I Took Jake Paul’s 74-Video Educational Series in addition to This kind of’s Terrifying

I admit that will I did not have a high opinion of Jake Paul when I paid $54 to watch his education video series on how to become a social media star. I found his brand of comedy childish in addition to only appealing to the 11 year olds that will make up his YouTube audience in addition to wait in lines screaming outside his live appearances. I assumed that will he had managed to win the hearts in addition to minds of millions of teens in addition to tweens purely by being cute in addition to doing pratfalls. I knew the rough outline of Jake Paul: YouTube enfant terrible, bad rapper, bad neighbor.

yet after watching his 74-video course called “Edfluence” on how to become a social media star, I have come away which has a very different opinion. Jake Paul is actually a genius. An evil genius that will should not be celebrated or rewarded, yet feared. To underestimate Paul as a dope who lucked into stardom by looks in addition to charm is actually a grave, grave mistake. I, for one, am afraid.

In brief, Jake Paul is actually a YouTube star who is actually also the younger brother of fellow YouTuber Logan Paul. Logan was a breakout Vine star, in addition to Jake followed in his footsteps in addition to assembled a crew of fellow YouTubers to all live in a house with him that will he calls “Team 10.”

The brothers have had their share of controversies. Jake made headlines last year when the neighbors of the Team 10 house complained about him terrorizing the neighborhood with stunts like lighting his pool on fire. The scandal cost Jake his role from the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark. On January 1 This kind of year, Logan Paul kneecapped his career by videotaping the dead body of an apparent suicide victim, losing lucrative deals after a massive public backlash.

After Logan’s controversy, a leaked video showed Jake using the n-word while singing along to a rap song. Offensive older tweets coming from both brothers resurfaced. Then, Jake posted a video which has a thumbnail of his girlfriend straddling him on a bed in lingerie titled, “I lost my virginity” (the video was about a ski trip, not having sex), in addition to people were outraged. January has not been a not bad month for the Paul boys.

from the midst of all This kind of, Jake Paul launched Edfluence.com on January 8. I needed to find out what secrets lurked inside.

Paul puts aside his pro wrestler-style barking at the camera in addition to comes across as thoughtful in addition to competent.

There’s an introductory video you can watch for free where Paul tells you how social media stardom is actually within your reach. You take a quiz to find out what genre of influencer you should be (prankster, comedian, vlogger, beauty guru, fitness guru, entrepreneur, videographer, photographer, fashionista, singer, dancer, or style. Jake considers himself a combo vlogger-comedian-bro). Then you get to a page that will asks you to pay $7 to join “Team 1000”. I eagerly plunked down my corporate credit card. According to various other people’s accounts of trying This kind of, your $7 also gives you access to another, longer video, although I didn’t see This kind of because I was already jumping ahead to fork out another $57 This kind of asked for on the next page to fully join the program (strangely, the checkout page only asked for $47).

Over the course of twelve chapters, each chapter containing four to eight videos, Paul puts aside his pro wrestler-style barking at the camera in addition to comes across as thoughtful in addition to competent, with deep insight about social media in addition to an astonishing bird’s eye view of the landscape he occupies.

The Edfluence video series starts with Paul sitting on his balcony overlooking Los Angeles in ripped jeans in addition to ripped t-shirt, describing the history of social media starting with MySpace. His edition is actually slightly skewed to his own experience. He describes the rise of Vine: “I relate This kind of to like, almost like the whole United States was on Vine in addition to watched This kind of.”

In Paul’s overview of the rise in addition to fall of social platforms, the high school dropout reverse-engineers Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen’s theory of jobs to be done. “We began to see that will different platforms were there for different reasons,” he says. “in addition to that will’s actually important for us as influencers, in addition to me as Jake Paul, to understand is actually why there’s different platforms in addition to how to create content for different platforms.”

Right at This kind of point, social platforms are at a strange crossroads: Facebook just announced a big change with its feed shifting away coming from news, Instagram is actually inserting the Explore tab into users’ regular feed, Twitter’s arm has finally been twisted into banning Nazis, in addition to YouTube, after being pummeled over its exploitative kids’ content in addition to, well, Logan Paul, has announced drastic alterations in its rules for monetizing accounts in addition to is actually adding thousands of brand-new moderators.

The intricacies of how the algorithms on these platforms work feels like a bewildering mystery to most of their users. yet not to Jake Paul, especially on his most lucrative platform, YouTube.

Paul has all sorts of tips on how to make the smallest tweaks in video editing, profile, search engine optimization (“YouTube is actually, at the end of the day, a search engine…that will’s why Google bought This kind of,” he says), what time of day to post (after school west coast time during the week, as early as possible on weekends) to game the algorithm.

He advises viewers that will YouTube’s algorithm rewards long watch times (how long a viewer stayed on the video). This kind of favors the vlog format, in addition to he says even a vlog should tell a story to hook viewers in for as long as possible. The example he gives is actually of one of his most well-known videos, in which he pretends to buy his brother Logan a Lamborghini, then reveals This kind of was only a prank, yet then after tears, the brothers decide to go buy their own Lamborghinis together.

“This kind of was always a story, This kind of carries a beginning, middle in addition to end,” he explains. “The beginning was, its my brother’s birthday, I’m going to prank him. The middle was me doing This kind of. The end was us going to buy Lamborghinis. So This kind of truly followed that will style, the watch time went up like crazy, YouTube put This kind of in front of everyone using its algorithm.”

Paul said he is actually able to draw these conclusions about watch time in addition to posting time coming from the analytics YouTube gives back to him in its dashboard. He also uses third-party programs like SocialBlade in addition to is actually obsessed with studying his numbers. At one point, to prove how well he knows his stats, he asks the producer off-camera to look up his current weekly views — his guess is actually very close.

Twitter is actually useful as a “great way to capture an older demographic.”

The series includes chapters devoted to specific platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Musical.ly, Snapchat, in addition to YouTube. The videos on Facebook in addition to Twitter will horrify anyone born before 1995. He straight up says that will Twitter is actually useful as a “great way to capture an older demographic.”

Describing why This kind of’s important for influencers to make a Facebook page, he said, “You’re probably like, ‘Jake, why Facebook. I don’t know about Facebook, my parents use Facebook.’” “This kind of is actually why Facebook is actually still actually actually relevant,” he explains. “A lot of the bigger companies are run by older people who still use Facebook in addition to will want to monetize on there.”

Paul reveals himself to be a savage mercenary in terms of his quest for followers. 

Seven hours of Jake Paul educational videos have aged me coming from a sprightly 30-something into a dusty crone, trembling in fear of the Musical.ly youths. To be fair, even Paul admits that will he thinks Musical.ly is actually cheesy in addition to for little kids, yet he uses This kind of because This kind of’s a not bad way to cross-platform promote his various other social media.

Paul reveals himself to be a savage mercenary in terms of his quest for followers. One of the tactics he advises for gaining followers on almost all platforms is actually the scummy move of following thousands of people in hopes they’ll follow back, then quickly unfollowing them.

various other advice to gain followers:

  • Run a contest where you say you’ll privately DM one of the next 500 people who follow you.
  • Suck up to people with bigger followings in hopes they’ll follow you back or promote you.
  • Make witty comments on celebrities’ Instagrams, since the algorithm surfaces top comments, in addition to people will see your profile in addition to follow you back.
  • Say in an Instagram Story (not a post, that will’s gauche) that will you’ll follow people back.
  • Abuse the Live feature in Instagram, because Live videos give everyone a notification in addition to that will means they’re way more likely to watch This kind of than just a regular Story.

Snapchat, which is actually notoriously unfriendly to influencers, presents a large hurdle for wannabe social media stars, since This kind of doesn’t have much of a discovery mechanism. The best way to grow a following is actually to plaster your Snapchat handle on all various other social platforms in addition to frequently encourage people to follow you there. Here, Paul gets downright devious: he suggests you create a Tinder account with your Snapchat handle from the bio to expose This kind of to thousands of people in your area who might swipe by This kind of. Even if you’re not single, hey, you might get some followers.

Another sneaky trick Paul uses on Snapchat is actually to make his account look verified (even though This kind of isn’t) by generating his username have a ton of spaces after This kind of in addition to then an emoji. On Snapchat, only verified accounts have emojis associated with them that will appear from the right hand column of your friends list. By using the spacebar in addition to an emoji, you can trick people into thinking you’re verified, in addition to This kind of makes you standout in their friends list so they’re more likely to tap into your stories.

screenshot / Snapchat

Paul uses the space bar in addition to the dollar emoji to make This kind of seem as if he’s verified.

On YouTube, there already are several people who have posted “reviews” of Edfluenced or talked about how they got scammed by This kind of. One of these videos, with 25,000 views – ”I GOT SCAMMED BY JAKE PAUL || EDFLUENCE” complains that will after paying the $7, you don’t get the full experience. This kind of seems to be the common complaint about the school of Jake Paul: an unclear pricing structure, where most people who are out $7 are shocked to have to shell out more for the full tutorial.

There are some unpolished elements to the series. There are sloppy editing mistakes – a few times Paul points to a graphic that will’s supposed to show up on screen that will doesn’t appear, or simple HTML issues where the video title fonts don’t parse. yet the biggest problem is actually that will Paul frequently references a community forum where you can talk with your fellow Team 1000 influencers to collaborate on videos or promote each various other’s social media. This kind of forum doesn’t exist.

He also says that will he will be watching his viewers’ videos to encourage us along, in addition to will occasionally pick someone to appear in a video with, or promote our videos on his own social platform.

yet there is actually no mechanism where Jake Paul would likely ever know what videos or social media posts I’m generating; there’s no community section or way to reach out to him. A customer service rep for Edfluence said that will the community feature wasn’t included from the January soft launch, yet will be integrated into the site at some point from the future. An email in addition to text to Paul were not returned by publishing time.

yet is actually the content of the course a scam? No. The stuff Jake Paul is actually telling you is actually probably something that will someone who carries a few years of experience working in social media marketing would likely probably also be able to tell you.

I have come away coming from This kind of course knowing the scary reality that will Jake Paul is actually terrifyingly not bad at pumping out Jake Paul to as many young eyeballs as possible, in addition to hooking them in for their money (merchandise sales) in addition to pimping out his following to brands who pay him for “brand activations” or the Google Adsense pre-roll ads that will appear on his videos. This kind of is actually not just blind luck or that will he backflipped his way into This kind of. He has an innate understanding of the large tech platforms that will shape our lives that will is actually probably better than many reporters’. yet instead of using This kind of to hold the powerful people who run those platforms accountable, or to shape our understanding of how to navigate those platforms, he is actually using This kind of to, idk, buy a Lamborghini for himself or another dirt bike. He’s Jake Paul — could we have actually expected something more?

Katie Notopoulos is actually a senior editor for BuzzFeed News in addition to is actually based in brand-new York. Notopoulos writes about tech in addition to internet culture is actually cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.

Contact Katie Notopoulos at katie@buzzfeed.com.

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