Let’s talk about ‘the algorithm’

Photo Credit: SloanReview.MIT

*Note – I’m touching on this subject because I’m finding there are still a lot of people on the web who really don’t know about this. If you’re aware of ‘the algorithm’ and the information contained in this post, please feel free to ignore.

Have you ever been searching Instagram and thought to yourself ‘Why the hell are you suggesting these photos to me, Instagram?’Likewise with Twitter, have you ever been on Twitter and wondered why some people’s Tweets are always at the top of your feed whilst others never seem to show up at all? This is ‘the algorithm’ at work.

Gone are the days of things showing up chronologically on your time line. These are the days when the algorithm picks ‘exactly what you want to see’. I say that in quotation marks because for weeks now my feed has been filled with babies and baby announcements, so clearly the algorithm isn’t functioning at proper capacity.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and even WordPress all use some form of an algorithm for showing you content. Cracking the algorithm is, in itself, a form of social media marketing.

So, how does it work? I suspect only employees on the inside know for the certain the full extent to the algorithm’s functions. That being said, there is one rule of function that seems to work.

  1. Engagement is the most important thing you can garner with your content.

In the case of all social media platforms, engagement is likes and comments. In the case of YouTube, engagement also includes people clicking the ‘Thumbs Down’ button to dislike, and it also includes watch time.

So, let’s break down how this works on each site.


TWITTER

Twitter is going to suggest to you the Tweets from people on your feed with the most comments and likes. So this is why, if you follow celebrities (in addition to your friends and family), the celebrities tweets are always going to appear near the top of your feed. This is also true for Follow Trains, comment threads or anything that garners a large amount of comments in a short period of time.

Twitter is also going to suggest to you the Tweets of the individuals who’s Tweets you’ve liked and commented on in recent past. So if you’re ever thinking that ‘I haven’t seen a tweet from this person in a long time’, it’s probably because you haven’t liked or commented on any of their Tweets.


INSTAGRAM

Even though in recent months they’ve moved away from publicly showing how many likes a photo has, likes are still a driving force to what photos are suggested to you on Instagram. This is how, if you search Instagram, you can always seem to find one of the Kardashian sisters, no matter how little attention you pay to them or care about them. With like… 100 million subscribers each on the platform, the moment they post a photo they get A TON of likes, and those likes are what push them to the top of suggested posts.

When a celebrity or influencer says “Comment below with”, that is them trying to garner more comments so that the algorithm suggest their content to more people. Trust me when I say this, they don’t give a damn about your comment. When someone you watch on YouTube says ‘Follow me on Instagram and tell me you came from YouTube’ that’s a tactic to garner more engagement and get their photos suggested to more people through the Instagram algorithm.

When a brand does a giveaway on their Instagram and the requirement of the giveaway is to ‘Tag a friend below’, this is a two-fold promotion for them. 1) You’re tagging your friend so that your friend can see their Instagram, which is promotion and 2) You’re commenting on their Instagram page, which counts as engagement. More engagement means they rank higher on the algorithm of suggested posts. Do you have a chance to win? Sure. One in… however many people tag a friend and like the post. This is why so many brands do giveaways. The promotion they’re getting just from you tagging their friends is worth the… probably 20 dollar value of whatever they’re giving away.


YOUTUBE

First, I will say that likes and dislikes count as engagement on YouTube. So, whether you hit the like button or you hit the dislike button you’re working in the favour of said person creating the YouTube video. If you really don’t like it, you’re doing much better if you just click away from the video.

Secondly, watch time plays a factor in engagement. YouTube tracks average watch time for videos. So, if a person makes a ten minute video and most people click off after 2-3 minutes, they’re not going to get recommended as a suggested video in Youtube’s algorithm. This is why so many people will say ‘Stay tuned to the end to find out —–‘ or ‘Stay tuned to the end for the giveaway’ or ‘Stay tuned to the end to hear a secret’. If you watch through to the end, that works in their favour with ad revenue, with Youtube’s algorithm and with making their channel look as though content is valuable and worthy of YouTube investing in.

When a Youtuber says ‘Comment Below with’… well with pretty much anything… that is their attempt to drive up engagement. ‘Comment below with your favourite day of the week!’ or ‘Comment below and tell me what colour your eyes are!’ That YouTuber really doesn’t give a flying fuck what colour your eyes are, they just want their video to look more legit to the YouTube algorithm. The more comments they get, the more legit they look, the more likely they are to get suggested as a ‘video to watch’.


FACEBOOK

Facebook, much like Instagram (because Facebook owns Instagram) will suggest to you the comments, status updates, photos, memories, etc… from the people who have the most likes and comments. So, you’ll notice that if you have a friend who is a bit of a Facebook whore, for lack of better terminology, their posts are always going to seem to be at the top of your feed… whereas your quiet friends who don’t have a ton of Facebook friends will always seem to appear much lower down on your feed.

If you are the quiet friend trying to get the word out about your blog, your writing or anything of the sort, the way to go about it is to ask for likes, ask for comments and to ask for people to share your content. The more engagement that you get, even if you need to ‘pimp your content out’ (for lack of better terminology), the better off you are.

If you’re using Facebook to spread word about your blog, your writing, your music or your artwork, I strongly recommend joining groups and finding a community of people who will help to share your content with Facebook. The more it’s seen, the more Facebook is going to recommend it.


WORDPRESS

WordPress, working with transparency (which I love) actually tells you just how their algorithms work. I talk a lot about them on my page, but mostly in the comments section of my posts, so I don’t know how many people are truly aware of how it works.

If you’d like the source of any of the following information –> Click Here (If you’re looking to work the WordPress algorithm in your favour, I highly recommend clicking and reading the entire page)

The algorithms are often being improved, and what content we show depends on a complex combination of factors. Here are examples of the types of information we may use to make our recommendations:

  • The title, content, tags, and categories of posts.
  • Other text from the site, such as usernames and logins; site names and the host name (support.wordpress.com).
  • Total number of likes and comments.
  • Who has liked and commented on a post.
  • Total number of followers.
  • Who has followed a site.
  • How recently a post was published.
  • How often or recently a site has posted.
  • The content of what you have liked and commented on.
  • Whether posts have links, images, or videos.
  • How often a site has been rejected from being recommended in the Reader.

Content we filter out from our algorithms:

  • Sites we think may be spam.
  • Sites that have mature content.
  • Sites with potentially objectionable content.
  • Content that is not in your language.

The moral of the story? Asking for likes, comments and engagement helps. It helps in big ways. If you can find another way of getting people talking that doesn’t require your asking them something, then you’ve struck gold. If someone is asking you to ‘Comment below what colour your eyes are’ don’t do it. If a brand says ‘Tag a friend and you’re entered to win’, unless you really, really love the brand, only give that free promotion to a brand that you really love. And, if you want to truly make an impact with the content you’re pumping out, surround yourself with an incredible online community who’ll stand behind you and your work so that you can share your world with the web and they will help and support you every step of the way.

Also, if the Kardashian’s keep getting recommended to you in spite of your not giving a flying fuck, you’re not crazy. They’re cheating the system. It’s estimated as much as 60 percent of Kim Kardashian’s online following is bots. Bots that help her stay at the top of page and relevant on just about every website. She’s got the money, so I wouldn’t have a hard time believing that she bought all those bots.

Also, there’s a rumour going around (I’ve yet to see in action) that you can now buy bots to artifically ‘growth hack’ your accounts whilst you’re least active on social media. I don’t know if this is true or not, I’ve not seen it in action. But… I did see a relatively average Youtuber shoot from 52,000 subscribers to 750,000 subscribers in about four days earlier this month. So, I don’t have a hard time believing it… especially since his engagement is still the same as it was when he had 52,000 subscribers.

An Influencer reminding me why I don’t like Influencers

This whole industry of Influencers that has popped up in the past 10 years (mostly the last five), it really grinds my gears. I’ve mentioned it a few times on my blog before (here and here and I guess here too).

People all over the world are using their good looks and charm to influence others into taking advantage of people, doing stupid things, or becoming a slave to a corporate entities who give little to no value for their actual products being promoted. I’m talking about you EVERY DETOX TEA ON THE MARKET and anyone who promotes them.

I hate the term Influencer because I’m of the belief that someone who actually uses their influence for good would never want to claim the title of ‘Influencer’. A true Influencer is not a clout chaser, they don’t need the title for validation. This internet breed of Influencer’s we’ve created ourselves (yes, we created them… gave them platforms and are the reason they’re sitting in multi-million dollar mansions wearing 50,000 dollar fur coats) are money hungry, vain and vapid.

As you can tell, I’m not a fan of the industry.

So, I was really unimpressed when I saw a video today of Jamie Zhu, an Australian ‘Influencer’ who posted a video to YouTube with the title ‘How to fly business class for FREE!’

Free, you say? I’d love to travel the world, though I’d never assume that I’d get business class tickets for free. Tell me more, Jamie Zhu. How exactly does this work?

The entire video breeds ‘I’m a smug asshole’ vibes throughout. Jamie goes to the airport Pharmacy, buys a ‘moon boot’ for ankle/foot injuries and wears it onto the plane to then put on a show about how his ankle boot doesn’t fit in the seat and exclaim that he needs a new seat because he has a broken ankle and can’t take the boot off.

Not only does he get upgraded to a first class seat, but he takes the fucking boot off his foot the moment he does. He continues on the video playing up the smug asshole persona throughout and, at the end of the video, walks off the plane without the moon boot as though nothing ever happened.

I’ve never heard of this dude before today, but apparently he’s quite popular in some circles. He has more than 700,000 YouTube subscribers, and this video has been watched more than 150,000 times. I have so many thoughts. Sooooooooooooooo many thoughts.

  1. I don’t buy it. I don’t think this is real. I think he bought and upgrade his seat and put on a show for the clout that he could get on YouTube with this video.
  2. Of the 150,000 people who’ve seen this video, how many of them do you think are naive enough to try this? Using your YouTube channel and influence to promote fraudulent behaviour is not just reprehensible it should be punishable. If nothing else, he should be blocked from flying with this airline anymore.
  3. If this video is real, I really hope someone from this airline has seen it and is considering (if they haven’t already) banning him from being able to fly with them.
  4. Using a disability, even a temporary one at that, is not something that people do to get free fucking stuff. Anyone who has a disability, temporary or permanent can attest. What was one here is insulting.
  5. This also poses a risk of really harming people who have legitimate disabilities because people will watch videos like this and stop believing them.
  6. Using a platform of 700,000 plus people to promote fraudulent behaviour and showcase what a smug asshole you are is a large part of the reason why Influencer culture is so toxic and why your industry is KILLING businesses small and large around the world.
  7. The fact that YouTube hasn’t demonetized this video is part of the reason why I have such issues with YouTube. This idiot is continuing to make ad revenue from people watching this video. Dear Youtube, SHUT THIS SHIT DOWN.

Honestly, I could rant on and on about this. And I probably shouldn’t have even linked his video in this post to start with, because he’s not worth the video getting more views. I get that.

If you do happen to see the video thanks to this post, please don’t be mean. I think more could be done if perhaps you could click to report it? Maybe if enough people report it to YouTube, they might demonetize it? Likely not, but a girl can dream. And, if you’re feeling really motivated, maybe you can share his video to Cathay Pacific. They have various Social Media Platforms which you can reach out to, and an email address on their website here. (Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the Icons) If it is a legitimate video in which he scammed them for a first class seat, then they should see it. And, if enough people send it to them, perhaps it might make it to the right person who needs to watch it.

Thanks for reading my rant.

If WordPress was YouTube

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog!

If you’re returning to my blog, welcome back! If you’re new here, my name is Vee and I post daily content related to life, family, frustrations and mental health. I’d love it if you joined the family by hitting the ‘Follow’ button on the bottom right corner of the page.

Bottom right… right down there. (Just imagine me pointing)

Today my post is going to be all about the most requested topic I’ve ever had. And, when I say most requested, I mean I get messages and emails, DMs and comments ALL THE FREAKING TIME that you guys want to hear me talk about this subject. (So, even though literally no one requested it I’m now going to talk about this topic!)

Oh, before I get started, don’t forget to hit the bell to get notifications every time that I make a post because… YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO MISS IT!

Now! On with today’s subject matter of discussion.

What’s in my purse!

Wait, do you guys want me to do a post about all of my designer purses? I don’t want it to look like I’m bragging or anything, because I’m totally not, I just have $20,000 worth of purses in my closet that I love so very much and I use them every day!

In my purse, the ‘Fossil Sydney Satchel’ that you can buy here (so not sponsored by the way, I just really love this purse), I keep:

  • My wallet, also by Fossil. And again, this is so not sponsored, I just really love Fossil!
  • Sunnies! I love sunnies and I need to wear them everywhere I go… even though it’s winter in Canada and the sun rarely shines around here. Spring is coming soon and my sunnies, the gold aviator Ray Bans will come in handy if and when the nice weather ever comes!
  • Lip Balm. Girl! It’s winter, in Canada. If you live here, you know… you need lip balm wherever you go. The cold, dry weather leads to your lips always being chapped. ALWAYS. (Claps in seriousness) My lip balm is the Carmex Balm, because it’s my favourite.
  • Travel Sized Perfume. Have you ever walked past a person and thought ‘Damn, they smell really good’? That’s how I found this perfume. I walked past someone in Metrotown and they smelled so good that I did a full 180, stopped them in their tracks and made them tell me what perfume they were wearing. About a half hour later, I bought the perfume. And, since you’re obviously wondering, it’s ‘Pinrose – Secret Genius’ and it smells like what I would describe as summertime sophistication!
  • Tissues, because it’s winter in Canada so tissues are a necessity.
  • Headphones with a mic. Yes, I have a Samsung phone and I still use my apple headphones. It’s because they have a MIC! Why would I go and buy a new headset if I had a perfectly good pair from my last cell phone? This doesn’t change my thoughts on Samsung though – still prefer it 100-1 over IPhone. I’m a convert.
  • Hair Elastic… because your girl has long hair. Long, long, heavy hair.

Not Pictured:

  • My phone! Samsung Galaxy A70 – I obviously couldn’t take a picture with my phone in it because my phone was taking the picture! Samsung girl for life! I won’t ever go back to an IPhone now that I see how much better Samsung is. (Who am I kidding, I shouldn’t say never. But still, I love Samsung)

What do you keep in your purse? Leave a comment down below and tell me what you keep in your purse, wallet or bag! I love hearing and seeing what people carry. I’m so nosy. So yeah, leave me a comment please!

I love my purse so so soooooooooo much. I love love love it! And, as I stated before, nothing in this post was sponsored, I just wanted to share it with you guys because you’re always asking about my purse and what’s in it and this is my current go-to favourites! Also, I love you guys! So, um… yeah, nothing is sponsored!

If you liked this post please like, subscribe, hit the follow button below and become my best friend!

Also, follow me on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Google Plus, and in life!

I love you so much and I’ll talk to you guys very very soon!


Everything in this post is supposed to be tongue’n’cheek style humour of my impression of YouTube. After writing this, I’m so glad that I don’t write the same way that I speak. I bet people would get annoyed with me really easily. lol

Why I dislike ‘Influencers’.

This is a subject that I’m really passionate about. I dislike the term ‘Influencer’. I dislike promoting ‘Influencers’, but I will talk about a couple in this post, or examples sake. I just don’t think they deserve the publicity they get. I dislike the fact that they claim their fame willingly and are happy to reap the rewards of said fame, but hold very little accountability when it comes to the things they do.

  1. Influence is a powerful thing and something that should never be taken for granted, yet I find that so many influencers really don’t give a damn about that fact. They’re just out for money. And damn, if they have a large enough following it doesn’t even seem like they have to work for that money. It just seems to get handed to them. Vegans promoting meat, minimalists promoting stockpiling, devout Christians exclaiming their followers should save themselves for marriage whilst sitting there unmarried and pregnant. It’s a weird, weird world, the internet.
  2. They seem very entitled. “I don’t owe you guys anything” is a statement that really annoys me when I’m watching Youtube videos. You choose to put yourself online. You choose to sell yourself to the likes of coffee creamers and adult diapers for a dollar and then when someone asks you questions the answer is ‘I don’t owe you guys anything’? If you don’t want to owe anyone a response, don’t make the statement to start with.
  3. They seem so disingenuous. There is one particular ‘Influencer’ who I watched peddle a product on their Instagram in four separate photos talking about how amazing it was and how it blew competitors out of the water. Two months later, I saw them make a Youtube video in which they proclaimed they had never actually tried that product. Girl was getting so many sponsored Instagram posts that she couldn’t even remember what she was sponsored for long enough to not put her foot in her mouth. And, when she was called out on it, for her Instagram photos, she deleted the Instagram photos and then began blocking those users calling her out. She presently has 3.7 million subscibers on Youtube and when anyone calls out her ‘slip-ups’, she blocks them. And honestly, she’s not a one off. It happens all the time. On Youtube channels big and small.
  4. Influencers promote mass consumption/over consumption. Honestly, the makeup, the clothing, the ‘HAULS’ the excess of everything that they need to have and brag about having… it’s not necessary. None of it is necessary. But, if you put a smile on your face and slap a filter on it, there’s always someone (a naive soul) on this earth who will spend their money on it.
  5. None of them appear to be making original content anymore. Have you ever watched a Youtube video before and thought ‘Man, I’ve seen this 30 times already!’ Yeah, that seems to happen a lot these days. Favourites videos and fashion hauls, so on and so forth… it’s all the same no matter what Youtube channel you watch.
  6. I absolutely despise when they post ‘Hauls’ and leave the tags visibly on the products because you know they’ve only purchased the things to make a video and then they’re sending the products right back. This isn’t just with clothes, it’s with makeup and toys and home goods and luxury goods. They want to make it look like they’re spending a lot of money when in reality, you’re never going to see that item again because it’s going right back to the store it came from.
  7. “Full transparency, this video is not sponsored, I’m just going to go on and on for the next eight minutes about how much I love this one particular product for no reason.” Full transparency doesn’t mean much to me on the web. People lie. All the time. Especially in the world of Youtube, especially with ‘Influencers’ who live in countries in which there are no regulations stating they need to acknowledge when content is sponsored. If you’re ever in doubt, there’s a 95% chance their content is sponsored.
  8. I wholeheartedly believe they’re given so much stuff that they lose sight of what basic things cost because they just don’t have to buy them anymore. There’s a good chance when an ‘Influencer’ claims something is affordable, it might be… for them… because they don’t buy anything anymore. But for us regular folk, it’s definitely not affordable.
  9. So much drama. Seriously – The majority of James Charles’ audience is young teenagers and look at all the shit he’s pulled this year! Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau held a fake marriage in Las Vegas and charged people $49.99 to watch a livestream of it. Nikita Dragun paid a male model to be her boyfriend. Jaclyn Hill released defective lipsticks and started insulting people when they called her out on it. There’s a reason why Gossip Channels have skyrocketed in popularity this year… it’s because they seem to be the only channels wiling to be transparent and honest.
  10. “I make more than a doctor.” Girl, we get it. You make a lot of money. That totally natural photo of you leaning out the window of your hotel in France to promote a lipstick we’ll never see you wear ever again probably pays you a quarter of my 2018 salary. And those adult diapers you claim to make your 9 and 10 year old kids wear on roadtrips because you don’t like to stop, probably boosted your pay to half my salary last year. None of it seems natural though. None of it seems even remotely real. And I hope that I’m not alone in thinking this.

Personally, I cringe when I see #AD #SP #Sponored #Partner or any other remotely similar thing included in Youtube Videos or Instagram post. It immediately makes me think ‘well, I know what the company told them to say, so how about I go and find a video or post that was not sponsored to be able to see a real review. Because these ‘Influencers’ have cornered the market of the very real reality that is people use google for review of products before they buy.

Men, women across the world are making millions of dollars advertising products to people online that they’ve never seen nor used and they’re being less than transparent about it. And not just money they’re getting either. They’re getting free trips, tickets to Coachella, being given vehicles and so on and so forth. It’s just not real. They’re chasing this fancy, exorbitant lifestyle so hard that they’re willing to sell anything in the process.

Think it’s just adults doing this? ‘Ryan’s Toy Review’ is a multi-million dollar making seven year old that deceptively markets, through his Youtube channel (with help of his parents), a multitude of products to young school and preschool aged children in violation of rules from the FTC. It’s estimated that 90% of the content on the channel is sponsored, leaving just 10% to be organic genuine content. If adults have a hard enough time trying to determine what is and isn’t sponsored on Youtube, imagine how impossible that would be for a preschooler.

I guess the point of this rant is just to say, don’t believe everything that you read online. Odds are, if there’s money involved, there’s more to the story than what you’re being told.