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“Nobody has a crystal ball. I’ve always been hesitant about pricing into the future.”
— Gene Marks on social media restructuring
NBCUniversal Cable and MSNBC chief digital officer and social media expert, Gene Marks, joined Fox News Radio’s Guy Benson and Marie Harf to discuss social media sites and the changing landscape of social media to where we are now. Marks discussed how the biggest companies are going meta, or improving on the original social media sites, and now cutting out the middle man. Marks also discussed how the lesson learned from the now defunct Hip Hop website, Rap Genius, is probably more applicable to Facebook and Instagram than to the original sites. Marks also discussed how there are a few websites that may be able to survive despite Facebook’s opposition.
On Facebook facing the music: “I think a lot of people assume that Facebook had done it when they have in fact not. A lot of people think because of their ‘Like’ button that they are operating different types of social media sites and we will find that they are operating like another social media site. There are many, many viable social media sites and Facebook is not one of them.”
On Twitter being more specialized: “The Twitter model is actually similar to what Facebook is. Twitter is exclusively user driven. It is not an advertising driven or monetized model. Facebook started off advertising and quickly realized that there was a different type of user. People were not just looking for food posts and how much it cost to run your account. They needed a different type of service. Twitter started monetizing with promoted tweets but it is an ad driven model.”
On Curating the News: “The first lesson is you have to understand that you can’t just aggregate any news. What you have to do is do a qualitative analysis of the news in the media and bring that in alongside the news that you have in your own internal system so you can know what you are getting. All the social networks are consumer facing. They have to have a search engine system as a star. All the products that Facebook has from News Feed to Instagram are consumer facing. The general headline is that if you are a publisher, if you are a publisher that still wants people to come to your site it would be more beneficial to have a focus and not a selling system like Twitter, Facebook or Amazon. All these places have advertising driven businesses so if you are creating content for the social media that you want people to get, you need to think about it strategically.”
On Do You Have to have an Account?: “The number one thing is to make sure that you know you have an account. That is key to keeping up on Facebook. What it does is check for friend requests that you have not invited to your friends list, if you have an event, which Facebook is great at doing this. It also checks for iMessage notifications or whatever. If it has done that and you don’t have an account, then it tells you to verify your phone number, but remember the key thing is to make sure that you have an account and there is no blocking you from it because it automatically deactivates your account. If you have a very active Twitter feed, you may not have to have an account. There is more transparency. If you get blocked, you can report a blocking. If there is any problems or maybe a violation of any sort you can use your feedback system and see when the problem is happening and give a message that you have been blocked.”