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Will 2019 be the year of the influencer? How do we stay relevant on social media?

Social media is a force in our world. Using the platforms in a way that captures people and affects them positively is requisite in the market. Reaching your audience is just as much about who is doing the posting as the content being posted. Consumers like to have a trust formed with the people from whom they get their advertising. Social media personalities can connect with target demographics more directly, sometimes, than a 30-second spot or a billboard. The best firms bring their "influencers" in as business partners to create an authentic feel to their content.

Personalized advertisement leads to engagement. Quality, versus quantity, fosters a sense of editorial authority; the consumer has a keen eye for content tailored to their needs. Controlling your brand narrative will differentiate you from your competitors. Research is showing a divide in the types of consumers using different applications. Choosing the correct form to reach your targets will be instrumental in building your business.

Developers consider bounce rate as a major indicator of success. Users need to be enthralled almost immediately with regards to long-form video and need to be truly captivated for them to consider it "share-worthy." Influencer-consumer trust silences the bombarding white noise of today's advertising climate and provides metric insight that helps to grow sales.

On this week on Explicit Content, Joe Cox and Demian Ross discuss social media marketing and the nuanced dynamics of quality content.


Demian Ross: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Explicit Content podcast. The social media edition. That is my radio voice. If you can't remember, I'm the co-host Demian Ross, along with ...

Joe Cox: And it's Joe Cox, here, and this is my radio voice.

Demian Ross: Nice.

Joe Cox: Hey, Demian. Where are you? Where are you recording from? That's always my favorite question.

Demian Ross: We always know you're in your basement. I am actually in southern Washington by the Kalama, I think that's how you say it. Kalama river. It's like fall here, brother. As a California kid, palm trees don't change colors. They just die. It's just beautiful here. I'm enjoying ... I've been in the PNW for ... And for those who aren't aware, that's Pacific Northwest. For quite a few months now, we just happened to discover that we've been in and around the Washington, Oregon, northern California, Nevada-ish area for the good last three months. But it's beautiful. Enjoying it.

Joe Cox: Yeah, I saw some of your videos and it looked like ... I was like, "Oh, leaves are changing." They are in a seasonal climate. It's not the desert.

Demian Ross: Again, in California we don't have seasons. We just have different degrees of summer. This is really ... this is nice. I'm enjoying ... I wear that sweater for actual warmth, not to just be a prop in my videos, which is nice.

Hey, you know what? I'm not the ... guy but I love the idea of just talking about video and going to video. For those of you that aren't aware, I work for Social Media Marketing World. It's a conference that's held in San Diego every year. I sell exhibit space, but obviously that is ran and owned to an extent, obviously by Social Media Examiner. We had some kind of interesting breaking news within the company this week that I think I can talk about. By the time this podcast comes out it'll be a couple of weeks old, maybe.

That we've decided to remove all our long form video from our Facebook channels. If you're unaware of what Social Media Examiner is publishing, we have ... I think at the time we had three live shows and we have "The Journey." Which is a docu-series about behind the scenes of what's going on to grow social media marketing world. Our founder CEO, Michael Stelzner just looking at the data and talking with the team, just saw that people aren't sticking around from beginning to end. The way they do on YouTube, on Facebook. I'm trying not to quote him because I might get it wrong. But what he said, which I actually kinda liked is Facebook's really a highway. Where the best you can really do is billboards, type. Unless you're in California, then a video on the side of the road would work really well, cause you're stuck in traffic.

But for the majority of the world it's just people are flying by. People aren't sticking around and watching long-form, really anything. Even live, I think to an extent. Everything's getting moved to YouTube. They'll be teasers. I think they canceled two of the shows just cause they didn't think they'd play well over YouTube and then our Friday show is still gonna stick around on Facebook for awhile as we take a look at it.

The question I want to ask you really quick and hopefully as you are listening, if you're a listener, is ask this of yourself. Joe, video on Facebook. Are you watching any long form kind of video content on Facebook?

Joe Cox: I'm not. I don't probably watch anything. I don't really remember when I watched anything past like five minute mark on Facebook, but it mesmerizes me cause I thought that the future is the video. All the headlines that I've been reading, the future is video. How is long-form video any different from short video?

Demian Ross: I feel that's what the whole watch programming is about. Even when you were talking right now, I was thinking, if I was going to my feed and all of a sudden the new whatever, Netflix is making a "Murderer 2" came up and I can just watch it right from my feed and throw it up onto my, up onto my TV, what I do that. That's a weird, where they're kinda heading with that stuff. But, as someone that's producing short content ... I rarely go over five minutes in my videos and in an exercise. So, that's clear. Anyone of those ... the five minute mark's about the max. And, I am noticing that within Facebook and You Tube and LinkedIn, people stick around beginning to end.

I think that's because I'm under, it averages two and a half minutes. That kinda makes sense, cause that's what they're publishing now. These almost two-and-a-half minute teasers to get you to go to YouTube. But I agree with you. I thought the whole idea was not to take people off the Facebook platform. Remember this decision was made because some of the videos just aren't showing up in people's feeds. There are people that are like you've been doing the journey a year and a half. It's never shown up in my feed.

Joe Cox: That's right.

Demian Ross: I think I remember Mike saying that we're just playing by Facebook's rules. That we're doing this now because we see the data. Then, literally, they pull the show. They did a little square video that basically was under two minutes that talked about the choice and then linked you to the YouTube channel. The links were off the charts. The retention was off the charts. It makes sense, but my question is that a lot of these decisions are based on data. We already heard that Facebook has come out and talked about how the video data has really been obscured. I feel like three seconds to count as a view is like, that doesn't make any sense to me because you can three second watch a video just scrolling through.

I feel you have to spend some time in a video. Whether it's 10 percent or five percent, I think for it to count, in my opinion, to really count as a view, as opposed to a scroll by and count it as a view.

But, if you're not trusting in Facebook and I've heard even people not trusting LinkedIn's data, then why are people so trusting it in YouTube's data? Whether it be a view or not. That's what's weird to me. If two of these big platforms that are doing such hard video pushes, to the point where they're cheating, let's say. Maybe that's a bad word. But why would you believe YouTube's data? Which is weird to me.

Joe Cox: Yeah. As you were talking, I was putting together ... it's another ... this happens more and more in conversations that I'm having on a weekly if not a daily basis to say, "Okay, there's media," which is like that three second view comes from the idea that ... Hey, if I am a big grand, I am going to be paying to blast my message out to tons of people through video. And at three seconds. Hey, that's pretty good. I can get my brand in front of you. And a logo and a team message, that's kind of par for the course. But when we're talking and I think we have to continue to ... As marketers we're gonna continue to see the differences in the media which is powerful in its own right and Facebook and everybody's doing some really cool things inside of that and personalized advertising. Versus, the content that people in brands are making to where we're like, "No." And the whole point ...if you watch three seconds of what you're putting out, what I'm putting out and the brands that I work with are putting out, then that's not really what we're wanting.

We want a community that watches and gets the full value from that spot. It's a lot of work to put them into all places. If they're not working for a place, I agree. See you later, optimized towards where you feel you're gonna get the deeper relationship.

Demian Ross: A good point, that a question that came up from a lot of people is, like "Come on. How hard is it to really put a video on Facebook?" I don't understand the big thing, but I guess, and again, I'm not building Facebook pages for brands anymore. It's not something I do anymore. In 2018, everything's kinda changed. To have a video that is being ignored or not being pushed through the algorithm is not a good thing for your Facebook page. You want to not just have content. You wanna have good content that's being engaged and light and shared and of that nature. And if people aren't seeing it, for whatever reason because Facebook has decided ... maybe it's Facebook that's making decision that long form video's just not what we want here right now. Or, we want that on the watch program.

That's one of the decision makings with it. And I'm kinda battling this with myself and we talked about this on the podcast with me, creating these videos is ... you only get a one minute snippet on Instagram, which I go back to, I really wish Google would have bought Instagram and it would be one minute clip that you click and it just takes you to the YouTube channel and it picks up where you were. I think it would have been a really fun kind of just place for it. But, I get why they're doing what they're doing and everything is test and measure and figure it out to get the most and then we can come back and talk about it and tell people how it's working.

But, for me, I feel you do have to play by the data rules if you believe the data. I think that's a smart play. But the data has to be right. You have to really trust it. I also think there are some smart things you can do. Again, I'll pat myself on the ole back. If you've ever watched my video series, I always have at the end, I have these little just chop up ... either they're outtakes or they're just my random thoughts and there's usually engagement between me and my roommate, Nicky. A lot of people wanna stick around for that. That's what they wanna watch and that's where the comments come from. That's where the engagement comes from. I'll say again, if I was helping a brand I wouldn't be the guy that's pushing views. I wouldn't be the guy that's pushing likes or subs.

I'd be the one who's talking about comments and shares. I don't know the value of it but just recently I found out that my video was used in a college course. They were showing it to marketers and that's worth a million views, to me. It's worth a ton of conversation starters. To me, it's way more than any metrics that you can show me in data. I think people just need to be smarter. What their purpose is, what their focus is and always remember that the engagement is really the top bar in anything. Any time people are commenting and sharing, that's huge. That's where you should find success.

Joe Cox: Yeah, completely agree. I think, Instagram, I feel they're starting to curate. Going back to, people wanna see the curated images. In their feed. Then, you've seen them split off into, it's almost compartmentalizing all these different kinds of modes that people are in. I think you said it earlier, do people watch long form on Facebook? The thing is, they kinda do in certain environments. Most of the time, when you're ... 97 percent of people are using mobile Facebook. Facebook on mobile. That's mind blowing to think that before they bought Instagram, Facebook barely even had a Facebook like app on phones. They really felt like mobile was the way to go. He was really right. If I'm in that mode where I'm flipping, does Facebook really want me to watch a 20 minute video? Or a two hour video? Is that really something I'm gonna do in line at Starbucks?

Or while I'm in the bathroom. No, but how many, for Facebook's business ... I understand you're totally right. It's that, hey, what does the consumer doing? What's the user doing? Let's bend to that. Fortunately or unfortunately, or just the way business is, there's the other side of it that's saying, A ... it basically needs to make money off of ads. If somebody's sitting there for an hour, watching a video, I'm not gonna be able to play as many things in front of them as I would if I kept them strolling and seeing new stuff pop up. I'd have more chance to connect with them through more advertising. Whether that be smart advertising or not, it's just the way the business is made.

Now I know they have the in between videos. Or ads, now. But, I don't know if those are that engaging. Or if people don't just go screw it onto the next thing. Once those mid-rolls come up.

Demian Ross: Yeah, the mid-rolls are the worst things. I'd rather ...

Joe Cox: They're the worst.

Demian Ross: They're the worst. It's always, they know exactly ...

Joe Cox: I don't know how they figure out it.

Demian Ross: To put it where it's like, "And the top 10 secrets are." Roll that and then it's, "The murderer was" mid-roll ad. I've watched all this. It's the worst. Let me power through the ad and then, let me have the whole video.

Joe Cox: To this, it's yes. I would say the video, we just can't say, "Hey, video is the future." And so any video acts completely the same. I think that what your boss is doing and what Social Media Examiner is up to, is just saying, "Hey, you try it," and then crazy people would just keep putting stuff out. Whether it's getting engaged with or not and continue to do a ton of wasted resources. Smart business would say, "Hey, this isn't working. Let's try something else." Let's split up these videos to the place where people are most likely to be able to absorb them. It seems like a smart move, but it also seems like let's see what happens kind of move, too.

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Demian Ross: Yeah, for sure. What else we got buddy. What else you wanna talk about?

Joe Cox: Well, you're not gonna have a Explicit Content podcast social media edition without talking influencers. I ran into this story and I've ran into a few of them, but the one that I pulled out was a funny headline. It was Unilever was pushing for longterm partnerships with influencers in fight against fraud.

I thought it was a sad headline. The reason I thought it was a sad headline, cause I'm totally pro on brands creating deeper, more longterm partnerships with their influencers ... you call them content creators but I think it's more than content creators. I know there's a people fight on what words to use, but let's just call 'em influencers for now. Long term partnerships and deeper relationships, hell yes. That is going to be the secret in the sauce.

What makes me sad is that they end it with Unilever wanting to fight against fraud. When they say fraud, it's automatically, "Oh, you're just still thinking about this media."

... automatically like, "You're just still thinking about this like media." You're still thinking that you need to get this much reach, and this much frequency, and these many TRPs, and you're just, now, pushing these people's feeds into that kind of equation you have for what you need out of media. I feel like it's two different conversations, but it's a big hint that Unilever, which I'm sure there's a lot of brilliant people over there, but to say that it's a fight against fraud, I think you're missing the point of many bonuses of longterm relationships, rather than media fraud.

Demian Ross: Yeah, I think too, fraud is an interesting word, because, for me, it's ... When I have friends that I know that are being sponsored, or being paid by a company, for the most part, they were using and a fan of that brand before the relationship financially started. That's an interesting concept, because I feel like, let's say ... I'll use myself as an example, because I don't want to offend anyone. If I'm wearing a certain brand of hat all the time, and then the brand finds out, and gets a hold of me, and is like, "Let's make this a real deal." That's a lot different than just reaching out to someone that you know that has a following and say, "Would you start wearing this and telling people you like it?"

Because, to be honest, I almost feel like that's fraud. You know what I mean? You didn't like this company five minutes ago. I think, as an influencer, I would be really careful. I would almost be trying to handpick the companies I want to work for. Which is probably hard to do, but that's the part that I think is really fraudulent. But, I guess, at the end of the day, that's no different than ... When an NBA player gets signed by New Balance, I'm like, "There is no way that kid was rocking New Balance before he signed his $14 million deal with them."

For me, I get both sides of it, but I do think ... I think the longterm is interesting from just any kind of aspect, because I feel like the new definition of insanity is not performing this different behavior and expecting, or the same behavior and expecting a different result. It's doing different behaviors over, and over, and over and expecting results. Just like trying new people, or trying new things, so maybe that will ... I mean, it's not a fraud thing, but it's, at the end of the day, give it some time too. Allow the influencer to build some brand awareness, because now they've seen it around enough and there's some trust to it, rather than the one post and done. And, "I love Carl's Jr., and it's my favorite burger," and they've been eating In and Out on their fee for the last two years. It's just weird.

Joe Cox: Yeah.

Demian Ross: It's a weird space, but the one set that I saw in the article that you sent was that ... I mean, I remember when we were talking to people about using 10% of their budget towards social. This is like 2000, 10 years ago let's say, and now I feel like you're actually going back a little, where now you're saying, "You need to start using 10% of your budget towards influencers and towards creators." Those are the people that have the real relationship. What's the rule? I think the rule is you have to have 100 super fans and you can, pretty much, roll out any kind of program or pitch any kind of product and do well, because there's a lot of know, like, and trust built in there.

Joe Cox: Right.

Demian Ross: But it's interesting this year that there's a lot of these companies are going to go that route. I feel like that small to mid influencer is going to do really well in 2019. I think you're going to see, instead of a big budget going to a large influencer massive following, they'll chunk it up and, instead of getting one at a million, get 10 at 100,000, and probably do a lot better, and probably for a lot cheaper in a way. That will be interesting to see just how ... I just feel like 2019 is going to be even more of the year of the influencer when it comes to these things, or the creator, to your point, either one of those.

Joe Cox: It's not going anywhere and you hit it ... I mean, you hit it right on the head. I couldn't have said it any better. It is about, what is your editorial authority? If I am a creator and influencer, what are the things that are authentically going to resonate with the community that I've built? The cool thing, and what I love about this world is that, if those creators do something that is off, like they eat it immediately with people, with subscribers, and people falling off their feet. It's like this ultimate truth sayer, right? Now, you can chase the driving a little bit on that too, but I love this because, now, you have this site. You have something, other than money, keeping people honest, which is always a good thing.

And it's a, "Hold on, I've spent a lot of time and effort to build this community that I love, and I'm not going to push stuff in front of them that doesn't make sense for me or for them." And understanding what those things are. I think it's extremely crucial, and that's why I'm 100% on deep relationships. Don't see these people as just sounding horns that will just reach a new audience, like your media does. See them as, truly, a partner to be able to, not only just get your message out, but to make your freaking product better. Right?

Demian Ross: Yep.

Joe Cox: How do you ... When I build these programs, cool, you have a following that's great. I'm not too worried about ... If you've passed the test, at all, we already know you. We've already followed your content. We already know that you're a fan of the client that I'm working with. So, I'm not worried about your followers being fake, or the fraudulent crap on that side of it. I don't care. I already know you and I followed enough to understand that.

If you haven't done that, you're just picking these people out of a hat, there's one big red flag there to start with.

Demian Ross: Totally.

Joe Cox: But I believe, right there with you, 2019 you're not going to see anything move. Here's what's happening is advertising is becoming harder and harder to have impact. I come from this place, from agency side, and then brand side too. I've seen both, where I see it. People's attention and the impact that advertising is having is falling. These brands need to find that place where attention is at and it is with these content creators.

This relationship is going to continue to go. I say, "Yeah, for Unilever," to building deeper relationships, but don't see them as just a channel, see them as a true partner. And I'm thinking, "Anytime we have done that, like they've actually been part of the business, it has gone the best." We're talking a little bit older school, mine was Vitamin Water and 50 Cent, which 50 Cent, when I was over there, 50 Cent bought 10% of the company, or a few percent of the company really early on. Whenever he said he drank Vitamin Water, people believed it. Everybody that we were sampling would always be like, "Yeah, 50 Cent owns Vitamin Water." It wasn't quite that way, but that was legitimate and authentic. He liked the product and he bought into it. Now, he's part of the business.

Demian Ross: Right.

Joe Cox: Same with Rick Ross and Wingstop, which was another client. Rick Ross bought 25 Wingstops, and he was on his feeds everyday. We didn't pay him. He was part of the business. It him more money, if he was at the location, and talking about, and eating Wingstop, which he loved. Which is why he got into the business.

Demian Ross: That opens up a whole new door, where these influencers can have that kind of power, instead of paying me, bring me on. Which is ... That's skin in the game.

Joe Cox: Yes.

Demian Ross: That's good for both side of it, really, because it is ... There's nothing like taking ownership of anything. We obviously saw that with Jordan. Who, probably, was really the spearhead behind all that. Now, you're right, it's a ... It just goes back to being as authentic and transparent as you possibly can be. I think if he tried to hide that he was part owner, or anything of that nature ... You know what's funny? I just reminded me of just, probably, the biggest influencer faux pas of all time, was Cristal. How they got upset that it was being mentioned in rap songs and how it was being in MTV Cribs. Every time they opened a fridge they had to show it. They went out, publicly, and dissed it.

Joe Cox: Yeah.

Demian Ross: I think what it opened up-

Joe Cox: Bad move.

Demian Ross: Yeah, it opened up the industry's eyes like, "Why are we doing this and not getting paid? Let's start our own thing." I think the one influencer that, you and I growing up, that I'm always like, "Wait, there wasn't a deal ahead of time before that song," was My Adidas. Run DMC did not ... My understanding, there was not an Adidas deal before the song.

Joe Cox: Same here. There is nothing, it was just part of culture. They were talking about what was going on in their lives and the brands that they loved in life. That is why it reined true. If they were just saying, "Whoever paid me the most money," which is in this world now, it just wouldn't have had the same truth behind it.

Demian Ross: No.

Joe Cox: So, we're onto something. I don't really think it's new. I think it's just think a little bit harder about it. Stop thinking that these people that are so good at building audience and have something really special about them, stop seeing them as just a messaging, as a channel-

Demian Ross: Exactly.

Joe Cox: -to get your commercials off on. If you're thinking that way, then just spend that on more 30-second spots. Just spend it on media and get your three seconds inside your feed. If you want to really build relationships, and you want to get your brand inside culture, then you need to be talking to these influencers, truly, truly influencers in a different way, and bringing them closer, and deeper into your business. There's a ton of examples and stuff of that. We won't get into that today, but I think it can be something as we continue with the episodes. We can do more deep diving into, because it is a big part of what will be the future of what social is. And it's not going to be brands doing their own channels, as much. We've seen that falling, and falling, and falling. It's going to be, can you resonate in other people's channels?

Demian Ross: Totally.

Joe Cox: And can you do ideas in other people's channels? That's fun. That's a good, good move.

Demian Ross: You know what? I think I got another, because you're talking about channels and we're talking about influencers. What I think is interesting that's going on, right now, that reports are happening and it's funny that it's 1%, so I'm not even going to try to click bait you listeners. Teens are using Instagram more than SnapChat. I think they did a recent poll, and it showed that 85% of teens reporting in Instagram, at least, once per month compared to 84% who are using SnapChat. Now, I'm going to have to bow out, in a sense. I've never, really, even tried to get involved in SnapChat. I felt like I was on enough platforms. My heart was broken when Vine collapsed. And it's funny now, everything we were talking about earlier, it's like Vine had it right.

Joe Cox: Yeah.

Demian Ross: It's that 15-second engagement. Get your point across and, now, everyone's like, "Yeah, we need to recreate Vine." I feel like ... As much as Instagram, when it introduced 15-second videos before 60 seconds, I remember saying, "RIP Vine." I felt like once Instagram ... At least, I was hearing, because I wasn't a Snap user, I was hearing that all these features; stories, and filters, and all this stuff was, basically, Snap. That they were just ... Snap came out with it and then Instagram just stole it. I was like, "Well, the days are numbered, especially when Instagram was purchased." You're just like, "Your days are numbered." There was just too big of a monopoly connection there.

I don't think my kids, I have two teens still, 19 and 17. I don't think they even really ... They're in Instagram all the time now. They were never in my Instagram feed and they're constantly in it now. Especially, on the story side of things, which is very much a Snap user feature. They've moved over into that side of it, so that makes sense. It's just, I feel like, that's not shocking news. It's just bad news for SnapChat, because they do, really, push the envelope and come up with some great ideas. Then Instagram is like, "Why didn't we think of that? Let's do they." And they do and they get it, not only to the teens, but they also get it to everyone else.

I think the only misstep I've really seen from Instagram is the IGTV. I don't hear enough about it. I don't see enough good content being created on it, where people want to use it. Again, I'm at an age myself, I'm not a vertical video watcher. I'd much rather ... I'll watch video stories, because I think they're interesting and really quick. But if I was going to do some long form video, which was supposed to be with IGTV. That's the other thing too, it's too close to Home and Garden TV, for me. It's just one letter off. Am I watching Fixer Upper?

Joe Cox: I don't know if it was TV. I don't know why they called it TV, other than to say, "Let's get some more of that TV money." It's like, "Let's make sure they know it's TV." It sounds like 1998, which is knocking at the door.

Demian Ross: Totally. I think that's what's so funny to me. That they even used an old terminology. I mean, it's-

Joe Cox: Yeah, I know.

Demian Ross: I still can't believe we call it, a phone. It's the least thing I do on my device that's in my pocket. It's like the least thing I do. It's funny.

Joe Cox: Here it is, they had their chance. What Zuck would probably say is, "SnapChat had their chance. I tried to buy them. I tried." But I think it was a super nutty, you have to be already a millionaire to make that kind of decision. It would be a $4 billion screw off, or whatever ridiculous amount of money it was that they had offered SnapChat to buy them out originally. He made an insane decision to be like, "No, we're going to take this on the road. We're going to make it its own thing." I love that competition. I love having more choices for people, because I think it gives us more of an ability to vote when people do weird stuff that we don't like. If not all of our eggs are on one basket and there's a little bit of fear that everybody can jump onto another boat, if we wanted to. So, I love there being more stuff around. I don't really want to see anybody go anywhere, but I'm with you.

They did not and so, Instagram, basically, just took everything beautifully cool and differentiate of ... They showed every company how quickly they could just pick apart all the cool things and integrate it. Then people just, five days after, they just start using that thing like they did over at SnapChat. I have to give it to SnapChat. It would be really rough over there to be like, "Dude, VR or AR." The idea that they're a camera app and not a social network, right?

Demian Ross: Right.

Joe Cox: And this idea of this linear stories feed, and the idea of discovery, where all these other channels would have these short-

Demian Ross: The idea of Discovery, where all these other channels would have these kinds of short channels you could kind of catch up with, whether it be National Geographics or whether it be like Supreme or whoever, your list you were watching. I don't know, I feel like they got this straight up dismantled. But to the point, to this point on this article, saying like, "Hey, Instagram is caught up, and it is super strong and kind of stealing all the special from Snapchat," Snapchat still has a ton, cubic ton, of engagement, right?

I feel like it's time to do something or partner up with somebody now, like you might want to reconsider this partnership thing. Then they're doing some cool stuff with Amazon, where I've heard that they would be able to basically, if it was in a Snap or however it would work, that you could buy stuff without even it being linked. It would just pick up that, "Hey, this is that thing that they're using. You can buy it now on Amazon."

Joe Cox: That's crazy ...

Demian Ross: These are some cool ...

Joe Cox: ... recognition, and like, without linking it ... but that's one of those things where like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, are you getting rid of basically influencer marketing, to the point where all the links are gone now? Is that what's coming next? If someone wants to know what kind of white V-neck I'm wearing, which to me I'm like, how, how can it figure out that today I'm wearing a Goodfellow over a Fruit of the Loom? How does it figure that out? Then does it just take away all these affiliate links, away? Which is kind of interesting.

Demian Ross: Right. So for our brand, is it going to be like, "No, we'll take that." You know, all this this energy that these creators have made, "Well you know what, we'll just cut out the middleman. You don't get any of that scratch, and that just goes straight into our hands." Right? I don't know if that would go over. It's tough, because they've said they have thrown the innovation and the new stuff out so much, and it's got to be super tough to just see it all just gets swiped and brought over. I feel like they have a ton of users, still. They have some tricks to go, but I would push. I think you'll see a partnership of some kind going on, if not like a straight out buy, a sound partnership that would keep him alive. Especially after like Google Plus is toast, right?

I don't think we talked since that, so Google Plus we plus is toast now, so Google's sitting around without a real kind of network, social network. Amazon, get me one of those. I'm sure. I don't know. Have you, been on Amazon/Google, like influence your social network thing?

Joe Cox: No, not at all.

Demian Ross: Just you even seen it? It's bad. The fact that you haven't even seen it tells you how hidden this little, this little weird part of the Amazon is. I feel that they need to start making some decisions quickly.

Joe Cox: Totally.

Demian Ross: So that is Snapchat and Instagram.

Joe Cox: But remember, you guys, really quick, the math is funny, 85% to 84%. 85% of what? 84% of what? Is that really even a big difference? Is it just teens are using both platforms, and a couple teens don't use Snap for whatever reason. It's just a funny kind of click bait, but I see it in my case study of four. I have two adult children, two teen children, they're playing more Instagram than anywhere. They think Facebook is for old people. They're never there.

My daughter just recently said she sent out an invite for a party and not one person responded, because it was on Facebook. So she put it on Instagram and immediately got all the, "Yeah, we'll be there. I can't wait to see you." One little story, "Vote yes or no if you're coming," and all of a sudden, boom.

Demian Ross: That's funny.

Joe Cox: So yeah, and I think this kind of moves into some things ... It's kind of old news, but we've been talking about is, just some of the issues that Facebook is having with staff, Facebook, Instagram, with staff, and then also some of the hardware. So I'll talk with the staff part for a second.

The Instagram founder's about out, and it's not really 100% clear why. Obviously there was an issue where I know that a Facebook ... My understanding is that it was supposed to run kind of like Zappos. It's like, we've purchased you but you're still kind of your own entity, and we're going to stay out of it. Then a higher-up from Facebook moved over to Instagram, and I think that's when it was like, "Well, that's not how we do it at Facebook." I could just feel that and see that and hear that. It's like, "Well, I'm going to tell Mark." It's like that kind of thing, and they're just, "I don't care."

Demian Ross: It says, "Every company ever sold." Oh, hey, wait a minute, we want you to stay cool, okay? So we are going to buy you, but we're going to stay at or your shit, man. We're going to stay out of the way.

Joe Cox: But, we'd really like it if we did it this way, but we're not telling you what to do.

Demian Ross: Four years later, four years later, they're like, "Wait a minute, you are really cool and we need to make a little bit more. We need to combine the systems a little bit more, you know, just some good old-fashioned integration. Here, meet your new partner, Bob." You know, like to your point. I could totally see it.

Joe Cox: And then obviously, they had an insole transitions to a little bit into hardware. The Oculus co-founder is leaving Facebook, too, after a cancellation of the new headset.

Now, I've had some friends say that they're really upset, like how fast these headsets were coming out. I didn't realize that it was only the two. I'm not playing in the virtual reality space at all. Just, full disclosure, I think I've tried the goggles one time, and I thought this is really cool, but it's not something I'm doing a lot of, but I have heard people saying like, "We just purchased it, and now they're already dropping a new one." Then for a lot of them, it made the old one obsolete. It was almost kind of like how Apple was doing stuff, where, things were coming out so fast that you haven't even had it a year and they're already bringing out a new one.

So, I've heard those grumblings. I feel it's weird that they're ... and we can talk about their other Facebook product, but I feel it's weird that they really are focusing so hard on the hardware, when they're having some real software privacy issue concerns. We talked about this at the top of the show, with data and stats not being accurate. We didn't talk about this earlier, but from a, "I'm paying you to boost my ad and you're getting me X views, and those views aren't real views ..."

Demian Ross: That's some trouble.

Joe Cox: That's some fraud stuff.

Demian Ross: That's trouble.

Joe Cox: Yeah, that's big time trouble and your trust with the people that are spending exorbitant amount of money, and you're asking them to change the way they've done things for the last 50 years, and you're begging to get some of that TV money. Like it doesn't help. It doesn't help, especially when you're dealing with Russia and privacy issues and a ton of other things coming at them.

Demian Ross: No doubt. So, let's talk, too, about the two hardware pieces is, obviously it sounds like they're giving up on this space, but it's so funny to me because I feel like the most recent Facebook kind of conference was all about this virtual reality and how you could do things. So it's weird.

Joe Cox: It was all about virtual reality. It was all about it, and that just happened last week. I had a work partner go there. I need to go, because I need to get down to Kool-Aid. I mean, I'm an old video game nerd, and there's been the dream of VR since before I can remember, like the virtual Game Boy, and that was always crap. All of these thing was crap, and I think we are starting to get somewhere, and I do get why they're into Oculus.

I get why they bought VR, because the big push for them is to connect people better, right? Like that's their big vision, like everybody in the world, to connect them better. I do think that virtual reality, unlike typing away and texting, you can feel more close to somebody. You can feel like somebody has a presence there. It's weird, right? Like if you're in a meeting with somebody on Virtuality, you feel like it's more than just watching a video. You feel like you're actually, there's some presence there, which is closer to being real life connection.

I get that, and I'm all about it, like I'll nerd out with it. I haven't bought any of it, or you recall, I don't have a studio, a VR studio, in my basement yet, because my wife, that would not work for our relationship, but I get it, and I'm totally down for that.

Then they come out with this like iPad, that was two weeks ago. So to me, it seems it's the push of a large company. It's just the nightmare of having, you know, when you grow so much, it feels like everything's coming out of left field sometimes. And that giant iPad, I forgot even the name of it.

Demian Ross: Yeah the, we're about to get security issue. "Yeah, we've got some real security issues. What we'd like to do now is, we'd like to introduce a camera that will be running 24/7, that's motion detectored," blah, blah, blah. "Not face recognition. Please remember, it does not recognize your face. Once again, I like to say it's not facial recognition." I'm like, "Okay, it's totally facial recognition, now that you've said it that many times."

Joe Cox: "Yeah, "Well it can be, it could be, but we have turned it off, because that's not cool. And then secondly, if you're still worried about security, we have included this little plastic cover that will go over the camera. So you know, so when you're not using it you can just physically put this over it." That was in the commercial for the thing. You're trying to sell it and you have two mentions of privacy inside of it? Maybe it wasn't the best time for it. Putting the camera, a big camera in people's central part of their homes, and dude, I'd be all for it if it looked any different, in any of the things that anyone else is doing.

Demian Ross: Well also, too, I just feel like, like basically like you said, they put an iPad on a stand and made it stationary in your kitchen. It's like, I get what Facebook is trying to do. I just feel like they should have partnered, maybe more with Apple and just say, "Hey, here's the technology. Here's how we think people can use it."

Let's be honest, these social media platforms, they owe their entire existence to smartphones. I was on Facebook before it went mobile, before there was a mobile app or using it, it wasn't the type of draw that it is today, that you're just on these platforms because of these smart devices, to then now say, "Okay, we're going to get into the smart device."

Apple, come out with a social media platform at this point. Let's just show them, let's pay them back a little. If they're not going to respect how you have made ... and Samsung, maybe you can come out with one. But when I saw this, I was like, "This is hokey." If facebook came out with a television and maybe beat Apple to the punch, I'd do a little bit like, "Okay that's better." A little 40 inch smart TV that runs things better and works with it and stuff.

Joe Cox: We need that. We need that. It's not out yet, right? We need somebody to come in and disrupt the television experience. So amen to that. But like dude, we've already got Alexa. There's already 100 things ... That was like last Christmas, and you're kind a little late. This is a little bigger screen and it follows you around the living room, but like dude, I don't need a camera in the middle of my house. There's too many problems with that, that could occur. It's enough problems to have a camera on my doorbell, but at least that's facing outwards. I don't need anybody to know how weird I am.

Demian Ross: I totally agree. You know, it's funny, I don't FaceTime is as much as ... It's weird that my kids like to do that so much. Luke, my 19 year old, wants to FaceTime me more than he wants to call me, but then the phone is just on the coffee table. It's like an up-chin view. It's the weirdest thing. I don't get it, which I will say, I will admit that if I don't get it, it might be really smart, because I did not get Uber. I thought Uber was as stupid as all could be. I thought Airbnb ... Remember everyone, I grew up in Los Angeles, so the idea of a stranger in your car, your home happened all the time anyways. You were just getting robbed. And now it was like ...

Joe Cox: Yeah, it's negative. It's a negative, like, you're like, no way.

Demian Ross: So I think, to kind of wrap things up, I feel like Facebook has to decide whether or not they want videos on their platform. Instagram is going to have to decide whether they want videos, or I should say Facebook, long form videos on their platform. Instagram has decided they want videos on their platform.

I feel like Instagram, Snapchat, I think they both have the teen sector. It's not a big deal. I think influencers are still going to be a huge part of 2019, and I think anything we can do to kind of make that smarter and more human is great.

I think Facebook, my two cents, stay out of the hardware business. Fix the software side of it, make it where it works that people can't rig elections, and fix that data. Maybe I don't want everyone to have, they get to have, and I think we'll be good. Like those things will really, those will be well taken care of.

Joe Cox: This was super fun, as it usually is, I'd love to remind everybody, during our break, before we have our next episode, please, if you're listening, send Damien and I some ideas, things you would want us to tackle and talk about.

What is Explicit Content, when it comes to social media, mean to you? All of that would be great to have, and we'd love to hear how you are enjoying or not enjoying the show. Don't forget to subscribe to Explicit Content podcast, because the rest of the hosts are really smart and rad, too.

You can find us on iTunes or anywhere that you would find podcasts. If you want to catch up with me, you could go to @joenormal on Twitter. You go to my site, pop-marketer.com, where you can sign up for my emails and that would be totally rad. You should do that. And what about you, Damian?

Demian Ross: Yeah, so you can always find me pretty much anywhere, except for Snapchat, as @demianross, which is D-E-M-I-A-N-R-O-S-S, and obviously, I'm still doing the Road to 300. I film day 217 today, depending on this goes out. 217 videos in 217 days. It's been a lot of fun.

Come over to YouTube and hang out there, too, and ask questions on any of those platforms. Yeah, we'd love to get some listener interaction, as we continue to dial in what the show's going to be. But it'd be fun to hear from anyone, or if you had comments about what we talked about today, we'll even read it. Even if you say how terrible we are, I would love to read.

You know what? If you want to heckle us, If you're going to heckle me and talk crap, you're probably going to get on the show. You know, I'll read that quote.

Joe Cox: Guaranteed.

Demian Ross: We really appreciate the attention, listening to this week's episode. Hit us up if you'd like to tackle a subject in the future, and we'll see you next time on Explicit Content podcasts, the social media addition.

Joe Cox: Bye everyone.

Demian Ross: Oh yeah.

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