Ye vs Social Media

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“You mind if I share this with the world?” – “Exposure Is Key”

Kanye West is no stranger to stirring up conversation on social media. Kanye left Twitter in May 2017 and rejoined in April 2018. After rejoining, he added more than 500,000 followers in just four days and tweeted about everything “dragon energy” to the latest Yeezy’s.

Recently, Kanye West brought up a concern he has about social media. “There are people committing suicide due to not getting enough likes”.

Would social media be safer if there were no engagement metrics? This is not a new concept. In 2013 Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather launched an app called SHOTS that takes the insecurity of posting a picture or video off the table. Everyone is on an equal playing field and likes don’t matter.

“Like Instagram, Shots lets you share a photo or video with your friends. Also like Instagram, you can like other people’s posts and follow your favorite celebrities. But unlike Instagram, you can’t comment on others’ posts and you can’t see how many followers people have. Both of these features — or lack thereof — reinforce the Shahidi brothers’ vision for a bully-free zone. Think of it this way: The haters can’t say mean things about your photo and they can’t see how many more followers they have than you. It’s a refreshingly non-competitive take on social media. (BUSTLE: What Is Shots, The App That Shares Photos with An Actually Positive Message?)

“I think in order for it to succeed, it would have to offer something new that you can’t find on any other platform. What we had worked well and people responded to it and I’m curious to see how Kanye would take this concept to another level,” says Shots Cofounder and Chief Creative Officer  Sam Shahidi.

Kanye’s recent re-emergence on Instagram brings us back to the question if social media platforms should share metrics publicly. He argues that users should have the option to publicly share their follower counts and levels of engagement. Kanye followed up his statement by sharing screenshots of text conversations with some of the biggest social media platform CEO’s and founders, such as Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Snapchat’s Ben Schwerin.

After questioning social media executives and his followers on the legitimizing qualities and gratification of a “like”, Kanye posted images of his upcoming album, titled “Yandhi” on OOH assets. This idea of moving from URL to IRL is a deliberate statement. OOH is a way to “post” your story confidently, devoid from instant social metrics.

There is no like or comment count on the bottom of a billboard, but the “world” still sees it. OOH is known for big brands advertising their products, startups breaking through, movie promotions, new music, and more. What if digital OOH could be used for taking a step back from the instant gratification of social media and posting your content, on your time, with confidence and no judgement? With digital OOH this is completely possible.

Consider Kanye’s recent dialogue about social media with the concept of OOH confidence previously explained. What if instead of posting his thoughts about social media on social media, he did it on a bigger canvas or screen with more impact? Why not take the online, offline with meaningful content related to issues you care about posted on the largest canvases across the nation? Pictures of mock up billboards aren’t going to make a real impactful change.

So, Kanye, what are we going to do with all these digital billboards and your voice?

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