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Followers Are Dead, The New Wave + A Gift for You

RIP Follower Count

Welcome back to The Signal, a weekly letter where I share stories, trends, strategies and insights to help you level up as a creator and win on the internet.

Today’s topics:

  • My New App + A Gift for You

  • Followers are Dead

  • Shock Value Intros

My New App + A Gift

I just launched a new weekend project – an iOS app called Cinelight.

(Well, it actually took more like 3 weekends 😁)

The app features over 40 LUTs from famous films, allowing you to emulate iconic looks from different films on your photos and videos.

It also comes equipped with Rec. 709 corrections for a variety of camera profiles, including Apple Log.

If you shoot Apple Log on an iPhone 15 Pro, you definitely want to try it out. It makes your footage look like it was shot on an ARRI Alexa.

My gift to you. If you want full, lifetime access to the app, including all future updates, simply reply to this email and let me know! I’ll send over a promo code.

I only have 30 codes to give out, so I’ll have to limit this to the first 30 replies only.

Followers Are Dead

The death of the follower count. I’ve been talking about it for some time, but now even the CEO of Instagram is publicly agreeing: a follower count is becoming an outdated, unimportant metric.

Follower counts are easy to game by participating in giveaway loops, using cheap algorithm hacks, or simply botting.

But because of modern algorithms, they are as irrelevant as ever.

In the 2010s, ranking algorithms became prominent, replacing a chronological feed. This meant that your content had to now outperform the content of other creators a particular user chose to follow.

In the 2020s, because of the TikTokization of the Internet, now your content has to out-perform the rest of the entire platform.

This means that today, in essence, every piece of content you put out has to re-compete against the algorithm - which values a follower increasingly less.

Even the least savvy marketers understand this now, and are beginning to price creators based on their ability to understand how to outperform the algorithm, and their recent performance history.

Now with all of that said, followers still serve as social proof – a valuable indication of whether your work is resonating and really connecting with an audience.

But this can work against you. If you have a million followers and can barely scrape together a few thousands views per videos – in my opinion, it cheapens your brand.

Shock Value Intro Trend

When we think of good content strategies, we usually don’t think of a car dealership. But Central Houston Nissan has cracked virality with shock value video continuation.

The strategy is simple, and with a little creativity – you can copy it for your own content.

Scroll the FYP on TikTok until you come across a viral video with a shock intro.

Figure out how to use it as a hook for whatever it is you’re selling. Voila.

This is a certified wave, and a new trend that I’d recommend taking advantage of before it fizzles.

Quick Hits

This section includes things I have found interesting and helpful this week.

 Joe shares the incredible viewership numbers that the NCAA women’s Final Four pulled in. Today’s game might just pull in more viewers than the men’s – which is insane. Will you be watching?

Hope you all enjoyed this week’s letter. As always, feel free to reply directly to this email to let me know what you liked or didn’t like. I’m always looking for feedback to make sure these are of immense value to you.

Have a great week y’all.

Roberto Nickson