Will AI Replace Influencers? Tanking Social Stocks, Elon Musk Buys Twitter + Thoughts on the NSwP – Ep. 37
November 9, 2022
Updated Feb 09, 2024
Welcome to Negronis with Nord. Today’s episode is about the current trends in the social media industry. Could AI and Virtual creators dominate the influencer market? Also the latest on Elon Musk taking over Twitter as CEO, Meta’s earnings, and the volatile stock market. You can submit your questions for future episodes here.
James: Good. Yep. Welcome. Negronis with Nord. Episode 37. I think we had a little break. We maybe didn't have an episode there for a week. I'm sure everyone was waiting with bated breath, sitting around, yelling, screaming, Where is Negronis with Nord, I need my insights. They're here. Don't worry,
I'm back. It has been exceptionally busy in a fun, hectic way, but I have been doing a decent amount of traveling. I'm off to LA tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM which is a hateful, terrible time to fly out, but at least I get to fly to the Sunset Tower. My new favorite place in California, which is just the footprint of that hotel. I basically will not leave that hotel other than to get into the Uber and go to a meeting and then get into an Uber and go to the airport.
Could AI replace UGC content creators?
James: Before we get into some questions and some analysis this week, I want to talk about ai. If you follow venture capital, Twitter, it all. AI is the new web3. Web3 was the new creator economy. We get these kind of trends in investment and in focus and in what the future of the internet is going to be.
And there's been a lot of focus on these image generators using ai. Now I decided to finally try one of these out. You upload 15 to 20 photos of yourself. It trains an AI model and then spits out about 50 images of you which we can have Aaron put up here ranging from pretty photorealistic normal portraits of you to things that kind of look painting to like me as Ironman and a Scottish Warlock or something.
So kind of funny, interesting, kind of scary. There's broader implications about content creation and social. I've always felt like virtual influencers and AI influencers was like ********. Beyond the few that have gained a following there's not a lot of future there, but UGC is increasingly a big focus for brands. We've been getting a lot more interest from brands around UGC, around working with UGC creators. I've been seeing more and more people in their profile say they're a UGC creator.
I got to thinking in a couple of years if these AI generators can start to spit out more photorealistic output that brands would be able to upload images of their product and then AI would create fake content using the product, be it clothes or makeup or whatever it might be. That is a potential place to watch. Ultimately, I think that AI is good at copying things that you train it, you give it a thousand images and it learns how to make images that are variations of the ones that you uploaded now. It can't yet make creative leaps and make, create something new and interesting and different. Ultimately, even if AI starts to be a bigger player in content creation and the influencer space being really creative or having a really specific point of view is going to be one way to kind of hedge against that.
But there is some concern and there's a lot of pushback right now in the artistic community. Digital artists specifically whose art has been stolen to train ai and this AI is now exporting images that look like they're art but they're not getting paid for it and they have no way to sue or anything like that. And so again, there's a world where AI could start to be trained to look like an influencer, but not exactly like that. It could then create photorealistic images that are almost identical to that influencer but aren't that influencer and they don't have to pay you. So there's a reason Everybody's afraid of ai. It is a kind of potential world-ending technology, but certainly before AI ends up killing all of us and taking over and we become slaves to it, the bigger concern is its potential to take over creative industries and really impacts some people's ability to make money.
So I would go play with one of these tools, have a go at it. One, it's just kind of fun and funny and interesting, but also gives you maybe a glimpse into the future that is a little concerning and scary and something to watch out for.
Social media headlines, earnings, & the stock market: Is this the end?
James: Speaking of the future also, there is a crazy amount of **** happening in social media right now. The last two weeks on Twitter have been truly unhinged. We first had earnings come out and we've got meta stock trading at 2015 levels, which is crazy. Trading at a hundred dollars a share, Snapchat, way down, YouTube, missing earnings, Google off the mark.
So tech stocks and social media stocks in general are getting absolutely decimated. And then you've got Elon finishing his purchase of Twitter and all of the chaos that is ensuing there and it has caused a lot of people to talk about.
Is this the end of social kind of, And they're talking about it a bit as far as like is this the end of the social era of the internet of these platforms being dominant? When you think about technology, you think about social media and that kind of being where a lot of innovation and focus and venture capital dollars are focused. Is this the end of it in some way because of how much value Facebook has? Lost a meta rather. I think that one thought leaders on Twitter need to always make up some **** to talk about. Ultimately it's a bit of an exaggeration. Meta's stock price is not tied to their cultural significance. Just two weeks ago, Instagram had its best download week ever in the history of the app. Usage is way up. Real's, viewership is up 50% in the last three months or something.
Engagement across the board is up on Metas apps. Obviously TikTok continues to do really well. We've got Be Real out there still chugging along doing well while these stocks are being hit. I think it's important if you hear any conversation like this, it's important to make sure we separate the cultural impact of these apps with their stock price. The stock market has increasingly become detached from any sort of ******* reality. The fact that again, Facebook is trading where it is, I mean Facebook still makes 150 million an hour. Let me just fact-check myself real quick. Hold on.
Facebook is still making over $13 million an hour. You have $117 billion last year. So these companies are very much alive. The stock market is in a really weird place. Twitter went private because Twitter is incapable of actually turning that into a realistic business. To give you a sense of scale as well, and not to get into any sort of conversation about tech stocks and all this ****, but I think Twitter made like 5 billion last year and Facebook made $117 billion. Elon taking Twitter private has more to do with Elon's ego and the power owning Twitter will give him. And the fact that Twitter has been an underperforming stock for the better part of a decade and less to do with any great end of social media and its relevance in society. So take what you hear on the internet with a grain of salt, that is probably good advice no matter what the subject is.
So please send in questions. We've got two in the bank that we were gonna answer this week, but then I got off on an AI tangent. We're gonna get to those next week, but continue to please send questions and we'll see you soon.