Episode 357: Social Media Trends With Jeff Brown

Show Summary

Rob Cairns and Jeff Brown talk about social media trends.

Show Highlights:

  1. Why Social Media?
  2. Issues with X(Twitter).
  3. Meta and what is going on.
  4. Do we need Tik Tok?

Show Notes

Hey All, Rob Cairns here and today I’m here with my good friend and friend of the show, Mr. Jeff Brown. How are you today, Jeff?

Good. Mr. Cairns, how are you doing?

Rob, I’m doing well dealing with smog at the time of this recording due to the forest fires out West so.

And I believe that we are getting equally the same treatment here on. The East Coast.

Yes, well, you know how us, Canadians are. We’re unselfish and we share. We share more. Don’t.

We we do, although I feel bad for the Albertans, but I’m not a fan of all the smoke because a lot of people that will have probably have respiratory issues where it’s not going to go super duper well for them, so to speak.

Now I’m just hiding indoors just the way it is, you know? Just gotta gotta do what you gotta do. So today I thought we haven’t had you on in a while and we do a little bit of catch up and there’s lots going on in the social media world. What a shock that is, right? So.

There’s it’s. If you’re trying to keep track of what everybody’s doing, it’s gonna be almost a full time job. There’s. There is a lot happening, a lot of stuff that. Is not necessarily on the radar, but will have profound effects for longetivity of social media networks. How things roll out, what you can and can’t do, what you can say what. You can’t say.

So, so true so. And I thought we would jump in and start with everybody’s favorite company and that’s meta to start with. And I, I don’t know, like things on the Facebook front are pretty quiet these days. But there’s been a lot of changes with WhatsApp. Those changes, and I actually think that for the better. Meta has now gone to allowing you to have up to four devices tied to your WhatsApp account. What do you think about that?

Well, it’s going to make it like we’re we need consistency when we’re going to use an app across the board, we’re going to have more than one device, so enabling multiple devices will absolutely make it easier. That way. You’re going to have a seamless flow regardless of which device you use because. If I have to use one device on an iPad, for instance another device on an iPhone for example, we’re going to lean in one way or the other, and it’s going to determine what type of an outcome or experience the end user will have depending on which device we pick up.

Yeah. And I’ll give you even the bigger scenario, your your travel. And you go to Europe and we know roaming charges for Canadian carriers are starting to get expensive. So buying a prepaid SIM card is becoming more advantageous. Every day you buy a prepaid SIM card, you plug it in and under the old mess has taken a month ago, you couldn’t use your WhatsApp account. But that prepaid SIM card because your phone numbers changed and it used to be tied directly to your phone. And frankly, now you can. You said it’s a secondary device and still use your same WhatsApp account. So I think that has pluses written.

All over, yes, but it still comes back to the end user license agreement on WhatsApp and that’s still a constant. Thing whether you like it or not, as as many of the improvements are and and a lot of people still use WhatsApp but. It’s some use it, some don’t because of the end user license agreement and they’re looking to other applications. If they’re not OK with WhatsApp for example.

Yeah. And while we’re while we’re talking about WhatsApp, it’s worth noting and I don’t know about you, I know you signal occasionally, I do too. Yes. And I’m kind of volume with signal. We’ve all got Facebook Messenger. Most of us have Twitter DM’s. In my case, I sit in a number of slack channel. And my good friend and mentor, Paul, Toby sort of highlighted this a couple of weeks ago. And one of the things that drives him nuts is people that start the conversation say for example on WhatsApp and then they move the conversation to Facebook Messenger because they forget or they can. And then before you know it, the conversations in the slack channel. Like, hey, guys, if you’re gonna use multiple messaging services start and finish the conversation on the same service, please. And thanks for all the calling that out the other day.

Yeah, I’m a firm believer in keeping specific conversations in one place. That way, everybody, the expectation that we’re going to go here to have the conversation, people can join, people can know exactly because there’s just so many things going on different. Ways to communicate with people. The more you have, the more confusion possibly. I mean it’s like having multiple e-mail accounts and forgetting that and not checking which e-mail you’re sending it out. To cause the customer. Gets two of. Them those are two channels you have to now watch for our response from that one. Simmer. Yeah, and so on. An app. It’s it’s equally confusing, and it’s find the right app for the right job and stick with it. That way it’s convenient for everybody. The expectation is, hey, we’re going to use signal. Let’s do it all on signal signal. These apps are very well designed to incorporate a lot of functionality, and you don’t need to go here. One and there for another, there’s a lot of. Valium function in each of these apps just got to pick one and stay the course with that.

Yeah, so true. So I thought, you know from there, we kind of move on and I don’t want to jump into that Twitter mess yet because Twitter’s, you know, that discussions gonna go for a while. But I thought I’d jump into the Twitter clones as I called them. So we’ll want mastered on. We’ll lump blue sky in there. Well, one papaya stuff in there. And the biggest issue I have with all these Twitter clones, they’re nice to play with, but. Businesses gotta start. To think about where is your target market and they’re. All saying we wanna jump off Twitter, but if your target market is on Twitter, I don’t care who’s running Twitter. You probably should still be on Twitter.

Yeah, agreed, agreed. And if if we’re going to look at Mastodon, for instance, I believe that was a huge disappointment for people were saying we’re leaving to it, we’re going to Mastodon and so many different servers, so many different. Ways for people to connect and then it just wasn’t as user friendly as everybody wanted. So it at the end of the day, it’s a place where the geeks go and a lot of people that say we’re leaving Twitter if they left Twitter are now back on Twitter and they’re waiting to see what’s coming next. And so Mastodon, for the most part, was. A really huge disappointment for a lot of people as far as connecting and building on it. It just did not deliver the way that a lot of people were expecting it to deliver.

You know, and the other problem is too, is the trend on Mastodon is they wouldn’t censor and we all know if you’ve read anything. About mastered on because it’s so decentralized, the servers have a right to choose what type of voice to allow on that server and what type of voice not to allow on that server, which for all intents and purposes is censorship. So that is going on on, mastered on whether you believe it.

Yes. And again it’s the servers are run by admins and the admins call the shots and it’s like everything it’s rented land. You’re not paying to be on there. For the most. Part. So if you don’t like it. Leave kind of deal. If you pick the wrong server, you’re not happy. Leave.

It works like blue sky. Might have a little bit of legs run by the former person who owned Twitter, Jack Dorsey, so let’s see what happens with that. Organization, right?

Well, I’m hoping that he’s going to run it like the early days of Twitter. I love conversations, you know, I love having conversations with a whole bunch of different people. And you know what? Between my wife and I, we don’t always agree. So imagine on a social network, there’s things we’re not going to agree upon, but I always value the conversation. I’d like to know why. People think certain ways, for instance, and it’s nice to have a great conversation. We may not agree, but we can agree to disagree and then move on or or continue and to learn from each other. And that’s what I really value. About these social networks is that all the people that you can meet and for instance, you and I, were we our discovery point was on Twitter and we developed a great relationship from there and we’ve had many good conversations and you and I haven’t always agreed, but that’s OK. I mean I love the saying if everybody.

No question.

And the room is is agreeing. Somebody’s not thinking and I like. And I value different opinions.

Yeah, it’s true. So that kind of talks a little bit about that and let’s jump on to every regulatory pain in the ****. Right now there’s Chinese service and you know where I’m going going TikTok, TikTok and so kind of my take on TikTok and I’ve been pretty public about it.

Yes, I do.

If you wanna ban TikTok from government devices because you’re an employee and you don’t want your employees wasting their government time on TikTok, I’m. OK, with that? But if you wanna ban it because of free speech or owned by Chinese government, then my bigger question is why aren’t we banning smart TV’s as well? Because smart TV’s are more invasive than tech talking, they’re in every living room and there’s all kinds of issues with them. And the argument is, well, if we ban TikTok. Ohh schools for example. That will protect the kids and I hate to tell people this is so 1980s. Let’s throw the computer in one living room, let our parents watch us and scrutinize what we do now. All the kids have to do is pick up a smartphone, walk out the house. Walk out the house, go to Tim Horton’s, go to the local mall, go to their friends house and guess what? They’re connected, so. I don’t think banning TikTok is going to solve all the problems. What do?

You think well, I am of a mixed opinion cause I see both camps and I for the one camp, the careers, there’s some really great content being created and it’s not just their break dancing around. There’s some people that are creating marvelous content and they’re. They’re making a business out of it and creating a living for them out of it. But on the other side of it, I do see security concerns, concerns around potentially the app doing more than what we want them to do, but at the end of the day. If we were say, we had an app and we had it in China, China would regulate the functionality of that. App and well.

Of course.

Why wouldn’t we do the same thing here, but still keep it, so to speak? And again, it’s it’s all about these permissions. And then when you think about iPhone versus Android and different? App permissions. You open up a whole can of worms where it’s not just TikTok, there’s a whole slew of things that are going on good and bad. And so where do you start?

No, it’s it’s so true. And that’s kind of, you know, the case with TikTok. Now I’ve kind of left the big tea for last because. This is gonna occupy time, and that’s Twitter. And there’s been all kinds of complaining since Elon must spot Twitter. So the first thing I think we need to start off is Twitter has a right to monetize their plan. Absolutely. They need to start making. Money and one of the things we’re seeing that is with Twitter, Boo and the dreaded Boo check mark and there are all kinds of government agencies in Canada. Last week on Twitter complaining about the blue check mark being removed. Well, they’re gonna tell people if anybody’s got money, that’s government agencies. And they’re squawking about $8 a month to.

Yeah, they are sending and spending more money. I will say in in not a careful manner than 8 bucks a month and so.

So the first thing to me.

But at the end of the day, just because you pay for verification doesn’t necessarily mean that I. Mean I could. Go and open up a Donald Trump account, pay the money, have a blue check mark. And so how do we legitimately? Because there’s another side of the coin there too, I like. Because hackers, if they’re, if they understood that they could get that blue check mark. Verify and again through the most hackers probably aren’t going to verify. This stuff but. It’s not a huge expense to get that seal, to get that perception that, hey, we’re the actual person. I mean, crimes been around a long time. People can create fake drivers, ID’s, you name it.

Yeah, it’s true. And they’re running around spoofing even Facebook accounts and creating face fake Facebook profiles, right?

Jeff like yeah. And with AI, the ability to do even more. Is just around the corner and so there’s got to be better solutions. You know what I mean? We need to know who the real accounts are, but at the end of the day, I understand that Twitter needs to make money to be a viable platform. They’re not doing their the goodness of their heart. They they need to. Money and people have to if they’re going to play on these social networks, then eventually they know that they have to in order for that network to survive, they going to start anting up in some way that helps provide value for the social network, AKA right now.

Yeah, it’s so true. And not only the issue with Twitter, we gotta we gotta go and then we’ll go on the more payment. And that’s the Twitter API keys. And we all know that most of the scheduling apps have taken their scheduling off Twitter because they kind of they’re complaining about the costs. And my response is. I think Twitter has a right to charge for those API keys because they need to make money. And by the way, it’s worth. Doing most listeners, they probably don’t know whether it’s now gone and done the same thing that they’re charging for their API key as well. So there’s two social networks, but Twitter’s getting all the bad press, and I don’t think people have a right to complain. Everything can’t be free all the time.

Yeah. And we’ve had this conversation, you and I, we’ve we’ve been talking about this for years as. Is a product. I mean everybody want it for free and yet we’ll take it and we’ll charge our customers so to speak. And so you can’t have it on both ends, so to speak. You’ve got to auntie up and provide some income for the the person that’s providing the original source of the service. And so that’s OK that’s just it takes money to make money, and if you’re not willing to spend, spend money as a business, then why are you even in?

No, no question. And it doesn’t help that Elon Musk is pretty outspoken. As we all know, and my problem with that is I think there’s a lot of good being lost in the world that Elon’s doing for. Sample the EV market wouldn’t be where it is today if he on didn’t invent the Tesla or his company didn’t invent the Tesla, we wouldn’t have Internet access in Ukraine. If you own didn’t put up extra satellites to help out the Ukraine to pipe Internet access in there, we wouldn’t have Internet. Access of rural areas in this country that he’s now deploying, you know, rural, satellite based Internet. So the problem is, it’s typical most big entrepreneurs. Elon, Jeff, Bezo, even Bill Gates and the day Bill Gates was hated and despised when he ran Microsoft because he made money and everybody’s complaining. And it’s this whole mentality again that drives me up the wall. That everything on the internet’s gotta be free.

And that’s just not the way it is. This is business and businesses have the right to make money and survive and provide good income for those people that have invested a lot of their lives moving the business forward. It’s just a lot of sweat equity that they put into it and they need to be able to reap the rewards. Of their hard work.

Yeah. And now as of today, at the time of this record, Elon has a new CEO. And we were. You and I were talking about that about an hour ago. Oh, is it gonna get better? Get worse too. Who knows?

Well, we’re gonna have to wait and see. I mean, at the end of the day, Elon has a plan to take Twitter to X, and somehow he figures his new CEO is going to help him. He’s a guy that’s really driven to be successful. And like everything he’s put his hand to the you know, there’s there’s been some ups and downs, but the guy is still moving forward and he’s going to take Twitter into a social network or even something even greater than a social network that potentially the Skype, the limit. It could be incredible. But as far as his CEO. We’re just going to have to wait and see how they’re going to run the ship. I mean, we do not want to see any more clamping down of free speech, we’ll say. And and I value having conversations and it’s OK to not agree with everybody. So I’m hoping that this new CEO is not going to censor the living daylights out of everything.

We’ve kind of run through some of the big companies and some of the trends we see going on video is still becoming more and more prominent. AI generated video, images and text on social is becoming more and more prominent. What do you think about AI on social?

The It’s good, there’s opportunity, there’s there’s an an ability there to create really great content. But there’s also there the ability for lazy people to continue to be lazy and not provide like they can provide content, but it depending on how much they want to put into the development of it because it’s. One thing for AI. To generate content, it’s then a great writer. Or a great copywriter to take it and take it to a new level by putting their own voice to it. And so with text with images with audio. It’s it’s like we’re now in the dawn of a new industrial revolution as far as what AI is doing. The question is good or bad. Where will we take it? But it can. It can become a place. Where we’re we are the conveyors of great meaningful content. If we work at it to deliver great content and the realm of opening up new types of business that never existed before because of it can be a great thing.

I think the big thing is that tech is moving faster and faster today than it’s ever moved before, and AI is just kind of pushing that even to be faster. And I think a lot of people. Are they don’t want to learn and they don’t want to adapt. And if you’re working in tech or in social or in marketing.

You better at adapt and you better adapt quickly. Well, we have to keep our eyes on AI because it can go good or it can go bad because at the end of the day, whoever programs it determines how AI will respond and so. Always keeping an eye on that. Always. I mean, I always hope for the best. We always want to see improvement. We want to see business do well, whether small, medium or large. We want to see them do well. We want to give them the tools they need to create new types of businesses for instance, and and new opportunities. But at the same time, if we’re using it, the bad guys are too. To break into places to create malicious code, things like that. The other side of the coin that we need to be aware of, and it’s going to potentially show us where some of the the whales of business do not adjust. As quick as they need to to the changing realms and you and I’ve had conversations about certain types of industry using old Microsoft Windows and just paying for the support and so. If if big industry continues and big business continues to just get enough to get the job done with the world where AI is continually bringing in new things, it’s going to be devastating and that’s where we have to make sure that big business does things right.

Yeah, I I. I agree with you. One of the big trends is really going on right now. It’s funny is live streamings become all the rage on social again. As as always, it’s just kind of growing. And then the other trend though around light streaming, which is audio, is podcasting seems to be exploding again on social and it’s not so on those two.

Mediums. The I know I’m training business. I’m teaching them to go into those realms because at the end of the day, one thing that. Video does and even audio because people can hear your voice. It’s the development of. Just because people like to do people’s business with people they like, how do you create? Like, how do you create trust in your business if they can see you and they can hear you, they can. They’re more likely to size you up and determine whether they want to move forward with you in business. Text is very limited. There’s no tone, there’s no. You don’t. Get to get a really good. Feel about the business and what they’re like and you can sort of get a touch, but when it comes to video, when it comes to podcasting and audio, you get to hear the person in video, you get to see them, to see what they’re like, and then you can determine what you want to do as a customer or a client, for example.

That’s true. I think video and podcast video. And if you’re gonna do audio podcasting is a great way to establish that trust. And it lets people figure out what you know, how you know it. How do you present yourself? How do you, how do you react? I think that’s all part. Of part of. That solution? Do you see any other? The trains coming around that we haven’t talked about.

I’m just keeping my eye on a few things on the side here, like I’m interested to see what blue sky is going to do the.

Yeah, me too.

It really could potentially be a mover and shaker. It all depends, and it’s all about the hurt the groups of people will they or won’t they move to it because social networks depend on people to be viable. And again, sometimes people are fickle. As far as what they’ll go? With the, I’m interested to see, for instance, trends with AI and like Microsoft for instance, and Google and their their applications and how this business really uses them strongly to create documents to create, create outcomes through these apps and so. I am really looking forward to see where people that may not have the absolute best tech skills, but they’re they’re going to higher levels with AI. They’re doing more, maybe in. Well, they’re taking their minimum excel skills and they’re doing more with it. They’re getting to the place where they can understand more and do more with AI, for instance, that that’s emerging as quicker than what we think. But at the end of the day, imagine AI being directly into social media. And that’s one thing that we could. Be even more permanent and I see that in Grammarly, where AI is creeping into that product as far as how it’s suggesting text and and what it’s using, for instance. And so these are things that are absolutely, I’m just waiting to see where they’re going to go and what they’re going to.

Yeah, that’s a really good time, Jeff. Thanks for sharing that and thanks for joining me. As always, if someone wants to get a hold of you to talk training or anything else social, that’s the best way.

The e-mail jeff@workplaceeducation.ca I made it really simple jeff@workplaceeducation.ca and I usually try to get to my responses pretty quickly so.

Yeah, he does. Thanks, Jeff. Have yourself an amazing day. Appreciate your time as always.

I always appreciate our time together, Rob. Thank you and have. A great day

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