How the TikTok ban would affect the influencer economy

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The. Ads are everywhere on the Internet sometimes they're useful. Occasionally they're fun. But mostly they're just in the way scroll lets you read sites like the verge and hundreds of others without ads or third party trackers. Scroll Distributes your memberships to the sites. You Love See you can support the journalism and content that matters ad free the virgin own bone called scroll a quotes hellacious hack. See what he means by signing up for a thirty day free trial at scroll dot com slash verge cast that scroll dot com slash verge cast. Life from the verge cast in this week's in episode Taylor Lawrence the excellent reporter for the New York Times joins me to talk about Tiktok just before we recorded this episode trumpet issue, his Executive Orders Banning Tiktok, and we chat and forty five days September twentieth we talked about that a bunch as you would expect but I really wanted to talk about the entire influence or. Economy, that's what she covers. That's what our creators desk covers. I have to ask as secret business section, but there is an entire ecosystem of companies law firms of agencies of huge talent agencies that have built up around influencers in creators, platforms, Tiktok, instagram I wanted to unpack that with. Taylor. So people can have a sense of just how big that ecosystem is big that economy. Is How intertwined it is into the art entertainment and advertising industries. I. Think People Think of tiktok teenagers dancing, but it is an absolute force in the entertainment and media ecosystem. Taylor. Is heard from lot of the. So I wanted to you'll hear us we talked about how big that ecosystem is and how it works. Before we got into the TIKTOK ban, it's undercover and it's Not, something people are talking about as much as the mechanics of the national security debate or how trump might bannon. APP. But it's I. Think it's really important to understand the scale and the impact that the band might have on that economy on the influence rico system and is honestly no better to talk about it. Then Taylor. So check it out Taylor Lorenzo the, New York Times. Terror Lawrence walking adverse cast. Thanks for having me you are reports near time see cover influencers the influence our economy, which is what I won't talk to you about but I asked you on the show to talk about Tiktok a while ago like several days ago and I said we should do this as late as possible before we publish because something else will happen with Tiktok and Lo and behold last night according to some Friday last night Thursday night very late the trump administration issued two executive orders one banning all transactions with Tiktok in forty five days, which is September twentieth in the other we chat. Benny. All transactions we chat and we chats parent company ten, cent which owns. Stakes everything from spotify they own all of League of legends they on forty percent of fortnight on religion epic games I want to talk to you about Tiktok. But that all happened what has been the response from sort of the influence or community to that I feel like I should just ask you from the job. Yeah. Well, it's been a roller coaster for them. Maybe to a bunch of people last night because you know earlier this week, it seemed like it was going to be fine like a lot of them were told at trump said even last week that the ban could come as soon as last Saturday and when when that didn't happen. The kind of thought they were all good again, and now they're scrambling it's literally thrown huge swath of the entertainment industry into arrears I mean we saw Forbes released their list of top earning talkers, yesterday, and including people like Charlie, Milio, Addison, Ray, all of these kind of young Internet stars and they're making millions and so you know. All of that money that they're making his in jeopardy all of these big brand campaigns that American Eagle. Other brands are doing in jeopardy The music industry is obviously scrambling. So it's it's a mess. Yeah. I. Want to come back to that thing in the moment but I wanted to the reason I wanted to have you on is I think the influence, our economy, those millions of dollars that you just talked about this kind of not well understood. And you do a great job of covering it. I think I've told you like your coverage has definitely been an influence on our coverage. I think of our creators is a secret business section on the verge like that's bundle mentally what it is it's our. It's our teenage millionaire section like it's a business desk, not really like a memes desk but just to give even that even some context, your personal reporting history has twists and turns the kind of led you here. Can you give people just a sense? Of that because you started as like like a strategist, a digital strategist and you've ended up covering platforms and the money gets made on them, I see a pretty clear through line there. Yeah, I. Mean I've always been really obsessed with these platforms I, mean I graduated over a decade ago now into the recession and got on Tumbler and which I very quickly built some popular blogs on Tumbler, and that was my entry into social media world and yeah, I worked as a as strategist basically helping social media. Brands like household names like Bud light kind of navigate the social media world. This was before branch twitter was even a thing facebook just rolled out brand pages in like two thousand nine. So I was sort of helping brands build audiences online and I got really fascinated by how these deals were being done on the Internet how people were leveraging audience for themselves and yeah sort of did that and then ended. Up doing the same thing for media companies as a social media director for a while, and then I was always sort of writing on the side and then finally about almost three years ago I switched over and started reading about at fulltime. I think also the equator economy I don't think it was truly a beat until that time the way that it is now I think the real money started pouring in. Maybe Post Twenty sixteen. Yeah. It started pouring in first to youtube and then to instagram in a really serious way in the now Tiktok and that's let's start at the basic. So you mentioned Charlie demilio making millions of dollars Tiktok doesn't pay her right I mean we know that like instagram and facebook we'll just pay people to be on instagram and facebook youtube. In various ways we'll pay youtubers to be on you to Tiktok doesn't have that yet. Right how does how do you make money as a Tiktok? Talk Digits launch a Creator Fund. So they are going to be giving grants to certain popular creators in terms of direct. They're going to be paying them directly but no the popular creators all make money through basically ad deals and selling birch, and sometimes different APP download things were they. You have a Lincoln Bio and they get a certain amount of money, but they also can make money through live streams. So you can give kind of like digital gifts that people can then convert the money. So all of those ways are sort of the main ways that they monetize I would say brand deals and direct station through things like March or kind of the main ways that they're making these millions, and there's there's got to be like a secondary economy of firms and agencies. How. Are they affected by something like trump saying? They're just middlemen right there's taking a cut like they've got to be freaking out I. Mean I think that's what people forget. You know people are like, oh ha ha l. all these tiktok scar stars are screwed. Ok Well, there has been this entire. Industry belts around them now. So managers agents, like you mentioned, there are specific lawyers. There are also just video editors, graphic designers, audience development people that work with all of these influencers. stylists, I mean they're entertainers and to kind of wipe out this platform where a lot of entertaining happens is is going to be a hit to economy right next to that right before we started recording, we we reject reels facebook, buy instagram launched reels, which is tucked into instagram and a very confusing way. There is an element of all this, which is like well, it's fine. They'll just go to real, which is a clone of tick looks exactly like Tiktok. is seeing that happen it looks exactly like to talk with literally none of the features. It's the most delusional product I've ever seen. It doesn't have anything that makes to talk compelling I'm if you think about what people have on Tiktok, it's number one really creative video tools which facebook is not offering A lot of the remix is the sound. TIKTOK pioneered this idea of like a sound meam and bites allowing people to chop things up and all these remixes. FACEBOOK has none of that may just have the default of songs that no one really uses and then the most important thing it doesn't have as the discovery mechanism. So the for you page is this incredibly addicting page that you know resources contact from all over the APP shares. Just the most engaging content with you and instagram is horrible at discovery and the explore page now to is impossible to navigate the jammed shopping in there too. It's. So it's really hard to get visibility. Ultimately, instagram is still built on a follow graph, which is just a horrible way to deliver content users. User should have to seek out people on follow them, and I think that's what Tiktok proved. That because instagram was obviously very successful that notion that you have one APP for a follow graph for an interest graph. The idea that they necessarily have to be separate APPS I think what we're learning. Yeah I. think that Instagram is the place where you can go to follow things also instagram has is this personal place where you also follow friends and family and You're using it to communicate whereas I think of I think of Tiktok a little bit more similarly youtube where it's a place for entertainment like going there to just consume content and discover engaging things. kind of watch shows almost sometimes. So I just think to kind of jam that into Instagram is is is going to be hard does it to have a forthcoming? Competitor, talk what's going on there they do and I forgot the name of it youtube is experimenting with more short form video content for a while they launched sort of a stories snapchat stories clone when everyone was doing that and obviously you can post these custos updates on youtube. So I do think that there they were GonNa roll out some feature that is. More kind of called shots. That's IT, right? Yeah. Tremendous. I mean all of these I just think won't be successful unless they can really really clone all of the incredible editing features and the sound library that offers and then deliver it in the compelling way you know as compelling as for you page. So as you've seen kind of the creator economy grow up. The first set of creators it made it big on Youtube. They made all their own deals. They didn't as we've seen some of them didn't have any lawyers like they were pretty Saddam. Is Space. One thing that we haven't seen except for vine, which literally shut down and they move to Youtube, but it's it seems really hard to go from one platform to another and I. Think we we just watching. Ninja. Not Go from twitch to mixer and then he's back and that was such a disaster that mixture shut down. The, far end of disasters is like it went. So badly, the whole platform disappeared why is it so hard for influencers craters to jump from platforms to another one is just what the audience expects from every platform. So the audience the audience goes on Tiktok for a very specific purpose and they're not going on instagram for that same purpose necessarily so that that's Sort of heart is what what audiences kind of like expectations but it's very hard to you know if you are an expert at creating content for one platform and you really understand the culture and the algorithm and the tools to create successful content on there that doesn't mean that you know you can suddenly just hop to another completely different platforms a really steep learning curve. I compared it to sports in a tweet last week and other people have compared made the same comparison but it's like you know if you think of the top NBA players, you can't just suddenly expect them all to succeed in golf for instance or something like that. Yeah. Maybe a few of them. Well, we saw that with vine, right like the talk players the Jake Paul's of the world you know they had enough of an audience and they were they could sort of adapt to this new format. The top talkers are already topped Youtubers, Bryce. Hall Josh. Richards Dimaggio's they're going to be fine. They are going to become an you know potentially the next generation of youtubers but. It's this large swath submit level creators that I think we'll have a really hard time. Do you think that that youtube is just like the final resting place all? Right everything happens in what we end up watching fifteen minute blogs with like multiple mineral ad breaks and many brand integrations and it just because it's longer and it's a sixty-nine rectangle. All the traditional advertising money can flow into it is at just the path. Yeah. I think tiktok disrupted that path but if Tiktok goes away, it will still be there I think that youtube is still the gold standard A. Youtube still pays people directly because you can just put ads on your video and you just don't have that option on on these other platforms and Youtube is just viewed as very safe like you said, they not only has the platform been around forever. The Youtube sort of Creator partner program has been around for a really long time and yes creators constantly have issues with Youtube but they're not going out of business tomorrow you know trump isn't gonna be on Youtube hopefully. That's that's it seems like it's a confidence statement on this day of twenty twenty like I have no idea what he's going to ban tomorrow you mentioned the we talked about me. Twice, now you mentioned Addison Ray who are sort of the top tiktok stars and added they get there? Yeah. There are there are there are these people that succeed in what is called sort of straight TIKTOK, which is basically just mainstream tuck. It's just kind of like the teeny Bopper I young handsome or beautiful people So there's Addison Ray who is part of Hype House Charlie Demilio and then you have a lot of people like Josh. Richards. Now, a back is now kind of New Popular, one Alex Warren Daisy key she's clubhouse. All of these kids are part of these massive collaborative groups in Los Angeles. So they live in these mansions and they kind of with each other and they've created little kind of like a mini reality show, where are they all date each other hang out with each other and it's incredibly compelling for they're very, very young. Audience are HYPO CLUBHOUSE ARE THOSE BUSINESSES Loose affiliations like there was one I remember that from the Youtube days as team ten yes. Right which also exploded into disaster the. into. Disaster let's be clear. None of these houses will survive twenty twenty one. That's my prediction. But yeah. These are this is the generation of kids that grew up watching team ten. So they. Thomas. Patru, the manager of a hype house kind of of Default Manager He's twenty one, but he actually worked for team ten. Prior to this and then the kids in in high house for younger than that. So they kind of these are the ones that grew up watching Jake Paul videos and wanted to live that lifestyle. So when they to la it was like, Hey, where you know how can I live this log life that I've watched not just Jake but David daybreak and all of these people kind of. Living three years. Whether. They're businesses is debatable. It depends how how well they're run some of these houses like the sway houses are run by management companies that take a significant cut and these kids basically go out there and live they pay a highly reduced or no rent because they're basically just doing tiktok videos for brands are creating collective Ip that the management company can monetize hypothesis more a loose affiliation. And then we've seen a bunch of other kind of different types of one mean the phase clan houses also a good example of of this to the face. You see the face to face clancy at least frank who's in charge if as clan theoretically other anyone can be in charge of that eludes me, which is mostly what we talked about. On, and we actually talked about the contracts for awhile and that that first scenario discuss how they work you show up, you don't pay rent you make a bunch of ads effectively you stream all day for them and they take a cut in payback. and. You don't end up owning anything which has led them into all kinds of legal hot water. Like they've been sued by the other face land numbers. This to me is like when you say they're all going to devolve into cast by two thousand, twenty one that seems like the underlying issue here. They're not good at telling people how they make money or what they own or to get to walk away with the audience and I think in a moment we're tiktok might go away. That's going to accelerate is the businesses have to give it I? Think it's GonNa be a mess I think it's you know I don't know we're seeing all of these companies scrambled talent ex is a good example where they've signed basically a hundred tick talkers at this point that. Management Company is built around Tiktok, and if it goes away, they're in trouble. So what they've been doing is doing these exclusive deals with like other APPs trailer. So now, pretty much all the top talent is on thriller they said, they're moving their exclusively of tiktok shuts down, and so I think you're seeing these management companies try to do deals prohibitive deals. With other APPS, there's not a lot of options out there aside from trailer, which is sort of think raising money. So excited to get the hype of some of these talkers, but there's GonNa. Be There's GonNa be a lot of disputes I think soon because you know everyone's about to get screwed. So I mean again it's it's twenty year old millionaires like historically. Twenty year old millionaire set up disputes. That part is pretty normal I think that the part that isn't normal is the reason we're seeing the trump administration or at least the claimed reason the trump administration is going after tiktok there's two parts to it. You actually wrote I, think this story at the Times that accelerated all this, which is about the Tulsa rally. Trump saw that headline and the rhetoric. You can just track the rhetoric heating up after that day it's funny. Some WACKO website yesterday was saying like Taylor has been arguing that this is the response, the Tulsa Rally I have not made that argument in any pieces though I did write the coverage of it. The thing with trump is like, yeah, like we just. have no idea. He doesn't. He doesn't articulate the reasoning I. think definitely like that probably got it on his radar in a in a new way, but it's I. think it's also like the China stuff plays into it. so much as posturing you know against China that's the other part you have this built in reason, which is national security concerns in nationalism concerns with China. To do something like if this organization around the Tulsa Rally happened in on Instagram or youtube, you wouldn't have this card to play. Yeah. Exactly to talk community aware of the national security concerns in the sort of well facebook is banned China so we should ban TIKTOK. In the United States argument I. Mean I think that they are aware that people say there's national security concerns I mean a big joke on Tiktok that no one cares or they're already Pledging allegiance to the Chinese government. That's kind of like a museum. I mean there's just so much activism on Tiktok and there's so much anti-trump sentiment on Tiktok. It's not a platform like facebook that he can just dominate and sort of promote himself with impunity. So I do think that it's a platform that he. He's frustrated that he can't probably he might. He might be frustrated that he can't dominate not way but Yeah I don't think any of the TIKTOK stars really think the national security stuff is is an issue. I mean some of them were saying stuff like that or basically trailer was saying stuff like that trailer has been trying to capitalize on this moment left and right sending all these press releases about how the TIKTOK stars or nervous, and so they're coming to US and I. They're like, no, we don't. We just want to make money. Yeah. So there's trailer. There's bite tabs smash clash. I feel like the only one that has a name that seems like it will do well, stub smash. All the other ones like the names are insane other Biton by dance. That's pretty good. Which one of them is are any of them taking getting any uptake besides which appears deals? Yeah. I'm deb smashes getting a huge uptake. All the cost players win over Dude Smash Smash. Front on Tiktok originates on smash actually a lot of dances and downs or on Nash I and so. I think there's already kind of synergy there. A lot of black creators are also really big on Dub Smash. So I think that's matches in a in a relatively position by I'm not so sure because it's such a different APP and it's it's really a newer APP and it's you know I don't know a lot of people on quote unquote all Tiktok which is more like the vine e esque side of Tiktok kind of the. Lo Fi side you know not just the dancing they're all on bike or they've kind of moved by but clash is another op that is trying to get traction that is actually made by a former viner who created the APP kind of in the wake of mind and has given a bunch of craters equity and is also trying to make the best place where creators can monetize. What is what is the best place for Creator Smart? Well. That to me seems like a kind of competition. It doesn't exist right? Like everyone hates youtube for its modernization rules, but there isn't another platform that's just like youtube that you can make ten percent more money on. It's a weird that that doesn't exist to me I find that very strange. There isn't a version of instagram that is more lucrative for creators. Why does that competition sort of not appear I mean I think these these platforms have always had a very fraught relationship with creators. A lot of have kind of like snapchat for instance, like shunned them actively like this is not the platform for you and then turned around a couple of years later and have a whole creator partnerships team and actively trying to recruit these people. especially I mean snapshots been taking meetings with a bunch of tiktok trying to convince them to all watch discover shows so I think only now are they really realizing the potential of these creators almost I do think that this whole industry was. Written off by platforms aside from Youtube and to lesser extent instagram. But you know it's just hard. You have to have a certain amount of traction to do to attract big brands. That's the other issue. A lot of these platforms are small. So when you know for instance, American, Eagle looks to do a new campaign, some ten million dollar campaign. They need a certain level of scale and these platforms just don't have that scale. So it's hard to offer them her offer creators the same opportunities. Steals look like a lot of it is kind of promotional destroyed permission promotional deal so. You know we're paying you know Addison Ray for instance, two, million dollars to create x amount of TIKTOK. You're also going to create video and photo content for our campaigns that the we can run on our own channels and then you're obligated to post a certain amount of time and maybe where American Eagle at certain events or things like that can kind of depends on the deal exactly what you know what the Creator needs to do, but it's pretty much sponsored content in the craters have teams do that stuff big time agents at UTA and W me and I Feel like posting like. Is there like an army of Addison race social media managers that are running campaign for her? I don't know if Addison Ray has a videographer but have videographers which the videography is basically a content manager that will film and Edit and make sure that the content is delivered on time and then. Presumably the advertisers and the agencies get approval over the content Yeah. So it's a very class. The what I'm building up to is these are media companies fall on media company like as individuals, their media companies, and they're going to scale to become media company whether that looks like hype house or one person supporting any like Oprah. I. Mean if you look at Nelken, which also has gotten a lot of backlash, they're really youtubers but they've been hanging out with all. These talkers somebody was asking me. Well, what are what are they going to be? Are they youtubers? Are they just trying to get like jackass style show I was like I highly doubt I think they're trying to build the next Barstool, which is like they basically build this massive audience online, monetize it through brand deals initially, and then eventually all they all move into launching their own products you know having events merge sometimes direct monetization through things like Patriot, on podcasting but. They're all their own, their complete on media companies, media companies are like the ones we work for are not experiencing the best time in the American economy. Are they buffeted by the same pressures and concerns that you know your your average sort of American media companies I think it's a little bit different. I think a lot of digital media companies monetize. They have a web based presents that they then monetize with ads. These influencers don't have a web based present that they're magnetising ads so they're doing different. The deals are structured differently and they're very dependent on these platforms. The probably more dependent on the platforms than some media companies and that that can be good and bad One is that they have incredibly compelling content that they deliver it to people where they are but they are a lot of them are suffered to the same whims if the advertising industry. So if adds spending his down across the board that is going to hit a lot of creators pretty hard but creators also have more diverse. Monetization Strategies I. Think they're monetization models like a lot of media companies have like events or certain things that they're selling or maybe subscription plan. We have t shirts or T. shirt emails. T shirts very popular just a little plug there. That's awesome I mean that's very like Creator Creator style you gotta get on like Fan. Joy. Can Men. Like these creators, they what they ultimately end up doing is launching products if you look at like Emma. Chamberlain for instance, like she did a bunch of ad deals until she could launch her on staff now she has her own coffee line. She does much of other stuff these influencers, a lot of them have you know Gal meets, Glamour, whatever they end up launching their own clothing lines. So that kind of it's the Kylie Jenner model where it kind of carries them past. Spun Con. Has sponsored by give well, an organization dedicated finding charities for making the most out of every dollar they receive give well knows that where you to donate matters more than how much you donate they. The last ten years helping donors find the charities that are doing the most good with everydollar they receive give twenty thousand dollars a year paint tickling researching charities and comes with a handpicked list of high impact oranizations delivering evidence backed results. You want to get the most mileage out of every dollar you spend on a product, right? You should be doing the. 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I'll be working with the writers and thinkers in the brain trust at the cut to bring you stories about the moment we live in. The first episode of the cut drops on August nineteenth subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcast. Come back to TIKTOK. What is the company doing? You heard from anybody? WHO works they have fifteen hundred people United States they just hired Kevin Meyer from Disney like I wanted to make sure we laid the foundation of just how big in diverse and quite frankly important like the United States advertising industry the Creator economy has been, but now we're at this moment where. A huge part of it might get pulled away what? What's Tiktok up to an employee's TIKTOK are freaking out a lot of them don't know what's going on. I talked to one who just joined insert advertising role recently, who's also freaking out wondering if she should call up her old employer in try to go back because it's just it's it's very unstable. There's not a lot of faith in Microsoft from a lot of young. People that are there and take Tiktok his committed to, or they previously committed to hiring ten thousand people in the US. So I think those ten thousand job opportunities definitely in jeopardy at this point was I mean I feel like another the answer but wiser, not a lot of faith Microsoft. I think it's not seen as a very great company. People are familiar with skype, which is sort of off fall and other things linked in. You know when you think of Microsoft you don't necessarily think of cool in young even though they do have xbox right exactly and I think they would probably integrate tiktok with that stuff potentially but I think just the perception with young people is like oh my gosh. The big thing that people are worried about is that. Is a potential split. So so much of Tiktok is this global community and a huge part of the culture is riffing off trends which are really like spread throughout the world and so I think if Microsoft only buys the US or Australia part of the business that would that would create this huge rift and I think the way that a lot of tiktok feels like okay. Great. So we're getting cut off from the rest of the world that is going to continue to create amazing content have the best product, and now we're going to be over here silo D- where stuff can only reach a certain threshold. This is trump saying he wants them to buy all of it not just a chunk of it actually. I interpreted trump is saying, I, I don't really know what he was saying you don't know either I think that like neither you the take talkers. So that's I think that's what they're freaking out especially around audience numbers in like are there follower counts GonNa drop if only a portion of it is. What do people talk? Think of Kevin, Meyer the new CEO has he made an impact. Mean that story I think virtuous listeners know Julia, your friends. Julia Alexander are streaming reporter is like all Disney all the time and she is obsessed with Kevin Meyer who ran Disney plus and then Bob Shape Act became the new CEO which is supposed to be Kevin Gay and he like took off and became the CEO of Tiktok which seemed like a great job, and now it's chaos and he's the new guy i. Bought into him. Do they think that can lead through this moment? People Love Vanessa Papua's who is the general manager and I haven't heard that much about Kevin, just because I think he is new most of Tiktok employees that I talk to though are like the more low level people who are doing the the brand deals and working with creators it comes to high level strategy I don't know how he's doing, but I am it must be insane thing to walk into like he definitely took this job not realizing the chaos that would ensue. I feel I don't know though I just want to say one other thing Casey Newton has been like calling like saying tiktok is GonNa get in trouble talking to get To and I was like you're wrong. You're wrong you run, and then finally he wrote this piece kind of being I guess Tiktok is doing great and then All Hell broke loose. That's the way it goes I mean particularly with this administration it's impossible to predict. Yeah. is impossible to predict what they're gonNA do minute to minute a lot of people are saying though I mean, oh Joe Biden and he'll save tiktok whatever job I didn't seem to understand to talk all and there's no evidence that he would even be last harsh on it. I mean I think he who probably wouldn't do something like this but you know he's already banned all of his campaign staff from using talk. So you know I don't it doesn't seem like he's. Willing to go to bat for that either. So there's this previous US governmental response right beyond what happened literally last night with banning it and forcing a sale Microsoft and all that the Pentagon was not allowing tiktok on phones. Government agencies are not allowing TIKTOK. There was this weird moment where Amazon said Amazon employees. And then they send it for some reason. Yeah. Those concerns have been there do they. I mean, just from your perspective, they seem well-founded behind what doctors are saying I mean I. Kind of let the national security folks like speak on that. But you know there is there is absolutely no proof of a lot of things that people are alleging and I think that's the hard thing is that TIKTOK like any Chinese company has a very the Chinese government can sort of traditionally go in and take data or take things that they need, and there's this poorest relationship there. But TIKTOK has been super super adamant that that doesn't happen data's stored domestically. Would never you know work with the Chinese government there is some indication that. They've made good faith efforts around that. For instance, they pulled out of Hong Kong when China took over Hong, Kong. So I, think you know I think that a lot of this is just a politically expedient talking point my colleague Kevin. Roose read about this but you know these people that suddenly seem to care so much about data privacy you know where were They when Mark Zuckerberg was harvesting all of our data for years and is still using it for very nefarious purposes. You know it seems it seems like a very convenient way to express concern about data privacy. It's like, Hey, look China's the bad guy not these corbeil practices that by the way, all the American tech companies pioneered well because they get the data. It's fairly self serving. Government you can. You can squeeze Mark Zuckerberg. You think the Chinese. Government can't squeeze mark. Yeah. Even mark Zuckerberg was literally like offered. Xi. Jinping opportunity to name his child and his running on the great. Wall. Yeah I mean soccer had of friendlier relationship with China I think now it's now it's in his best interest in to kind of make them. The boogeyman I mean, we saw this as the antitrust hearing his argument was if not us, then a Chinese company will do it. TIKTOK. In it Kinda just feels like the United States is taking that argument away from him which I'm sure he's a you know he's happy that instagram orioles doesn't might not have a competitor. I'm sure he's pleased as punch about that within his best argument against having instagram broken up from facebook might be going away. I've just been waiting to see sort of facebook policy response to all of this, which has largely until now has large minute a very nationalistic. We wear the exporters of the First Amendment. Around the world we have to operate our scale to keep users safe, and if we don't do China, we'll do it, and if suddenly China is an operating social networks United States chat apps like we chat United States such a big chunk of that argument falls out I have no idea how that's going to break, but it just feels like facebook is at a real crossroads. Yeah. I. Mean I just think A. Cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world like this is not a good precedent to set. So much of the community on these APPs is a global community We're all so interconnected and I, think you know just slicing us off. It's not going to stop progress. You know I think tick Tock will continue to if you know, say, say we it right and it flourishes around the rest of the world that's just GonNa make us seem less relevant especially with the creator industry. That's GonNa make our our creator economies seem less relevant for so long are American creators have been sort of the allister's right like we almost like the same movie stars right like the America makes the stars imports them all over the world I think if a Tiktok bandwidth totally disrupt that and I think we would seem more talent emerging from other companies brands willing to work with a you know those types of talent I. Don't think that I think we would lose a lot of course relevancy basically definitely what I was taught. In College in the early two thousands, which is a very different time. But my sort of college economics professor would always say America's most important export is its culture right? It's Hollywood it's the American ideal. It's all of that and if you lose the distribution channels for that, then like something something is going to go very sideways but that doesn't seem to be the interest to the administration like. Don't care about that for sure. But it is all of those things that you should be thinking about I mean, these are the ripple effects that something like this has and I mean we didn't even get into we chat and it's a totally different thing but it's just heartbreaking to see all of these stories too of just people not being able to potentially communicate with relatives anymore in China. It's very scary to think of kind of like the US closing its borders in that way do you think that like facebook doesn't operate in China Google doesn't operate in China except for very limited sort of research presence that hasn't stopped those companies from being global forces. Do you think that because it's Tiktok as a Chinese company that we bought operating here that that will have a different kind of effect. Yet hasn't sat those companies from being global forces, but they haven't faced a lot of competition. Now they are facing competition I. Think Look at these Chinese companies that are becoming global forces I mean, if you think about vid con last year, there was literally twenty big Chinese exacts. Like. About you know American Creator. Culture and figure out how to essentially spread Chinese creator coulter out more towards you know other countries so I think that you're right. It hasn't prevented anything. Well, I I just think these companies are losing relevance. I think facebook is is facing steep competition for more Chinese companies. Chinese companies are getting a bigger stake in sort of all of these other tech companies around the world like look at what tencent has a stake in you know. They're just getting more and more power in Silicon Valley, and I think these the power that these platforms have in other countries is it shouldn't be under estimated. Yeah. If you're not in America, you're in literally the rest of the world that's powerful took already banned in. India. Recently which has been crazy to what has happened in the Indian. Now, like his that shifted in some way of they're all gone to a different APP like it feels like the amount of nationalistic APPA banning is like going up and the sort of. Crater and maybe that's what you want. There's an element of every country. It's. SORT OF LOCALIZED ECONOMY I facebook has not been good to other countries around the world, right like they have a certain amount of cultural ignorance that just makes them blunder into enormous problems. You could make an argument that it's better for this to be a little bit more local, little more tightly constrained. That's interesting and I mean potentially I think that. I think that facebook is is horrible at creating things like tiktok youtube or vine like they can't. They can't. They have a really hard time with the crater economy like they did allow a lot of Instagram influencers to get you know taken hold. But that was before the platform shifted to video. It's very hard insurance, very saturated platform and I don't I. Don't know if you know if you working to build that cut type of world where everyone has their own localized creator economy, I think you'd need to build a new suite of APPS I. Don't think that that crater economy could live on facebook apps basically I don't think the main facebook APP I never. Yeah that's a lie I. Don't think of it as a place to go I think with reels my opinion of instagram has just changed like now just feels like a messy chaos overstuffed. It's totally overstepped it. Kind of reminds me of what happened to facebook or they're like, let's put marketplace. Let's put this. It's like. Such a mess. And you know real duplicates so much functionality of stories already that it just seems totally unnecessary and it doesn't capture anything that. You know is actually what's appealing about talk so I, just I think instagram is already slipping in terms of cultural relevance, and this is this is sort of another step towards its grave. Is that happening as fast as as you would indicate, think it's not I think it's like not immediate, but it is. It is showing the same signs of what facebook made culture, which is like it's completely saturated. The adults are all on it. It is very tied to offline identity. Still, it is not good at sourcing New People in sourcing new content. The explore page is not the primary feed that you go to. You're not. You're not really seeing fresh stuff on and it's just it's so confusing. It's like what is it? What is it messaging video chides trying to be everything in one but not really succeeding really well in any of it and it's just kind of cloning all of these features. I saw this guy posted thing last night saying that he facebook clone two threads, which was this messaging system that he came up with I guess and how frustrating it was is the developer just see facebook continue to just calm on. INSTAGRAM continues go on Guam on everyone. Else's creativity me. This is what facebook is going to get in trouble for the governor I mean that's like the. It's obvious that they're copying apps like more than ever. It is obviously facebook copies and its competitors, and if their best argument was well, if we don't do it China we'll do it goes away. Yeah. I just got to be wondering like, Mark. Soccer calling up, Joel, Kaplan and being like. Hey we need a plan like I have to wonder how he sees this actually playing out when the trump administration is removing his best competitor but the House subcommittee is like you copy your competitor's too much. Yeah and like you're saying like if the kids don't think it's cool anymore with the bottom falls out very quickly. Yeah. I mean kids are still on instagram but I think I just I wonder how long that will be I. Think every social platform has it's kind of peak just the way that these creators A. Lot of them don't last forever. It's like, yeah, facebook is still around, but it's relevant is waning and I just I feel like instagram is kind of on the precipice of some of that which is given the fact that it's so saturated in confusing. But yeah, I. Do you think that like I mean my impression and I am not a policy reporter but is that like trump is not gonNA punish facebook or anything like it doesn't seem like I mean yeah I, know they dragged him out to these hearings but. It seems I don't know. I. Am like we'll facebook at broken up I mean do you think that's a real possibility Ninety days to the election. Coming out of the hearing, what we heard from the committee was the next step is this report so the committee is going to issue a report I. Think they had already written that report I. Really felt like that they already knew what they thought. They just wanted to see they wanted. Is Journalists you have to you write the story about somebody you have to call the person and get comment before you publish it like I. Think this hearing was like they just got comet from the CEO of these company like, did you do it are these your emails? Yes. Those are my emails, and now they're going to issue this report and they've they've sort of dotted the is and cross. T.'s the reported feels like it's going to say, here's some proposed changes to antitrust law. Here's we have to review these kinds of mergers. Oh, in Btw we need to bring up facebook right? Oh. Here's some rules for Amazon, and apple with their stores. That's what that looks like I. Think it's always what it has looked like I think the hearing was like an exclamation point at the end of their their sort of investigation process. Well, they can do that, and then they've got a turn over the Congress can't break up the company and they can't. They're never gonNA pass a law in the sixty days before an election. Zero percent likely it's going to happen. So if trump wins again like is bill bargain. I don't know because the DJ would do it. If Biden wins, it's unclear that Biden has a coherent tech policy. I. It's a thing that we always talk about like the other big thing. I actually wanted to ask you about how TIKTOK moderates. But like the other thing we talk about section two thirty and how the platforms moderate more moderate less in Biden's policy position on to thirty is we should repeal it, which is not a very new physician. Right especially when there's like forty five bills in Congress to modify we actually just. By the time people are listening to this last week on Tuesday we had Senator Ron Wyden who wrote to thirty on the show and he has a million ideas about what to do about it. And Biden's position we should repeal it, and so I don't know that these companies are going to broken up or there's going to be a rational coherent policy from the top of the government and even after the election. But I. DO think the Congress the United States is going to issue a report that says facebook should be broken up, and then we're just GonNa have to stare at that for a while and like figure out what happens next Step to me seems very likely to happen. Yeah. Do you like Instagram irs worry about antitrust hearings facebook and instagram breaking up? Do they think about how it might affect who businesses I don't think that they do honestly don't think that they do I think that their awareness of all of this policy stuff is basically is really minimal i. think the Tiktok van stuff was an eye opener because it was like wait the government can affect this. But Know I have I have not heard them. You know I I don't think any of them know what section to thirty, S I don't think any of them know about the antitrust facebook earrings or anything like that. In a lot of these people especially, the ones that are making the most funny are young teenagers or people in their early twenties in La and It's just not a community that super plugged into the government stuff I, think it seems very far away and not. That's appropriate. I. GotTa be honest that seems that's the big benefit right? A bunch of twenty year olds reached an audience built business and made a bunch of money without interference or help or like gatekeepers that to me that's the victory of the Internet. Yeah. That's what it was. The removal of gatekeepers in the creation of large businesses it just doesn't look. Like traditional businesses that looks like individual teenagers, which is terrifying in a way is terrifying. I think, right that's I. Mean that's what I of have built. A lot of my coverage on is kind of explaining the other side of it that people don't see that these are huge businesses that they're completely intertwined with a lot of traditional entertainment, stuff and I do think that the big time agents and managers and stuff are paying attention to anti-trust do very critically about platforms A lot of big agencies actually waited like a year year and a half to even sign and you take talkers because they just wanted to see if the APP would happen with apple stable in the US. So I think that they think about technology maybe a little bit more Fraz. The creators are more focused on what they do, which is content and programming and performing well in sort of audience growth and stuff like that. So we only a few minutes I did want to ask you about moderation. I see this out all the time. It's like video in a caption is my last one got taken down Tiktok to tickets in. They also post that just because they want to re upload their viral videos. Yeah. There's obviously some gamesmanship going on there, but it seems like talk is a much more heavily moderated platform which when you tie it into Chinese State Censorship seems dangerous. How does that actually work on? I don't know that that talk is necessarily more heavily moderated. Than facebook and instagram because because there's pizza gates stuff all over Tiktok and there's a huge amount of disinformation mean comments that that go moderated. But I do think that people are much more aware of the moderation. Sound gets taken down. A lot of people are like they're censoring me or it's this thing and you know I don't know I think techniques to do that. I. Think if they over moderate that sets a good precedent that's what a lot of these companies should be doing the none of them err on the side of safety of user safety. So I think that the TIKTOK. Doing a slightly better job than than they are and I think that culture of everything is taken down actually it's a user expectation. Yeah. You want to be careful which is good whether or not they're actually doing it but the place you get in trouble and pizza gate point well taken is we don't really know how the for you page algorithm works. And we don't really know what they're moderation guidelines are, and so if you do make the claim that the Chinese government is running this thing regardless of whether you think they're collecting more or less data than facebook, we have no idea how their programming, what millions of teenagers see and that seems troublesome. Yeah. I think that's I think that's another concern that people raise. It's funny because people say that type of stuff and it's like there's a memo on to talk about this for like people freaking out being like an and then you go on it for you page and it's like beep boop BOP BOP stupid video. That is the. Last question I will admit what my for you page have account. The genius of Tiktok is that you don't even shooting. Yeah. Right. You just like start using it figures you out and I've always I've never wanted a cat because I've always I've always been attracted the notion I can just delete it and start over right and like maybe it will learn something else about me. But right now, my Tiktok for page firmly believes that I wanna see videos about dad stuff. So I get a lot of videos about grilling I get a lot of videos about car repair. I get the I think Charlie demilio transcends all tiktok algorithms. So see the occasional dance video and then just an absolute flood videos you've probably never seen this. It's the most dad thing in the world, there's a guy singing I live in a world of Osha violations and it's people it's people doing workplace accidents dangerous dangerous jobs on oil. Rigs. It's very funny in the Algorithm knows that I wanna see that. So now I will ask you what is your Algorithm show you you've got to have like the craziest one itself. It's so dependent on the week two because I like over like engage in certain things just to see what the algorithm will give me. I'm definitely in like frog talk or whatever, which is frog to talk, and there's just all these jokes about frogs and. So much more. Already it's so greasy. Yeah. But you know I I don't know I'm still in the basic tiktok not the mainstream one because I. Keep Track of a lot of these like influencers but it definitely shows me a lot of like millennials stuff to kind of like crafting and. Home making kind of quarantine lifestyle. Here's my daily quarantine routine. Like that mine is like very much like here's how to make the best of every like this is the concent- I came here for I didn't realize there is such a competition, but it's Where we're doing this kind of like celebrity package would like re looking at sort of like the different types of celebrities and I remember thing on for you page famous, which is basically like when you're just famous because you're repeated like you know those people that you see on your for you page that for you free page will not stop showing you specifically because we're like, no, this person is. Need to follow. And it. Follow them and then you follow them picks the new person and I don't have an account so I can't follow anyone. Oh Yeah. This is the genius of not having an actual account. Any moment I could delete this APP and like the local data cache of who I am goes away and you can be a new person I. Feel like the day I'm GonNa have a ceremony of the day I. Delete Talk and start over like graduated to being like I left Highschool Mike I'm a new person now like I always wanted a button like that on Instagram, I. I wish that you could just hit a refresh all button on instagram and just start over. Yes. Like. Residual Johnke. Yeah this is a I. Don't know might have never proven out my theory that not having account means you can start over I think you're right because you it learning. Ip Address. Like adding tech companies are good at figuring out who you are whether or not to escape, but it's like a tiny kernel. That I should be at some point I can be a new person to this one. Provided it says the United States. All right I've kept you for ways long. Thank you for joining us. Thank you so much for having me. People can obviously find you the Times. Where else can we find you? INSTAGRAM. TIKTOK FOR NOW Twitter. I'm at Taylor ends on everything. So excellent going to talk to you. Thank you for having me. All right. Bye thanks to Taylor she is amazing. You can follow her work at times almost everything she publishes the must read in my opinion. We've back on Friday with a chat show doesn't seem like this new cycle is stopping anytime soon. So I'm sure we have lots talk about I love hearing from all of you what you want to cover how you want us to help explain these complicated issues who you want us to talk to. So hit me up on twitter at reckless we'll talk to you soon.

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