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Op-Ed: Is social media dead, just stagnant, or diluting itself?



Op-Ed: Is social media dead, just stagnant, or diluting itself?

Social media. — © AFP/File Denis Charlet

The expression “social media” really needs some panel beating. You can’t socialize with a bot or a highly-paid nutcase. You can’t call it media if it’s full of fake product reviews.  It’s gone from being the greatest thing in marketing to a grudging “meh” if you can be bothered. Just read the mix of average daily news on it. Not exactly inspiring.

It used to be the defining tool for online marketing, advertising, and real-time stats. Now it’s just more numbers for the good old fact laundry. The marketing people who know how to analyze have probably given up in despair. The savvy numbers guys may or may not have been able to stand corporate illiteracy any longer.  Their stuff gets turned into meeting fodder, the great numbers nobody can read.

What’s actually happening? Not a lot, obviously. Musk or no Musk, social media churns on regardless. It might actually be social for all anyone knows or cares. It might even be media. It is, undeniably a gruesomely limited range of options for people who just want to share and chat.

Researchers say misinformation has exploded on Twitter since the platform was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk – Copyright AFP/File NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA

There’s Tik Tok. There’s Instagrim or Instaglum, depending on whoever or whatever. There’s OnlyFans. There’s paint drying and grass growing if you have the patience to look. Most people don’t. The easiest behavior is the one that’s the least annoying in social media. The hype only exists until you click elsewhere. How many viral posts, influencers, and other cybergunk can you remember?

Vietnam to demand social media users verify identities
Image: — © AFP/File Olivier DOULIERY

Put it another way – Social media is a big-money global sector determined to shoot itself in the foot at every opportunity. Given unbelievable amounts of DIY content, this sector has managed to achieve total apathy.  

How did this happen, you inquire, from under your duplex mushroom? Well, O Fortunate Starry-Eyed Demographic, make a nest on these heavily padded numbers and I’ll explain.

Social media began fittingly with a massive hype of itself. It was the internet dream come true, connecting the world. People from all over the world could talk to each other. Twitter became the default news feed, sneaking in while Reddit wasn’t looking. Facebook was, and still is provided you’re patient, actually social.

All this clicked well with online marketing. “Duh… Hey look, thar be they people-critters!” they shrieked, and deluged social media with all that invaluable much-loved garbage. Coincidentally, this was the time when basic web design went out the window and cluttered, useless webpages became compulsory.

1688723762 121 Op Ed Is social media dead just stagnant or diluting itself
The New York City blogger will always find a place to share his insights. — © Digital Journal

…Until about 2015, this was “marketing.” Nobody could argue with your figures. Anything on social media was a great marketing move. …Unless you employed a real analyst. No need to send your kids on baskets of reeds down the river anymore. You and your gold tablets of data were irrefutable.

There was a turning point, of course. It took about 20 years, but politics and its associated dazzling intellects discovered social media. So did the money spinners. The net result was a wave of foaming facile fecal festivity costing billions.

Somebody decided they knew how to game social media, and for a while, they did. Whatever you care to say about Trump’s highly debatable existence, he was part of this. The fake faucets were turned on full blast, trying to drown reality. Cambridge Analytica may have been the last word in pseudo-marketing, but it worked.

Op Ed Republicans vs First Amendment again — Disinformation research under
Image: — © Digital Journal

QAnon was the sniveling deformed offspring of social media. Quasimodem incarnate. The whole useless culture was based on social media. You could vote for a bot, argue with a bot, or be a bot. All you really needed were idiots, and there was a supply handy.

The Great Crack Pipe of Truth didn’t last too long, of course. It was only a moneymaking exercise. It was the definitive “Hyuck”, as the financial media reported accurately for a change. In the massive social hangover that followed, the fun went out of social media for quite a while.

…All of which brings us to the current static state of social media. Things are happening, mutedly.

Facebook is looking a bit soft, but actually pretty near its average. Threads is as much a reflection of dissatisfaction as it is of the need for actual life in social media. The Just One Platform thing simply doesn’t work. Threads is necessary.

Op Ed Facebook ‘dying yet again Not really Its how you
Image: — © AFP Anatolii Stepanov

Twitter remains in an uneasy balancing act with itself. Musk wasn’t and isn’t really a “media guy”. He doesn’t have the background. He’s a finance guy who went tech. He’s not so much out of his depth as out of his element.

LinkedIn continues to be a social niche market for businesses. It’s a basic model, which is why it works.

There’s still and always Reddit. Thankfully, the internet’s sandblasting front page is at least trustworthy for being its high-friction self.

The issue remains – Is this market evolving, or simply segmenting? If it’s evolving, it’s taking its own sweet time. If it’s segmenting, it’s long overdue. The dynamics of online marketing need spaces, not vacuums.

There’s another issue here. The word is “Necrosis”. When media goes stale, it rots away and dies like hopelessly outdated business models and long-lost revenue. I don’t know how much debt there is in social media, but I’d be in no great hurry to find out. That could be a problem.


The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

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Instagram Launches New ‘Close Friends Only’ Podcast to Showcase Celebrity Users



Instagram Launches New ‘Close Friends Only’ Podcast to Showcase Celebrity Users

Not sure if this will be a valuable addition, or another stream that’ll fade out pretty quick, as Meta stops paying attention to it.

Today, Instagram has launched a new podcast called “Close Friends Only”, which it says will present “the latest on culture – from memes and icks, to fashion and friendship – all from your favorite celebrities.

And they’ve gone big out of the gate, with the first episode featuring Ice Spice in conversation with Doja Cat.

The conversation sees the two stars discuss their favorite memes, their favorite animals, celebrity crushes, experiences in flirting on IG, their juiciest DMs, and more.

Which will no doubt get a heap of attention, and will help make Instagram a bigger focus for youngsters seeking to replicate their idols. But in terms of practical advice or tips, yeah, there might not be a heap there.

But it could be worth tuning in anyway, in order to get the lowdown on the latest trends, from some of the people that are leading the way on cultural shifts.

But then again, as noted, it’ll be interesting to see how IG follows this first episode up, and whether they keep running regular episodes of the podcast with more celebrities.

Either way, it’s an interesting promotional vehicle for IG, especially given that it’s focusing on musicians, as TikTok becomes an even more critical platform for music promotion.

Maybe, then, this will be Instagram’s counter to that, but again, we’ll have to wait and see whether more episodes arrive.

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Who is HRH Collection founder and YouTuber, Alexandra Peirce?



Who is HRH Collection founder and YouTuber, Alexandra Peirce?

ALEXANDRA Peirce proves there’s no such thing as bad publicity, garnering more fans and subscribers every time she posts one of her infamous video rants.

Peirce, known better by her social media pseudonym HRH Collection, has been an internet mainstay for years, and her fame only continues to grow after sharing more of her contentious takes online.


HRH Collection founder and YouTuber, Alexandra Peirce, poses for a photo on her Instagram showcasing pieces from her jewelry lineCredit: Instagram/ therealhrhcollection

Who is Alexandra Peirce?

Alexandra Peirce is a social media personality, influencer, and jewelry designer.

Peirce was born on May 13, 1984, in the US.

She currently resides near Los Angeles, California.

Before launching her famous YouTube channel, Peirce graduated from college in 2007 with a degree in political science.

In 2009, she earned a master’s degree in international business.

While in graduate school, Peirce studied abroad in Shanghai, China, where she says she “fell in love with all things Asian.”

Peirce returned to the US during the peak of the 2008 economic recession, forcing her to move in with her parents.

Despite applying for countless jobs, she couldn’t land a position, leading her to create her YouTube channel.

Peirce post her first video, a “What’s in my bag” vlog where she walked viewers through everyday items she carried in her purse.

Peirce kept the channel going even after landing a job in accounting, posting videos and designing jewelry pieces during lunch breaks and after hours.

Fueled by her growing subscriber count, her design hobby would eventually turn into a full-fledged company, HRH Collection.

While Peirce now runs her jewelry line full-time, she is even better known on the internet for her viral videos, which typically show Peirce sitting in her car, ranting about anything from current events and pop culture trends to hairstyles and holidays.

Her videos are often cut up and reposted on TikTok, where select sound clips go viral.

Some of Peirce’s most well-known tirades include her take on beachy waves – “it’s not the vibe, stop!” – and her controversial views on Women’s Day – ““I think it’s stupid. I really do.”

Nevertheless, Peirce has amassed a legion of hardcore fans and haters who can’t help but watch her scream and shout her opinion on just about everything.

Peirce’s controversial videos (and views) have been compared to other un-cancellable influencers, like Trisha Paytas and Theo Von.

Who else could get away with yelling: “Shut up! Stop being fat! Stop being ugly!” at her viewers, who keep coming back for more?

It seems like no matter what she posts, or how many people disagree with her, viewers can’t help but leave her videos wanting more.

One TikTok user commented: “This woman is actually problematic but my brain is itched by the way she complains because it’s exactly how I think when I’m annoyed.”

Despite – or maybe because of – the controversies, Peirce has continued to grow her social media following.

Her Instagram account boasts 118,000 followers, despite several of her past accounts being banned or deleted.

Peirce’s X account is currently suspended, but that hasn’t stopped the internet icon from sharing her views online.

Her YouTube channel, which hosts over 600 videos, has 449,000 subscribers.

The hashtag #hrhcollection has also garnered nearly 1 billion views on TikTok, from reposted videos to sound bites.

Peirce has also garnered fame via interviews with BuzzFeed News and Interview Magazine, and appeared on podcasts like The Spillover With Alex Clark.

What is HRH Collection?

HRH Collection is a jewelry line created by Alexandra Peirce.

Besides rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, the website also sells bag chains, keychains, ankle socks, t-shirts, and a windbreaker.

On the company’s about page, Peirce explains that the e-commerce site “started as a hobby and has now grown into a company that I’m so proud to call my own.”

Peirce first designed “a Japanese style frosting cupcake ring and key fob,” sharing the pieces on her YouTube channel.

Viewers were interested in purchasing the items, leading Peirce to create La Lumiere, mixing chain metals with assorted crystals to create bracelets and necklaces.

Peirce wore her jewelry to work and showcased her pieces on her social media, leading to steady stream of customers and orders.

From there, Peirce launched an Etsy shop, juggling her full time job alongside designing new pieces and fulfilling online orders.

Peirce states that she is “so thankful” for everyone who helped her along the way, but also offers some practical advice for anyone who hopes to turn their hobby into a viable career, saying she was “strategic” in developing HRH.

She writes: “Many of you guys ask me if you should quit your jobs to pursue YouTube or your other hobbies.”

“To be completely honest, I do not think you should quit your job for any hobby, until you have grown your company into one that can reasonably replace your job – this is very important.”

HRH collection features hundreds of items, with most priced between $50 and $150.

Shoppers can also select items from “Alex’s Musts,” which includes products like a $190 sterling silver tennis necklace, a trio of mixed metal rings for $87, and $59 diet soda hoops, resembling soda can tops.

Consumers looking for unique pieces are in luck, as there is a limited amount of inventory available per item, with many pieces already sold out.

Alexandra Peirce poses with her husband, Jason Locke, and her dog, Ming, for a photo on Instagram


Alexandra Peirce poses with her husband, Jason Locke, and her dog, Ming, for a photo on InstagramCredit: Instagram/ therealhrhcollection

Is Alexandra Peirce married?

Peirce came under fire from both her fans and haters after getting married on June 16, 2023, to her second husband, Jason Locke.

The influencer was mocked for her dress, venue, food, and overall wedding aesthetic.

She was also trolled on social media for live-streaming the event, charging users $25 to watch the party.

Peirce chose to wear a short, white, recycled Zara dress for the reception, while the groom chose to don a camouflaged Trump/Pence hat.

After a small ceremony at Bethania Lutheran Church, a reception was held in the parking lot of the Hitching Post, a BBQ joint in Buellton, California.

The eatery’s website says it is known for its wines and West Coast barbecue, and guests dined on veggies, garlic bread, and quesadillas, among other items.

Decorations were minimal, with few flowers adorning the white tent erected in the parking lot.

Each table did come with a cherry-scented ashtray candle, personalized with ‘Mr. & Mrs. Locke’ in a gothic font.

Peirce then changed into yoga pants before heading off to a local casino with her new beau and a few close friends, keeping the party going well into the morning hours.

Many users took to X to share their thoughts.

Some users called the wedding trashy, while others lamented the party’s seemingly low budget.

One user tweeted: “You had a trailer park wedding” along with a crying and skull emojis.

Another wrote: “how can hrh collection talk about anyone when her dress looks like it came out of a Zara clearance section?”

One influencer even branded the event as “the tackiest wedding ever.”

Peirce fought back, going after her online haters and critics in another one of her infamous video rants.

In a video titled Addressing The Devils, Peirce asks her viewers: “Do you think I didn’t know what my wedding was gonna be like? Like, I didn’t plan my wedding?”

“I don’t like big to-dos. I’m the least to-do person ever.”

She added: “B***h, I could fly to the f**king Maldives with every damn f**king person in my damn family and pay for everyone and not have it impact me at all, you f**king idiots.”

Peirce then stressed that her and Locke wanted to keep the wedding “casual and mellow.”

She said: “I did exactly what I wanted to do for my wedding and I would do it all exactly over again.”

Peirce ended the video by saying: “I’m happy, I’m in a really loving relationship. I basically have everything I want.”

“I have my own business, a beautiful house, I have a husband. I’m really happy right now and you guys are so vicious and mean.”

Then, in her signature fashion, she addressed her haters head-on, explaining: “I get it, because you’re miserable and ugly.”

“And you’re a loser, I understand. Life isn’t fair.”

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New Guide Highlights Key Considerations for Effective TikTok Ads



New Guide Highlights Key Considerations for Effective TikTok Ads

Looking to make TikTok a bigger focus of your marketing effort in 2024?

This will help. TikTok recently partnered with creator intelligence platform CreatorIQ to conduct an analysis of the key factors that make for a resonant TikTok promotion, culminating in a 26-page report which covers a range of key notes and tips for your planning.

You can download CreatorIQ’s full TikTok ads guide here, but in this post, we’ll look at some of the key notes.

The report is broken up into five key pillars of TikTok ads creation, which echo much of the best advice that’s been shared for the platform over time.

CreatorIQ’s five key TikTok marketing notes are:

  • Grab attention from the start
  • Foster a personal connection
  • Show your product in action
  • Use high-impact creative elements
  • Close with a clear call to action

For each of these elements, the guide digs deeper into how to enact them, and the critical considerations of each, including stats on effectiveness:

Tips on TikTok-specific trends and tools:

CreatorIQ TikTok Ads Report

As well as case study examples to underline each point:

CreatorIQ TikTok Ads Report

It’s a handy overview, with a range of valuable notes, though the main finding, above all of the creative pointers and advice, is that established creators perform better for TikTok promotions.

As per CreatorIQ:

The report found that creators overwhelmingly make the best-performing TikTok ads, with recommendations carrying more weight than traditional brand advertisements and celebrity spokespeople. In fact, after watching a creator-driven Spark Ad, 57% of TikTok community members say the creator is trustworthy, 56% say they can trust the brand because the creator shared it, and 71% say creator authenticity led them to buy a product.

So while there are a heap of practical notes and pointers for increasing the resonance of your in-app promotions – like this:

CreatorIQ TikTok Ads Report

The key point of emphasis is that creators make better TikToks, and thus, better ads, so partnering with relevant influencers in your niche is still likely a better way to go.

Some good considerations, and some valuable, data-backed tips, which could help to get your TikTok promotion plan on the right track in the new year.

You can download CreatorIQ’s full TikTok marketing report here.

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