes monotonous with scheduling and keeping a tab on insights. Consider this: – Tweeting from the wrong account is a legitimate fear, and one typo can be the end of it all.
  4. You are painfully aware that social media is a superficial platform and can never really be fully representative of the real world.


Weigh the pros and cons for yourself, and decide if you’re up for a social media adventure!


Featured Image Graphic by Kritika Narula

Kritika Narula

[email protected]

Introduced merely ten days ago, Facebook’s Graph Search didn’t get the best market reception: the company’s shares plummeted by almost 6 percent following its announcement. It did, however, set the tech world abuzz.

Touted as Facebook’s “third pillar” after newsfeed and timeline by CEO Mark Zuckerburg himself, it is, simply put, a personalized search engine that sifts out results from within the website, at present available only in the beta version to select users of American English. There are some visible changes in the webpage’s organization and display, but nothing too hard to keep pace with.

Here’s how it works: You can look up your friends through customized searches based on the information they’ve made public, through phrases such as “Friends from Delhi University who subscribe to DU Beat” or “Friends in New Delhi who play golf”.

So how good is Facebook’s latest offing? Tech observers, analysts as well as users stand divided in their opinions. While some view this foray as an avant-garde move that incorporates even search as a social activity, others show mild acceptance and reject any apparent threat to traditional search engines. Yet far too many ordinary users remain concerned about privacy settings.

The issue of privacy was addressed in the introductory press conference itself, with Zuckerburg giving the assurance that the data unearthed through a graph search would not bring up any content that has not previously been made public. But in case you still haven’t made changes to your profile, pages you’ve liked and tags following the major revamp last year, it would serve you well to do so before Graph Search takes the scene and digs out something even you may have forgotten about.

Next, what about the threat that Graph Search may pose to traditional search engines such as Google Search? It is unlikely that it may ever be able to displace Google off its throne. After all, it mostly draws search content from within your connections on Facebook and Bing as an extension, therefore with an altogether different target from Google’s broad search.

On the other hand, it helps you build on these already established social connections, effectively assuming the same importance as that of word-of-mouth in the daily non-virtual setting. And in doing so, goes beyond anything else we’ve seen thus far. You want to find friends to accompany you to a Coldplay concert next month? Graph Search comes to your aid by displaying friends who you may be able to get on board.

Graph Search, therefore, might just turn out to be the key to recover all those losses that Facebook made upon going public last year. It is indeed a great stride ahead in the realm of social communication and media, provided it extends its focus beyond people, photos and places. Only then are Google, Foursquare and LinkedIn likely to get a serious run for their money in the future.


Tanya Dua
[email protected]