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Social Media Meltdown


Miss Metaverse

Zuckerberg's Metaverse dream implodes, social ad spending plummets, layoffs, and tech stocks crash. Elon Musk is acting out his mid-life crisis in real time with the botched takeover of Twitter. Meanwhile newcomer TikTok stomps all over the American social media giants’ home turf. This week the Futurists looks at the turmoil in social media with guest futurist Katie King, AKA Miss Metaverse. Find out what’s next in social media and the future trends for online community.

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this week on the futurists Katie King Miss metaverse ultimately it's the samethings we're going to be experiencing now but connected directly to our brain that's kind of where it's heading isthat it's going to be within uswelcome back we're on the futurists I'm Rob turcic your host now normally myco-host Brett King will be sitting here with me but he's on the road today in Amsterdam and route to who knows whereglobetrotting again in his absence we have a special guest Katie King also known as Miss metaversehi Katie welcome to the show hey Rob thank you for having me happy to be here we're gonna have a lot to talkabout today because this topic is about social media and it appears that the entire social media universe isimploding right now as we as we record uh let's start with the news the newsfrom the future this week is all about wait for itbillionaires making bone-headed moves so let's start with Mark Zuckerberg of uhformerly of Facebook now of meta incredibly meta has gone through tworecord-breaking uh devastations this year uh the first one was that the priceof the stock dropped by a record amount in February when he announced uh when he did his earnings announcements becausethe stock lost 25 percent of its value in a day uh now he's outdone himself uh thecompany's stock has now dropped the cumulative uh 75 percent this year based mostly on the amount of money that'sbeing invested in the metaverse project uh Facebook reality Labs has been uh ormeta's reality Labs he's been the subject of some 15 billion of investment last year it was 10 this year is 15billion dollars with a B of investment uh and the results haven't been very very uh promising so finally uhZuckerberg appears to have listened to investor feedback and slashed uh 13 of the staff 11 000people lost their jobs at Facebook just in time for the holidays uh the Facebook lost a total of 800billion dollars of value in one year which is astounding and that's not 800 million that's 800 billion and andZuckerberg personally has lost 100 billion of his own fortune but don't worry about him because he still has 38billion dollars in stock uh to his name so he'll be just fine in otherbone-headed billionaires we have Sam bankrupt freed sorry that's Sam bankman freed but probably better now known asbankrupt freed from formerly FTX trading um and uh and it's related firm that thehedge fund Alameda research and this firm blew up in spectacular fashion and it has been dominating thenews cycle because with it it apparently has taken the entire crypto sector down uh so unfortunately the crypto world hasbeen getting nothing but bad news this year all of 2022 but they're really going out with a punch here because FTXblew up the 13 billion dollars has been vaporized it's gone many people losttheir savings so it's really hurting a lot of folks there but what's astounding this week is the news that's coming outthere's a new CEO who's come in to kind of clean up the mess and uh a revelation was made yesterday it's been covered bya lot of outlets but it's really quite astonishing uh here you have a 13 billion dollar hedge fund and one of thelargest exchanges I think the second largest crypto Exchange uh neither organization had a ChiefFinancial Officer you're managing an awful lot of money and as a result they can't account for anything likeliterally there's eight billion dollars they cannot account for uh there were some 372 million dollars of unauthorizedtransfers on the day that they declared bankruptcy only 740 million of theHoldings was secured with uh with um Assets in Cold Storage so the rest ofthat 13 billion it seems to have been vaporized now they've uncovered the some four billion dollars of loans includinga billion dollars of loans to Sam bankman freed himself so this story is not done it's going to be a developingstory I guarantee you and there will be indictments that come um but the big question is how do yourun a multi-billion dollar exchange with no Chief Financial Officer and theanswer is badly and they're evidence of that that's FTX the third story and theone that we just is irresistible we cannot resist the story is Twitter ElonMusk charging into Twitter honestly the motivation here is a mystery to mostpeople it's like okay yes the guy has been a successful CEO he is quite an extraordinary entrepreneur and yes healso happens to be a power user of Twitter does that therefore mean he should go run the company well he boughtit I think he he kind of halfway through that transaction had changed his mind but the Delaware Court System eventuallyobliged him to make good on his promise so he ended up buying Twitter at a price that was way beyond what it was worthuh promptly fired half the employees immediately fired them by emailwithout any particular Rhyme or Reason you know including some of the people that were fired included the people thatcontrolled the um the badge access codes so that employees could enter and leave the building and they weren't able toget out of the building of the parking lot after that the remaining employees I should say now he's given an ultimatumto the rest of the staff uh that by this end of this week that they actually have to commit to working extraordinarilylong hours right through the holiday season or take a severance package and up surprisespoiler alerts a lot of people are taking the severance package and so critical development teams seem to bemissing in action and so the whole world now is waiting for Twitter to crash in some fashion and yesterday there wassome trouble on that service um so I think the most bone-headed thing here apart from him threateningthermonuclear war against advertisers the most bone-headed thing of all in terms of this Twitter transition takingTwitter private is the idea of charging the best users money to use the platform this goes against the current completelythis Twitter verified badge thing was so poorly handled first he kind of tweeted it out like a brain fart like hey we'llcharge you 20 a month turns out journalists don't want to pay twenty dollars a month to share with their leads and share the stories they'reworking on so that landed with a thud then he said we'll make it eight dollars a month and that didn't work out so welleither and it ended up being source of some humor where that people were kind of tweeting uh gee the world's richestman is asking you for an eight Dollar Loan to keep his business going and so that's embarrassing on its own but theother thing is that this goes against the grain at this point most social platforms are chasing creators withbillion dollar Creator funds and they're willing to share revenue and advertising in many other ways and they're verybeing very creative about it because it's highly competitive to attract the best creators to the platform Twitter'strying to go the opposite way they're trying to charge people money to create on their platform so with that in mindKatie welcome to the show if you want to chime in by bashing away at any of those people go for it this is an opportunityto have some gleeful bashing do I love some gleeful bashingoh boy yeah wow gee it has been interesting to watch this downfall ofthe social media ecosystem everywhere from uh Twitter as you're mentioningbefore doing the verified badge oh geez I mean Elon what is going on first wedidn't know if he was gonna get Twitter you know it was kind of iffy wishy-washy we didn't know what's going to happen onone hand we had so many of us you know the the freeze features let's just say that I roll withum to a certain extent you know um you know they felt this is really promising that Elon was going to come inprovide some level of balance and you know up things make it more united in some kind of way right and um I don'tknow I mean the first thing out the gate we're seeing is uh this verified badge and uh you know it's very interesting tosee I I don't know how much it's gonna work um I I think there's a lot of people forso long that you know dreamed of having the the blue check mark next to their name and uh applied to do so andcouldn't for many years so maybe you could provide some people access thatmaybe they could buy into it if they weren't able to apply before for a badgemaybe that's what they were trying to do but oh no it's not about that it's about you know the people at the top andmonetizing and um I think you know the big difference between what people were expecting tohappen and kind of what's really happening so you know it was funny I was just reading something in the newsbefore about Elon and they're saying oh uh the name Elon has dropped from the baby names list because of this Twitterordeal oh I'm sure he's heartbroken about that and he does like babies we know that wellyeah the interesting thing about the the charging eight dollars for the verified Twitter badge is is it's really just adrop in the bucket in terms of Revenue it doesn't add up to that much revenue uh for the company and so it's reallypeculiar that he would choose that as his first move on the chessboard uh the company does need cash he because hetook the company private he saddled it with debt now Twitter has about a billion dollars of interest paymentsthat it now needs to make every year and the company was not profitable or wasn't regularly profitable in the past so itwasn't very clear how they were going to achieve that billion dollars but this is not the way to do it um if they charged the you know the verified badges to sayuh you know 25 of the users that still wouldn't come close to covering that Gap so it's a very strange thing becauseundoubtedly it's driving people off the platform and people are going up going away and you see that every single day peoplethat you know but also people in the news uh there's a kind of attrition and and the big question is is it you knowis it going to be the world leaders that leave Twitter will it be the journalists that leave Twitter the influencers there's you know there's quite a fewprominent folks on that platform but already we're seeing that kind of uh um Exodus at least of some users away fromthe platform some people because they don't like Elon or they don't like the way he's handled this some people because they don't like the fact thatTwitter is a cesspool with you know tons of hate speech and a lot of aggressionuh and they're just looking for something different what's your take on all that uh you say you're interested infree speech and I would love to hear your perspective on that yeah I just think there needs to be a bit more balanceum you know of course there's conflicting opinions onto what FreeSpeech means right I mean some people as you said before want to go on social andkind of bully others let's just say um and that happens a lot and it's a real problem you know particularly onTwitter yeah absolutely yeah they managed to drive a lot of people who are like lgbtq people uh were driven off theplatform because of the immense amounts of hate that they had to deal with so yeah from my viewpoint Us free speechcan be weaponized and I think Twitter is a good example of how it can be weaponized and for the people in thereceiving end um at one point I spoke to Executive at Google who was responsible for safetyand she said you have to understand that when you uh when you go into a site like Twitter and you encounter that kind ofuh weaponized hate speech she says it's like walking into a football stadiumwith 30 000 people saying you suck you should die you should kill yourself we're gonna kill you she said you knowthe psychological damage there is is real uh you are you can be harmed by that um now I know that there's a groupprobably some folks who are listening to this show who'll say oh there goes a snowflake like here's somebody who's talking about how words can hurt yourfeelings and um and Sticks and Stones can break my bones but words will never hurt meyeah I get it um here's the thing about free speechthe First Amendment right to free speech pertains only to the United States government all right the United Statesgovernment cannot uh abridge uh free speech it doesn't apply to private corporationsprivate corporations that are trying to run a civil Community or thriving and Vibrant Community a constructive Community where people can exchangeideas freely they're under absolutely no obligation to allow anybody to go bash other people or attack them so you knowthat's my view on on free speech tell me where you're at on the subject because I think it's a lively topic it's certainly at the heart of what elon's proposing todo but what it sounds like he's going to do is open up the site to trolls and to the worst kinds of folks I I mean Idon't know if anything is going to drive more people away I have a real problem you know it's sucha such a fine line you know to walk with with these things I mean uh there should be the obvious any bullying harassmentyou know seriously needs to be shut down um because it's just not fair to people um also a lot of things that happen toolike in the Free Speech community so to speak um you know there's a lot of people that you know are fearful andconfused and get bad information and they'll run with it I mean I've experienced it personally I because ofmy uh previous uh last name uh Katie aquino's my first marriageum you know I had a lot of people that were apparently religious or something and because my last name was Aquino itsounded like some evil general or something that they thought I was related to and yeah really reallybizarre I mean they were coming after my YouTube channel and writing all these wild comments and like honestly it shutme down for a while I it affected me and I'm I'm a strong cookie you knowum so you know if it can get to someone like me I could see it really it's harmful period you know words are energyand what we put out there matters and um you know there does need to be some control about things now what Elon saidhe was going to do when he came into Twitter was to take on the botting right because the plotting is a huge problemum and the thing is is like is that really going to happen and to what extent you know umright but that didn't seem to work out so well right exactly exactlyyou know um yeah so that's so that's the way to weaponize it right so instead of it just one angry crank in his mom's basementyou know bashing away at people that angry crank can now have an army of 30 000 Bots who repeat it and then thatbecomes a torrent of abuse uh and and so yeah for the people in the receiving end that could be quite difficult to dealwith well there there has been a uptick in the number of people migrating fromTwitter to Mastodon let's talk a little bit about Mastodon because I think that's really relevant in this contextthe whole point I'm Mastodon is that it was designed for people who don't want to get abuseduh and so you know you can create your own server uh that term gets confusing but basically it's your own group uh uhI Mastodon and uh and that group doesn't have to deal with anybody else and it's quite easy to ban Bad actors and you canbasically just tune out the noise um and as a result Mastodon has becomeum a refuge for people who just don't want to get hassled and that includes all sorts of marginalized groups But itincludes a number of other people as well I just joined Mastodon like everybody else who's leaving Twitter Ifigured I'd check it out and I noticed that there was a group that had a lot of journalists who I know and I was like oh how cool that they're coming here andthere's not so much noise it's not so cluttered with uh with crap you know so you can actually have a reasonable conversation which is what it's designedto do uh interestingly there's no algorithm right so there's no if there is a feedbut the feed is just a a sequential listing of the people that you followchronological finally yeah that's right which a lot of people have been asking for right uh because the problem withthe feed is you feel like you're being manipulated you're being force-fed stuff that the system wants you to look at howunreal that might be uh talk to me a little bit about your take on that because I'm interested to hear what you think of these alternatives to Twitteroh wow you know I I've always been a fan of the old platforms uh I would say myALT platform Journey actually began maybe around uh YouTube and theCrackdown with the censorship uh that was around maybe 2015.um and I noticed that a lot of channels that I watched you know they they weren't saying anything bad but theywere just kind of a little out there I mean I watch everything you know obviously being into sci-fi and blah blah blah blah like some people can getinto some interesting topics but it wasn't anything hateful or um you know they would lean you knowgive credit to having this channel taken down for example but um I noticed a lot of the channels I waswatching were um having their channels taken down um and if they weren't taken down thenthey were being heavily restricted as to uh how many views and what type of uhyou know feedback they were getting how much views they were getting overall nowbecause of that and seeing this huge change in YouTube been a lot of creators leavingthis allowed me to start checking out some of the other all platforms so I started watching more uh content on bitshoot Odyssey and then you know also now there's uh Rumble and all these other uhold video platforms which they're they are they are good sometimes because youknow what honestly on some of the main platforms it could be hard to find creators that you like because of theseissues and they could they could be uh you know blacklisted orum you know censored in some ways and um it could not even be their fault just amisunderstanding and that happens I mean YouTube is um it's a massive massiveordeal I can only imagine trying to keep up with all that you know with their teams over there behind the scenes soobviously there's going to be some growing pains with that and I think that now a lot has changed with YouTubehowever um as the time has gone out and we've seen way more action on these oldplatforms now particularly with Twitter you're right there's now Mastodon whichI just signed up for as well very excited about and uh yes I like the ideaof servers I like the idea of having more of a community a chronological timeline mwah you know so I have faith Ihave faith so that's what it seems like to me that that um these these gigantic platforms that we've had for the last 10years or more uh you know actually Facebook's 18 years old now like it's it's old and um and it's sort of whereeverybody is right there's almost three billion people signed up for it um not using it but you know that thataccounts that they've created uh um cumulatively uh so those are theplatforms where everybody has Twitter and Facebook and there's a sense there was a sense that you want to be on the platform where everyone is becausethat's where you can reach the most people and this kind of uh attention economy Dynamic emerged where uh peopleyou know competed really for attention uh and that bred some really bad behavior uh for instance you know onTwitter in particular in an attention economy the people who are good at getting attention are the most dysfunctional people on the planet Idon't need to name who they are the one of them was the president of the United States but basically it rewarded theworst possible Behavior so you have these people who are certainly getting a lot of attention but uh you know theywere getting it because of their narcissistic and bad behavior it's also true I think to some extent of YouTubestars as well people like Jake Paul you know very controversial because there's sort of no there's no bottom line likethe guy will go lower than you can possibly imagine in order to get a view or to get a click uh and it works butthat's what an attention economy gives you is uh pathological pathological narcissismyeah that's probably right so so now now these social platforms seem to be fragmenting and fragmenting into a waythat that's interesting in the sense that it won't have the same economics in terms of mass reach because you'll be ona platform where you can't reach Everybody by Design that's how Mastodon works right you you're only going toreach the people who follow you and you have to figure out how to get those people to find you because there's no feed there's no algorithm uh some of theother other services that are have become uh really successful but kind of in a under the radar I thinkum you know Discord is is growing in and not just in popularity but growing inimportance because it's where everything nft is happening and increasingly a lot of the crypto Community is there cryptoused to happen a lot on telegram as well but the communities around nft I've noticed on Discord are are just thrivingand booming but they're Niche communities right they're big they may be big niches but this is not about broadcasting it's this huge number ofpeople instead it's about cultivating deep connections with a group of people that you actually kind of know where youhave some kind of connection to them and that's quite different from the attention economics that we got on the big platforms right absolutely yeah Imean uh you know part of my rise as a futurist was through Facebook Facebook was massively important to my career Imean I can made so many great connections fellow features in the community people on Tech I've met peoplethat are working on BCI uh bring computer interfaces all that and uh youknow I really I at one point I mean posts would get thousands of likes I'd be building a community and all thatjust really started to Trail off and now these days I don't even use I barely use Facebook maybe just Messenger to talk topeople family and friends and stuff here and there uh people in the community here and there but uh yeah just reallyexcited about these all platforms where it's heading you know it's a fresh start new beginning so to speak right and uh Ithink if you're a fan of telegram right tell me about your experience how Telegram love telegram telegram I knowpeople anywhere from yoga teachers to authors that are using telegram now nowwhat's interesting is that when telegram first started getting rolling um particularly uh sort of like theunderground of uh the the alt platform World sort of right it's uh oh telegramyou know it's not just for you know chatting or uh you know encrypted messages or something and no no it'sactually evolved into a sort of like a ongoing chat social media platform itthe way it works is that you you basically as a Creator you could build a channel and it's just one ongoing chatand you can arrange it where you have a chat uh your members can continue talking with each otherum while you post your own content your new videos um it's a good way to keep in touch andsort of uh have a more personalized following as well it's uh it's definitely an option out there and II've been exploring it myself I'm considering starting my own telegram Channel as well it's also um I think you mentioned it'suh it's persistent it's not evanescent the way some platforms like Snap was famously you know your messagesdisappeared after a period of time um so it's it's more stuff stays so you don't have to feel this compulsive urgeto check it out constantly every time there's a notification that dings uh it pulls you away from your workflow uh youcan you can check it periodically and you won't miss anything yeah and there's also one more lastgreat feature is that um if there is a lot of content on that timeline you know in the chat so to speakum and you missed out on it you press the button at the bottom it's like an arrow pointing down it'll just rapidlybring you to the latest message so you skip over all the stuff you missed you knowum which I kind of like yeah because you're right uh with these platforms there's a lot of pressure to be keepingup with things and feeling like you have to oh I've got to go back and read all this stuff and um you know I think theseall platforms are exploring new ways that we can kind of get around these issues cool well in a moment we'll gointo uh the future of social platforms but before we do that uh I want to doour our lightning round now normally this is something that Brett would do but he's traveling so I get the honors today of asking you to do the lightninground [Music] it's a lightning round of questions uhfirst let's start with name your first experience with sci-fi it could be a movie or a book orsomething else that really got you excited about the future oh wow you know I have to say like I'vealways been a futurist at heart since I was you know a kid and I've beeninspired by everything I mean going to Tomorrowland at Disney World and being like wow you know this is the future theCarousel of Progress and all that you know I love that as a kid and then you know as I got older uh 1999 is when theMatrix movie came out and that movie rocked my world I was like wow this makes so much sense you know I meanum and just about technology and where it's heading and wow I mean yes very dystopian but you know for the time Ithink all of us you know people that aren't into sci-fi were like wow this movie is amazing like uh really thoughtprovoking so um yes and also Michio Kaku um you know his his uh earlier Works hewas in documentaries there's a great documentary around 2007 that I watched that really inspired meum yeah a lot of documentaries movies uh anywhere from Avid you're an avid Enthusiast forfuturist materials you've been influenced by your whole life so that is the next question here next question thelightning round is name a futurist who has personally inspired youwell my first Mentor was futurist Glenn heemstra and he was the original ownerof futurist.com I believe it's now uh between maybe Glenn and features uh Nicholas badmintonwho Nick is another friend of mine uh haven't spoken in a while but uh yeah awesome people great futurists supersuper talented they all bring their own unique Styles um as far as forecasting and speaking onthe future and uh yeah Glenn was my first mentor and it was very important to me it's how I came out as aprofessional futurist cool can you tell me about a particular forecast orprediction that inspired you oh yeah Ray Kurzweil and the singularityyou know I mean 2045 so much uh so somany projects that have uh looked forward to 2045 is a year where we merge human consciousness with AI or you knowwe have this emerging event happening and uh yes recurs well definitely inspired mesuper okay well that's uh that's it for the lightning round you're listening to the futurist with my guest Katie KingI'm Rob turcic our co-host Brett King is on the road we're gonna take a short break and we'll be back stay tunedbecause in the second half we're going to talk about the future of social mediaprovoked media is proud to sponsor produce and support the futurist podcastprovoke.fm is a global podcast Network and content creation company with theworld's leading fintech podcast and radio show Breaking Banks and of course it's spin-off podcast breaking BanksEurope breaking Banks Asia Pacific and the fintech 5. but we also produce the officialphenovate podcast Tech on reg emerge everywhere the podcast of the FinancialHealth Network and next-gen Banker from about all our podcasts go to provoke.fmor check out breaking Banks the world's number one fintech podcast and radio showwelcome back you're listening to the futurists I'm Rob turizik my co-host Brett King is traveling this week andour guest is Miss metavers Katie King talking about the future of social media and before we jump back into things Iwant to talk a little bit about a new player on the scene not that new but now becoming really very important I'mreferring to none other than tick tock and tick tock's an interesting company in a couple of respects one is it's notquite a social media company it's not quite a video company it's something in between the two Tick Tock famously hitthe scene in 2018 uh it's a combination of two apps from China One calledmusically which made it possible for people to do lip syncing and one called Diane which is uh a uh is basically theChinese version of tic tac the Prototype of tick tock um the the app gained traction very veryquickly uh because it was extremely easy for young people to use and make good videos and be creative and fun and ifyou remember back in those days uh other social media platforms had become become quite political uh partly because of thepoliticians that were using them and probably because of this hate Dynamic that we spoke about Smoke on the first half and Tick Tock seemed to be a refugefrom that so Tick Tock has been growing incredibly fast it is the fastest growing social platform uh it got to abillion users faster than any other all the the other ones that we mentioned earlier in the show it has been the thetop app for about two years it's been the top grossing app um it has been themost downloaded app for the last five quarters ad revenue for tick tock tripled in 2021 and it tripled againthis year in 2022 so it's now generating more Revenue in advertising than Twitterand snap combined it's still nowhere near the size of Facebook but what's important is it's clearly devouring apart of Facebook's business and it really has Facebook on the Run unlike any other social platform so so far forthe last 18 years Facebook has been able to fend off all threats or acquire themthings like Instagram and WhatsApp uh simply you know it's it's strategy it's a defensive strategy it was to buy thething that was going to kill it next but Tick Tock seems like it's coming on strong and that's not all tick tock alsois introducing a number of other features there's a tick tock music app that's been rumored for a long time theonly owner company the parent company bite dance already owns a music app that they've been running in Brazil andIndonesia Malaysia and now it looks like they're registering that Tick Tock music name as a copyright and a social mediahandle in many countries around the world including the US rumor is it rumor has it that they've been negotiatingwith the record labels for some time so we'll start to see them integrate a music app in the near future but that'snot all tick tock also is eroding the profit of of Netflix interestingly userscan pay money on Tick Tock you can gift money to people that you're a fan of so if there's a creator that you like you can send them a gift and as it turns outstreaming video platforms like Netflix are the number one subscription app formost gen most people most demographics but with this one exception teenagers uh it's not the case with teenagers theyare giving more money to tick tock performers so it's actually starting to affect the future even of Netflix sothis app has been extraordinary in terms of impact and now a parent company bite dance is also getting into VR theybought Pico they're rumored to be building their own version of a metaverse so they're clearly coming after Facebook on every front or meta Ishould say on every front so that is a little bit about the rapid growth ofTick Tock but there's another part of the story which is that Tick Tock is viewed as anational security threat I'm not making this up a number of Senators including Senator Josh Hawley have called for uhgetting getting rid of tick tock altogether Banning the app all together and indeed the United States Army and Navy have banned it you're not allowedto use it uh the app does gather an awful lot of data uh it collects atremendous it's one of the most intrusive apps so it is viewed as kind of a data Gathering tool and because it's Chinese Tick Tock isnow falling into this uh this contentious dynamic between the United States and the Chinese government andthere's some concern about whether Tick Tock is a national security risk I'm not making this up there's a negotiationthat's been going on since the Trump Administration between the U.S government and Tick Tock about how toproceed and Tick Tock has a big initiative underway called project Texas where they will keep all U.S user dataon Oracle servers in Texas that's uh their bid to comply with U.S uh with therequirements the US is setting forth however there is one big concern which is that in the Chinese government has anedict that all apps must surrender information if they demand it and so it's very clear that Tick Tock willdeliver information uh to the Chinese government and so some of you some people view that as a national security Hazard or national security risk and thelast piece about Tick Tock is that it can also be a tool or an instrument for the dissemination of propaganda nowthere's some irony here because the organization is making that claim the loudest is Facebook and let's not forget just a year ago Francis Haugen was onCapitol Hill in in Washington uh revealing Insider information about Facebook as a tool for the disseminationof propaganda so there's a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black but nevertheless there is some evidence thatthat Tick Tock has been used this way in Kenya and in other nations around theworld uh in Kenya Taiwan and the list is quite long so there's some fear that Tick Tock could be used as a way to youknow kind of pollute the minds and persuade people who are using it so that's Tick Tock uh what's interestingabout them is it's a video app it's not a social media app in the sense that you don't follow friends it's not about yourfriends and what they're talking about there is an algorithm that's algorithmic video it's incredibly addictive uh in factthat's the reason I would not use it or I would recommend deleting it is because you will find yourself absorbed so muchby the pure addictive nature of that algorithm uh so let's talk a little bitabout the algorithmic media versus social media because that's clearly one of the big trends that's coming uh we wehear about you know the Facebook algorithm we hear about the Twitter algorithm and how it surfaces content but a moment ago we were just talkingabout Mastodon which by Design is non-algorithmic doesn't have an algorithm that recommends stuff there isa feed it's just a chronological feed of the people that you follow but no one's pushing stuff at you talk to me a littlebit about the algorithm oh wow yeah I mean you know Tick Tock really really uh started climbing in inyou know for the Creator Community uh in the recent few years maybe the past twoyears especially I would say um I know I've seen a ton of creators go over to tick tock and make Tick Tock their soulFocus which made me really surprised because I you know my cousin for example she's a she's a yoga teacher and uh youknow very spiritual and she wanted to start a YouTube channel and um she ended up doing Tick Tock instead and I saidwell what happened to the YouTube channel you know why don't you do a YouTube YouTube instead you know and shegoes no Katie she's everyone's on tick tock's where it's at you know for you phe algorithm and yeah I mean her postshave gone viral uh you know on the for you page on Tick Tock and all that and uh you know I I see I know quite a fewof creators that have found a lot of success on Tick Tock where they were would have never had so much success onother platforms for what whatever reason and so I think there's a lot more opportunity for creators on Tick Tockfor uh for several reasons and you know it is very addictive and that is a thatis an issue it's just the short form content constantly scrolling and uh yeseverything is just given to you based on what you've liked before or what you discover and and whatnot so uh yeah Imean I see it staying and I see it growing it's definitely a huge competitor uh to meta for sure and umyou know a lot of the live streaming uh is you know that that started going aswell and you know they're really really that's true right yeah so Tick Tock isinnovating across the board I mean they're literally turning on a service that competes with just about every everyum mainstream service and they're also innovating and advertising you know they have a marketplace where they'll put creators directly in touch withadvertisers and so creators can create kind of viral campaigns on behalf of advertisers and they put them in and sothey've created this Marketplace which I think is quite Innovative and one observation I would make parentheticallyis there hasn't been that much innovation in U.S social media if you think aboutit like most of the innovation in the past five years has been around moderation tools hate speech uh groupsand so forth but none of this stuff really moves the needle in terms of getting people excited in a great big wayum and I would say a lot of the Innovation that's happened has been around monetization um monetizing the audience if you wereto look so for instance at Facebook today you'll find that more than half the page if you're looking at a webbrowser more than half the page is advertising related like very little of it is content um uh and so so Tick Tock has beenInnovative in in many respects that serve creators the tools are so easy to use it's so easy to make a funny videoit's so easy to be cool on Tick Tock and they can you know you can provide you with like a a great soundtrack which Ithink says a lot you know don't forget that's like that's the kind of the core of this uh this idea that you can be apop culture stupid Star by remixing somebody else's music and it's also a platform that's broken a bunch of ourit's most notably a little Nas X who was unknown he was an unsigned artist inFebruary 2019 when he posted Old Town Road that immediately went viral andvery shortly after that you got signed and very shortly after that he teamed up with Billy Ray Cyrus to do the remixversion which sold which was in the top 10 for 18 weeks I think it's so you know really a quick story from like you knownowhere to Superstar yeah so it's a it's a platform that creates I think that their strategy forlaunching a music service alongside it makes a ton of sense because that's so core to the platform and what we don'tsee with the other social platforms is this idea of an integrated Suite of apps um which I think is quite interestingright uh you know in China you've got um super apps like WeChat which startedout with text messaging and payments but with if you have those two things you can do a lot more and gradually that ledto all sorts of other kinds of problems games shopping uh other kinds of other kinds of entertainment and a way to payfor things in the real world um yeah and as a result those apps started to integrate all sorts of otherfeatures you can think of it as like an app as a platform for other apps and that idea of a super app isn't limitedto China that's also happening now in other parts of Southeast Asia and in India and increasingly in Africa butweirdly it hasn't happened in the United States and Elon Musk has noted this right hehas said several times now he wants to turn Twitter into a super app for the U.S so he wants to add on inaddition to you know the short text messaging or microblogging at Twitter he wants to add in payments which he knowsquite a bit about because of his time at PayPal and x.com before that so he couldbolt messaging together with with payments um and a music service you can start tosee you can start to see a path there forward for Twitter but that's going to require an engineering team that he nolonger has uh and money that he hasn't got to invest unless he wants to dig a deeper hole for himself meanwhile ticktock's already doing it it's already happening like you know the the super app from China is here and it's ticktock right it is indeed I mean I think Tick Tock has a tremendous amount of uhpotential and I know several creators in the tech community that are particularlyfocused on VR and they were coming to me and saying hey have you heard about uhyou know Pico and what they're doing and they're going to bring Pico uh you know under the same company right it's bydance Pico Tick Tock same thing so I think you know talking about the future of social media is that you know there'sgoing to be an even an even greater sphere of influence once you start bringing in uh VR uh AR you knowaugmented reality virtual reality all these other Technologies together where um you know the opportunities are reallygoing to be endless you can just imagine well tell me more about that because I think one of the operating assumptions certainly at meta and clearly at bitedance is the idea that there's a progression from connecting people together on a social platform and thenadding more media to that platform and then somehow magically we're all going to start to put on head on the displaysand go into VR and yet that hasn't worked out so well for Facebook right so I think everyone agrees now thatFacebook's you know Horizons world is is has fallen flat it really doesn't resonate with people there's uh themaximum number users they had was two hundred thousand I think it's down from that figure now their goal was supposed to be a half a million this year ofusers they're not even at half then they don't expect to be and also the people who look at it most of themdon't come back uh so it hasn't worked out so well talk to me a little bit about that progression from social mediato VR yeah absolutely you know I've noticed a lot about uh this progressionof social media to VR and just a lot of hype so much hype I mean I I remembereven magically back in 2014 you know it's supposed to be uh more of augmented reality rightum or mixed realities for one but you know they made it look so beautiful and amazing it was going to be mind-blowingand then things just kind of started falling apart and it just got really materializing now don't get me wrong Ilove Oculus right I think that I have a Oculus uh Quest 2 well meta Quest 2 asit's called now um you know but uh it's it is a great thing to experience I mean I've had somepretty interesting experiences in VR you do connect in a way it's it's sort oflike a that spooky action at a distance type of thing it's like you're meeting someone and it's it's not the same asjust connecting on a social media platform it's different it's more dream like you feel like you experienced it Iagree I am a huge fan as well like I love I love it myself it's it's the besthardware like you know as much as we get we can get a kick out of bash and Facebook and as much as Zuckerberg deserves it the reality is his billionsand billions and billions of dollars of investment it actually led to the best hardware that's out there right nowis Pico any good you know um I've heard that Pico has alot of potential but as far as the user base I don't really quite see any ofthat yet but I'm hearing right now I believe that they're uh reaching out to a lot of VR creators and uh influencersright now to have them start uh familiarizing themselves because I think the jump off is coming with this Ibelieve that um Pico is gonna is gearing up to be able to really come out the gate to contend with uh you know with uhmeta now you know going back to Horizon worlds right Horizon worldswow so much uh you know so much hype I mean I remember that the video that cameout maybe what was that last November right you know the Eiffel Tower yeah yeah oh my God what a face pump I'm nothonestly seriously how could they release that no that's something Zuckerberg needs someone near him towhisper in his ear and say dude don't go with that like he needs an editor because honestly that stuff is embarrassing even this week they justreleased another video and it's it's so oh there was a video that just came out last night about um Godzilla stepping on a Wendy's burgerjoint or something and it was the dumbest thing I've ever seen it was like a news report from inside of uh Horizonworlds mostly the 3D is not good you know we have an audience about threebillion people who are playing video games and they've been conditioned to 3D worlds that are quite good right thestate of play with the game engine like unreal five is Cinematic quality real-time 3D it's that good and sothat's the expectation right and and what Facebook Dylan meta is doing with Horizon worlds is they're falling waybelow that expectation I get it it's hard because you have to render that world simultaneously from multiple usersthat's a really hard scaling problem but the fact is the end result just feels lame compared to a good video gameand there's no way around that they need to address that issue I think way too cartoony way too cheesy like noI mean when I saw it with no legs you're floating around like some sort of like Angel or something it's creepy and weirdyes very much so I I so is this the future are we gonna live in a creepy and weird social network that's 3D like isthat do we have to put on a head mounted display to talk to our friends no we don't no we don't and listen just forthe record I called myself Miss metaverse way before the metaverse actually became a thing okay so justputting that out there but uh yeah oh it's hard to say I I still believe in VRand AR and all that you know I know AR is going to go somewhere for sure but you know VR it's an acquired taste andhere's another thing not everyone can put the headset on and be okay you know there's people that get really sick fromit I'm not one of those people I could stay in VR for quite a long time um but you know there are people thatyou know just really uncomfortable for them so there are growing pains here yeah it's a user design problem it's adesign problem if you have a product that makes 10 of your users seasick like let me figure that out they're workingon it but but tell me tell me honestly how often do you use your Oculus Quest or your meta a quest how often do youuse it like per month do you really want to know rarely and that's you know I mean theaverage user uses it the average user uses it twice a month like it's basically a paperweight or a door stopthat gathers dust and occasionally you can go into a VR world so we haven't really developed a habit for VR oh wellyou've got at least it's there look and it's plugged in so you're charging it up good for you you can you can put it on after the showwe haven't really developed a habit where we do have a social media habit and we have a mobile phone habit the twogrew up together right we can say that that social media got insurance there were tons of social platforms before smartphones but the smartphone and thesocial media it kind of fit together they amplify each other and became This Global habit we just don't have thathabit yet of putting a thing in our head um you know and anyone who's got ahairstyle isn't going to want to put a thing on their head so this isn't really the most there's a reason why they always show pictures of bald dudes whenthey show people using head mounted displays because the hairstyle doesn't really matter for them I can't imaginepeople wearing that thing all day on but over time devices are going to get smaller cheaper lighter faster betterand so forth that might take 10 years and I think that's a key Point Zuckerberg has been pretty consistent insaying that he's been telegraphing that it's going to take five to ten years before we get to a form factor thatworks meanwhile other companies are coming forward now with uh long rumoredaugmented reality displays notably Apple what do you know about Apple realityoh wow yes I mean so much anticipation regarding the Apple VR uh that's comingand I I think they're going to do a wonderful job from what I hear I hear that the way they're designing a new headset is going to be lighter than theOculus say they're trying to really like Step It Up in order to uh you know beatout the competition so I'm curious to see how it uh how it is when it comes out you know however but you know thisis Apple not everyone's an Apple user right and I the thing is with with oculus is that it doesn't matter ifyou're Apple or Android or whatever it's you know you ever anyone can use it if you're in within that ecosystem yeahthat's true almost certainly the Apple device is going to be connected to the smartphone because everything Apple doesis all their new devices are just uh accessories that reinforce the value of the iPhone because that's theirfranchise and they're not going to do anything to to take away from that so it's unlikely that you'll have uh an ARheadset and also the heavy duty processing and the network connection is all going to come from the phone rightbecause that that's where you've got the power to do all that stuff that's why they put Ultra wide band in in the new generation of Apple phones so they canconnect to some other devices and stream that data fast so that means you'll have a lighter weight headset probably someeyeglass form factor although nobody really knows we've seen these artist conceptions of what Apple's realityglasses are going to look like but we don't really know what they have in mind that's been the most anticipated thingin this field now for two years running everyone knows Apple's working on it no one's seen anythingright yeah I mean it's hard to say I mean how will the AR work versus the VRheadsets right I mean in terms of comfortability in terms of everyday usage uh you know people I I believeApple went into the AR space particularly because it has more of a a usage ability than uh say virtualreality solely right because you can go out into the world with it you're on the go it goes with the phone yeah but thereyou're really vulnerable to 5G coverage right so if you don't have 5G for the fast network connectivity then you'regonna get a lag and that's going to kill the illusion that's a gigantic issue for for augmented reality uh you know andthe folks at magically you mentioned a moment ago they ran into all these problems a couple years ago so this is not new uh you know we we know what theproblems are the sun is really bright that's one so it's really hard to make a display that can defeat the sun rightthat's that and then that's going to use up tons of power so then you have a battery problem as well but theconnectivity you know in order to get a augmented reality over really to register accurately even as you'removing around and to keep it registered that requires millimeter precise abilityto to uh you know to get to get that registration exactly correct it means you have to have incredibly low latencyNetwork it's a good use case for 5G but that's not the 5G they're building in the United States right now the 5G we'rebuilding is basically faster 4G some people say it's gonna we're gonna have to wait until 6G comes out which is likeat the end of the decade it's like you know 2027 before we're going to start to see that so again the this may be a longDawn for AR uh in addition to VR I think it's going to happen I think I'm with youlike I'm excited about it I can see the use case for it certainly VR games are fun and that that can be incrediblyimmersive and if you haven't used tilt brush or anyone is listening hasn't used tilt brush it's to me it's my favoritething to do in VR because it's super creative and and talk about immersive you know you're yeah you can paint theworld around you and move through it I find that fascinating so I think there's a lot more potential there that hasn'tbeen tapped yet um do you see these things connecting together in Social uh and tell me alittle bit how social and immersive 3D work together oh yeah it's definitely going to bemerging in the very near future I definitely believe so I mean just as we were saying before about Tick Tock and Pico uh we're going to be seeing theseall across the platforms especially you know obviously meta and Horizon world's uh not working out so well so far but umyeah this is where it's heading I mean uh I I do believe that people want tohave those more immersive experiences just figuring out how you know what's the best way to get there and um youknow for now I think that there's kind of half and half right you know there's half people thatum you know solely focus more on uh the VR AR you know side of things and thenthere's people focusing on the social media side things so we're just bringing it all together nowum and and yeah there's some growing pains with it but it's going to get better it's going to get more lightweight more connected and you'reyou're correct you know the the connection 5G uh waiting for 6G we'regonna have to see how all this comes together right one of the things I've noticed is that the the companies that are toutingthemselves today as um as you know kind of metaverse companies it's not just meta it includes some decentralized web3 companies like decentraland sandbox and othersum but what all these companies have done is they've focused on business model first right they're trying tobuild worlds that Brands can exist in and can Market in which makes it feel a little bit like a shopping mall they'retrying to build worlds that you can do Commerce in in some way so that also starts to feel like a shopping mall in away or they're trying to create these kind of prefab experience Parks which to me feels a lot like Disneyland in VR andwhat none of these things are are focused on Community First yes andyou know we have a very good example right now of an immersive world that is successful that focused first andforemost on community and monetization second and of course I'm referring to Second Life and you know quite a littlebit about that what can these new VR platforms learn from Second Lifeoh wow you know second life was just so Innovative for its time way ahead of itstime right some people call it like the original metaverse in a lot of ways right um because you could build your own worlds and have people go to your worldand visit or you can have your own private world and um as it says as in the name you liveout a second life in this in this experience and you know there's something about it that hasn't quitetranslated into the virtual experiences that we're experiencing today you knowum there are things like alt space VR um for Oculus that existum you know VR chat was another uh go at uh bringing Community together howeveryou know you run into the issues as we said in the beginning of the show you know um people that go in with bad intentionsand you know try to be silly and do bad things so they're just trying to figure out like how toum you know provide the best experience now the thing with second life is that second life doesn't never really raninto these problems that we're seeing on social today you know with the harassment andum you know it's yeah it's just a totally different experience now I think because of that it has has more of agame vibe to it and it is more about the community solely you know um now secondlife does have monetization people will make their own clothes and and whatnot their own avatars and sell it and theydo really well on it it's the original Creator economy 100 it's a it's the original Creator Community right and andit's thrived and people don't realize there's a million people using Second Life Today a million people the thing is 20 years oldum there's no social platform and no VR social platform that can claim to have anything close to that you know 10 ofthat even uh in terms of active monthly users so it's really quite extraordinary that the durability of that but therehasn't come along anybody who's got a better vision of it I think big part of that is it was built as Community First and they strived very hard in theproduct design to Foster Community okay let's put on the futurist hat for a second and talk about 10 years from thefuture 20 years in the future where is this all going where what do you envision 20 years out oh well I mean the big ultimate Visionright is merging humans with technology right and the thing is right now we'rein the phase of the wearables you know we're going to be wearing uh you know we're that's already happening now we'rewearing our smart watches wearing you know VR headsets and soon AR headsets andum you know that that's the externalized version of it but slowly uh over thenext 10 to 20 years particularly uh definitely within 10 to 20 years you know these are going to become moreembedded within us and you know as a lot of the features like to talk aboutultimately uh you know it's it's merging man and machine in some ways but it'ssupposed to be um bringing sort of more like a superpower like ability to us right it's supposed to be about connecting us bringing us all together rightwe'll bring computer interfaces do this you know bcis um it's hard to say I mean ultimatelyit's the same things we're going to be experiencing now but connected directly to our brainum you know that's that's kind of where it's heading is that it's going to be within us you know we'll have our ownbody sensors that are tracking um you know how our body's doing uh you know instead of going to the doctor youknow people are worried about if people are worried about these apps collecting a lot of data about us today justimagine what happens when they can tap what's going on in your brain and your imagination and in your dreams as welloh boy um we try not to get dystopian on this show but it's hard for me not to thinkthat way so we're going through growing Pace you see 10 years of growing pains or do you see less time than thatI do see Growing Pains I I do see some Growing Pains um however I think there'sgoing to be a lot of beautiful things to come out of Technology as well a real true uh more sense of togetherness youknow bringing making the world smaller right that's what social media did was made the world a lot smaller you know wecan meet make friends all over the world and um as these Technologies start becoming embedded within us on the gofor whatever reasons you know whether it be uh to overall have a better qualityof life uh to have almost uh telepathic abilities through these uh Technologieswhether brain computer interfaces what not um but ultimately I think that ah it'shard to say you know it depends on what we as you know Humanity want out of itwhat we're fighting for what we're striving for what we desire you know uh and what we what we allow right I meanum you know the purpose of Technology is to make our lives better to bring us together to make us connected to give usopportunity right so as long as we focus on the positive and you knowum really discuss the ethical side of this I know that that's a really big part of it right is that the ethics andum you know what's best for Humanity period that's the part of the story that I think isn't getting enough play rightnow and I think it's the most interesting part of the story as people are leaving Big platforms these bigcentralized platforms particularly Facebook and Twitter uh where they're moving towards it seems to me isum more fragmented not as unified smaller spaces where you can have better connections and better conversations andso maybe this phase that's changing is this this phase of like one person tweeting out to everybody in theuniverse maybe that's the thing that's going to change in the future maybe it won't be that that kind of huge reach instead the future might be morefragmented smaller but richer communities well uh Katie King thank you very much for being on the futurist it'sa pleasure to chat with you I've enjoyed this uh survey of all the turmoil and change and the social media business andsome of the future of VR and AR all exciting stuff thank you very much for being here today oh thank you so thank you so much forhaving me it's been a been a pleasure and I look forward to coming back again again sometime in the near future that'll be great fun so folks thanks forlistening before we roll off I just want to let you know that uh as Brett usually says at the end of the showum that's it this week for the futurists if you've enjoyed listening to the Futures please do us a favor and give usa five star review wherever you listen Spotify apple or anyplace else thatreally helps other people discover it and I want to say thank you and give a shout out to all the folks who've been giving us positive feedback suggestionsand those reviews because it turns out we are growing really really fast now sothank you very much for the support and please keep supporting the show this has been a great ride so far this year andwe continue to keep doing it in the new year I want to thank our producer Kevin herschhorn who I want to thank our otherproducer Elizabeth severins and the whole crew provoke media for helping us make the show you guys have been greatand it's been a pleasure working with all of you Katie thanks for joining the show this week I will see you in thefuture [Music] well that's it for the futurists this week if you like the show we sure hopeyou did please subscribe and share it with people in your community and don't forget to leave us a five star reviewthat really helps other people find the show and you can ping us anytime on Instagram and Twitter at futuristpodcastfor the folks that you'd like to see on the show or the questions you'd like us to ask thanks for joining and as always we'llsee you in the future [Music]

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