Trends, news, and analysis: catch up on the week's biggest headlines with the Julius Works Blog's weekly roundup, your cheatsheet for staying in the know with influencer marketing.

News and Analysis:

42 percent of U.S. Facebook users "have taken a break from the site"

According to a Pew Research study, around 74 percent of American Facebook users have either adjusted their privacy settings, taken week-long or more breaks, or deleted the app entirely; 42 precent have taken a break from the site for several weeks or more. In a similar study, Pew found that over half of U.S. users did not understand how their newsfeed works or what privacy settings entail. This accounts for well over 100 million users, who either have taken a break or do not understand their privacy on the site.

The Julius View

Facebook has been fighting the PR game tooth and nail since the revelations of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a topic we've discussed frequently here. The fallout is duly cumulative, given that Facebook can only control so much of the narrative surrounding privacy and data collection. Considering the sheer amount of money involved in the sale of dubiously anonymized data, it is no wonder that the average social media user is skeptical of Facebook's services, despite their promises and pleas. But what does that mean for influencers?

If only a small portion of users really feel like they control what is on their newsfeed, amid the users skeptical of the business and leaving the platform behind, the news does not bode well for influencers. Though Facebook is by no means the most popular platform for influencer marketing, its erosion of popularity and ubiquity leaves the door open for others to take its place. Could an expansion of messaging and networking services on other platforms fill the void — and keep influencers in the green?

Brands are doubling their ad buys for podcasts in 2019

As we referenced in a previous post, Podcasts are more than just a fad form of entertainment, they're here to stay. According to a report by CNBC, "PwC and the IAB [predict] that U.S. ad spend will go up from an estimated $314 million in 2017 to $659 million in 2020, with "baked-in" ads (that are read by the presenter) the most popular type." The convenience and resurgent popularity of the humble podcast fills the void left by traditional radio programming, offering a greater variety of content for a wide breadth of audiences.

The Julius View

While the ads don't have to directly align with the content of the podcast, i.e. Joe Rogan won't always be pitching CBD oil, using the content of the podcast — or even the hosts — to attract a specific audience is the next evolution in podcast plugs. Similarly, the uptick in influencers using podcasts as a new form of content bodes well for the sector, and only serves to reinforce the point. User immersion and coalescence around a particular topic or genre makes podcasts an ideal vehicle for digital advertisement going forward. It is not a stretch to suggest that podcast hosts can and will be influencers by virtue of their popularity.

Twitter proffers from a sleek new redesign

Much like Facebook, Twitter has been enduring an identity crisis in light of scandal and criticism. What better way to cope with struggling stocks and a faltering brand image than a sleek new look. Among the various design upgrades comes a re-upped direct messaging function, which pops out into a new window rather than a pop up overlay.

The Julius View

Just as we referenced before, should Facebook continue to decline, another platform will step up to take on the mantle of connectivity. Though Instagram is building out a robust set of features, its primary function is still photo sharing. Twitter, since its inception, has emphasized tweets over connection and messaging. Facebook has worn the crown for so long primarily because of its well built messaging function and its stand-alone app. Should Twitter (which has a more 'open' network than Facebook if you consider the nature of the platform) put more stock into its ability to connect beyond 140 characters, it could very well lap up some of the fleeing users from Facebook. And naturally, that bodes well for advertisers.

More interesting reads:

"Models Need Not Apply: Macy's Casts Broad Range of Women" Via AdAge

‘People connect with people’: How Complex and others use talent to build franchises via Digiday

Julius in the News

Not one, but two Influence Live panels are happening this week! Karin Swanson hosts in Los Angeles while Anton Capria hosts in New York. Keep your eyes peeled for live videos and photography — you don't want to miss this insight.

That's all for this week, thanks for reading. Be sure to to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for more influencer marketing news, analysis, and interesting content.