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NOTABLE! Establishing a Productocracy - PULLing rather than PUSHing

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amp0193

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An eye-opening section of Unscripted is when @MJ DeMarco speaks of the power of the Productocracy, and how when you do it right, it PULLS customers to you, rather than you having to PUSH them into buying (with heavy ads & marketing).

My last business required PUSH, my new business is generating PULL (and I don't even have product for sale yet).

Let me show you some of the differences:


Old business (Commodity, PUSH):
  • Product was a commodity. No difference between my product and competitor's product.
  • Required fancy packaging to differentiate (ate into margins)
  • Required bundling to differentiate, for only a slight price increase (ate into margins)
  • Required $15k+ ad spend a month, for only 100k/mo in sales. If I didn't advertise, they weren't buying. If I didn't advertise, I'd lose my search rank. I had no CONTROL, because a $0.50 increase in cpc would ruin everything.
  • relative value was low. The price I was selling at was 40% less than what I think the product was intrinsically worth. But, intrinsic value doesn't matter, when everyone around you is willing to sell a similar quality product for less.
  • Retailers ask me "how is your product better than X Brand?", and the only answer was to deflect away from the product and say "we're cheaper and ship faster!".
  • I struggled to authentically sell the product, and found myself half-assing the business, because I knew it deep-down that it wasn't relatively valuable.

New Business (Productocracy, PULL)
  • Product is unique to this country. There are no competitors with similar products.
  • No fancy packaging necessary. The product speaks for itself.
  • No similar products in the market, so I can charge what I want.
  • Because I can charge what I want, I can put in slightly higher quality parts and components, without having to cut into margin. I'll just charge a little more to make up for it, and then communicate the perceived value of those upgrades to the customer.
  • People who see my prototype ask me for the privilege of taking a picture of it, and then share it on Social Media... tagging my business.
  • People's eyes light up with wonder and excitement when they see my product, because it is cool, new, and exciting.
  • My friends are telling their friends about it, and I never asked them to. They never told anyone about my last business...
  • There is no competition, so any advertising I choose to do, should be dirt cheap.
  • Even with a prototype product, that won't be perfect on the first iteration, the relative value is a 10 out of 10, because there is almost nothing in the market to compare it against.
  • I don't plan to include retailers in the distribution of this product, because I think it has so much PULL, that customers will flock to me, and I won't need to sacrifice the margin to achieve growth.
  • I should be able to pre-sale my product before it's even available. Customers will want to buy early because of scarcity. (At least I think so... I'll let you know in a couple of months).
  • You can't shut me up when I'm talking about this product, because there is literally so much value to communicate. My voice was hoarse for 2 days after a local industry event a few weeks ago.


Share your experiences selling PULL vs. PUSH products. How have you established your own Productocracy?

 

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MJ DeMarco

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Thanks for posting.

Glad to see that some of the UNSCRIPTED concepts are starting to trickle out into the forum. (Yea ya'll -- the gag order on anything in the book has been removed!)
 

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I don't have my own product, but I will speak to the effectiveness of this with @amp0193 's product.

I have a friend who owns the exact product he sells. I asked them where they got it, and they said Amazon. I asked if they knew who sold it, and they had no idea.
I showed my wife the product he's bringing to market, and the first words out of her mouth were "that's so cool! I wish we could use that where we live!"

In my opinion, I don't think you can compete just on price. It gets brought up in every thread on ecommerce that someone is going to undercut you and be willing to take a smaller profit margin. The product @amp0193 is bringing to market fills a need, and is unique - he's not just selling the same trinket for $0.05 less than the next person.
The value is in innovation, service, and differentiation, and I just don't believe price should be considered a differentiation when everyone is purchasing from the same handful of overseas manufacturers.

I will be following this thread with interest - I hope some people chime in with examples in the service industries, as well as physical goods.
 

MJ DeMarco

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The product @amp0193 is bringing to market fills a need, and is unique - he's not just selling the same trinket for $0.05 less than the next person.
Relative value exposed thru the value array...

Gonna enjoy talking about new book stuffs!
 
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amp0193

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I have a friend who owns the exact product he sells. I asked them where they got it, and they said Amazon. I asked if they knew who sold it, and they had no idea.
O Rly?

In the last 6 months this product has not existed on Amazon in any form, and I've gone deep into the search results. Maybe at one time it did, but it may have been a one-off offering, or from a no name competitor that didn't last. There are very high entry barriers with this product.

I'm excited to achieve the #1 organic search rank on Amazon by doing absolutely nothing, for a change. Currently Page 1 is a bunch of irrelevant results.
 

CareCPA

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O Rly?

In the last 6 months this product has not existed on Amazon in any form, and I've gone deep into the search results. Maybe at one time it did, but it may have been a one-off offering, or from a no name competitor that didn't last. There are very high entry barriers with this product.

I'm excited to achieve the #1 organic search rank on Amazon by doing absolutely nothing, for a change. Currently Page 1 is a bunch of irrelevant results.
I think you misunderstood me. They have the product you currently sell (the business you're looking to sell), not the one you're bringing to market now.
I was attempting to speak to how quickly you get lost in the shuffle if you're just re-badging an item that anyone can sell easily. Apparently I didn't do it very eloquently...
 
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amp0193

amp0193

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I think you misunderstood me. They have the product you currently sell (the business you're looking to sell), not the one you're bringing to market now.
I was attempting to speak to how quickly you get lost in the shuffle if you're just re-badging an item that anyone can sell easily. Apparently I didn't do it very eloquently...

No that makes complete sense, sorry for misunderstanding you.

My old business was a commodity. As @CareCPA said, the customer didn't even know the brand of the product they chose to buy.

My new products don't even exist yet in the marketplace.
 

MidwestLandlord

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  • Product was a commodity. No difference between my product and competitor's product
I really hope people take this part of your comment, and Unscripted, seriously.

It will save SO MUCH frustration and lost time/money if people actually understand this.

I'll give a B&M example of how selling a commodity goes in my business:

April 2017 Gross Sales: $2,106,925

Net Income: ($53,546)

Don't sell the same product as everyone else!

There is always someone with deeper pockets that is more than willing to sell under cost to gain market share, and there is NO customer loyalty.

(I'm just lucky interest rates are low. My competitors are much more willing to sell under cost when rates are high and they can live off the float between revenue generation and paying their wholesaler.)
 

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+1 on selling commodities- selling books, you're almost completely dependent on price- literally no points of differentiation on the product itself (and not just any commodity, one that depreciates faster than your fancy new car). On Amazon, it's a race to the bottom on another level- you run pricing scripts against the market all day that will discount .01, $1, $2 on the lowest price.

The most recent innovation in textbooks has been rentals, which have taken off, but few companies have been able to figure out the pricing/profitability (many VC backed companies have crashed/burned).

Good times!
 
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It will save SO MUCH frustration and lost time/money if people actually understand this.
The trap is: selling a commodity appears to save SO MUCH time and frustration up front.

It's fun and easy to bring the product to market!


After which point, the frustration begins... and you realize you just wasted your money, and more importantly, your time.


If it's easy, it's not worth doing. Sucks, but that's the truth.
 

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The trap is: selling a commodity appears to save SO MUCH time and frustration up front.

It's fun and easy to bring the product to market!


After which point, the frustration begins... and you realize you just wasted your money, and more importantly, your time.


If it's easy, it's not worth doing. Sucks, but that's the truth.
I do some copywriting, and I'm going to say that it's actually EASIER to market a product that is vastly unique and different to the market!
If I were doing copy for a commodity, it would be damn hard to not use the same old words and sweeten shit without telling lies. Worst task ever.

People always say that viral marketing is a hack and is dead, pretty much like luck. However, a good USP is more likely to encourage a positive feedback mechanism of happy customers, astounded expectations and good reviews. I mean, just look at the UNSCRIPTED Amazon page. Just a few weeks and there are 12 positive reviews! With no ads or marketing costs! Lmao!

It's easier to ask for people to spread the word when you have helped them. It's all about reciprocating.
 

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  • No similar products in the market, so I can charge what I want.
  • Because I can charge what I want, I can put in slightly higher quality parts and components, without having to cut into margin. I'll just charge a little more to make up for it, and then communicate the perceived value of those upgrades to the customer.
  • People who see my prototype ask me for the privilege of taking a picture of it, and then share it on Social Media... tagging my business.
  • People's eyes light up with wonder and excitement when they see my product, because it is cool, new, and exciting.
  • My friends are telling their friends about it, and I never asked them to. They never told anyone about my last business...
  • There is no competition, so any advertising I choose to do, should be dirt cheap.
...
  • You can't shut me up when I'm talking about this product, because there is literally so much value to communicate. My voice was hoarse for 2 days after a local industry event a few weeks ago.
I left the bullet points in I can definitely identify with. My product is pre-sales, but from the validation I've done, I'm right there with you.

Having a niche and knowing that it's wide open is a liberating feeling. You know you can do almost anything without any real expectation and still win. Why? Because people are begging for an answer. They're begging for something better.

The best part of the wide open niche, no one is hitting AdWords with it, so I know I won't have to fight over CPC. And in my niche, if someone likes your product, or if it's even half decent, it's shared in a heart beat.

Being in a Productocracy is an exciting feeling.
 
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amp0193

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Having a niche and knowing that it's wide open is a liberating feeling. You know you can do almost anything without any real expectation and still win.
It's also scary, in the pre-sale phase.

It's like jumping off a cliff, and you're not sure whether or not there's rocks beneath the surface of the water.
 

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It's also scary, in the pre-sale phase.

It's like jumping off a cliff, and you're not sure whether or not there's rocks beneath the surface of the water.
You've done the math, you've built the wings, you're sure it will fly...

But you won't know for sure until you take that first jump.
 
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You've done the math, you've built the wings, you're sure it will fly...

But you won't know for sure until you take that first jump.
Yeah, that's a better way to put it.

Or maybe even, "you've built an incredible plane, but you aren't sure you know how to fly it."

I think the only thing that could mess this up is poor execution.
 

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I think the only thing that could mess this up is poor execution.
This is 100% how I feel.

Let's hope it's not a sense of invincibility.
 

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So does any one else want to:
Share your experiences selling PULL vs. PUSH products. How have you established your own Productocracy?
This has been a great thread so far and I feel the need to bump it!
 

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I really wish my product was launched so I could validate this, but I’ll definitely bump it when I do.
 

AndrewNC

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An eye-opening section of Unscripted is when @MJ DeMarco speaks of the power of the Productocracy, and how when you do it right, it PULLS customers to you, rather than you having to PUSH them into buying (with heavy ads & marketing).

My last business required PUSH, my new business is generating PULL (and I don't even have product for sale yet).

Let me show you some of the differences:


Old business (Commodity, PUSH):
  • Product was a commodity. No difference between my product and competitor's product.
  • Required fancy packaging to differentiate (ate into margins)
  • Required bundling to differentiate, for only a slight price increase (ate into margins)
  • Required $15k+ ad spend a month, for only 100k/mo in sales. If I didn't advertise, they weren't buying. If I didn't advertise, I'd lose my search rank. I had no CONTROL, because a $0.50 increase in cpc would ruin everything.
  • relative value was low. The price I was selling at was 40% less than what I think the product was intrinsically worth. But, intrinsic value doesn't matter, when everyone around you is willing to sell a similar quality product for less.
  • Retailers ask me "how is your product better than X Brand?", and the only answer was to deflect away from the product and say "we're cheaper and ship faster!".
  • I struggled to authentically sell the product, and found myself half-assing the business, because I knew it deep-down that it wasn't relatively valuable.

New Business (Productocracy, PULL)
  • Product is unique to this country. There are no competitors with similar products.
  • No fancy packaging necessary. The product speaks for itself.
  • No similar products in the market, so I can charge what I want.
  • Because I can charge what I want, I can put in slightly higher quality parts and components, without having to cut into margin. I'll just charge a little more to make up for it, and then communicate the perceived value of those upgrades to the customer.
  • People who see my prototype ask me for the privilege of taking a picture of it, and then share it on Social Media... tagging my business.
  • People's eyes light up with wonder and excitement when they see my product, because it is cool, new, and exciting.
  • My friends are telling their friends about it, and I never asked them to. They never told anyone about my last business...
  • There is no competition, so any advertising I choose to do, should be dirt cheap.
  • Even with a prototype product, that won't be perfect on the first iteration, the relative value is a 10 out of 10, because there is almost nothing in the market to compare it against.
  • I don't plan to include retailers in the distribution of this product, because I think it has so much PULL, that customers will flock to me, and I won't need to sacrifice the margin to achieve growth.
  • I should be able to pre-sale my product before it's even available. Customers will want to buy early because of scarcity. (At least I think so... I'll let you know in a couple of months).
  • You can't shut me up when I'm talking about this product, because there is literally so much value to communicate. My voice was hoarse for 2 days after a local industry event a few weeks ago.


Share your experiences selling PULL vs. PUSH products. How have you established your own Productocracy?
I went to a meetup group last year and helped a girl overcome her social anxiety in about 5 minutes.

Six months later, she messaged me asking if she could be a client of mine (paying $200 to me every time she closed a sale on a house - and to be on call whenever she needs help with mindset/emotional stuff - she's a real estate agent).

The other month she asked if she could pay me $200 to help her friend overcome anger issues. Then when I was there she asked me if she could pay me an extra $100 to help her brother's wife with something. After I helped them she asked me if she could renew our contract another year. She is also actively trying to get a co-worker of hers to be a client of mine.

Yeah, interesting stuff. All I did was help her at a meetup group and she just randomly messages me from time to time asking for help and asking where to send $200 to.

All I did was help her through something once
 

MJ DeMarco

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Six months later, she messaged me asking if she could be a client of mine (paying $200 to me every time she closed a sale on a house - and to be on call whenever she needs help with mindset/emotional stuff - she's a real estate agent).
Reminds me of Wendy Rhodes from Billions (Bobby Axlerod) fame.
 

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Hi @amp0193

thank you for your valuable thread!
I am curious if you could elaborate a little more on how you've found a product that is:

"...unique to this country. There are no competitors with similar products."
I am aware that there are many valuable advices on the forum on how to find a product, but mostly the strategy used is to find a product which already exists on Amazon with low competition and/or room for improvement.
What was your strategy on finding a product which is truly unique?
Does it solve a problem you had yourself and did you create a solution with this product?
And last question: is the product in a totally untapped space e.g. a new type of hobby that doesn't exist yet in the US or is it a solution to a problem in a certain space and your follow up products in order to build a brand will be mostly white label / small improvements?

Would be really grateful if you could elaborate a little more. :)
 

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Hi @amp0193
I am curious if you could elaborate a little more on how you've found a product that is:

"...unique to this country. There are no competitors with similar products."​

Spend a couple of months in another country. You'll find products that can't be found anywhere else.

Does it solve a problem you had yourself and did you create a solution with this product?
Yes
 
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I just finished an amazing book that was released this summer:

Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday

This guy gets it right. He speaks on creating something - a businesses, a book, art that are built to last and last and last.

i.e. a Productacracy.


There's no sugar-coating here. Establishing a Perennial Seller (productacracy) is hard F*cking work.

I loved his Churchill quote on the creative process, hadn't seen it before:

"To begin with," he said, your project "is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling it to the public."

My last 6 months have followed this progression to a T.


Did you go through that getting your oven mitts up on Amazon? If not, perhaps the barrier to entry was too low. Perhaps you didn't really create anything worthwhile.


This book gets you thinking about the long game. The long long game. The people are still buying your stuff when your dead game.


Anyways, you should read the book. Too many gems to list here.

But I'll leave you with this thought of the day:

"A product that doesn't have word of mouth will eventually cease to exist as far as the general public is concerned. Anything that requires advertising to survive will - on a long enough timeline - cease to be economically feasible"
 
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Raoul Duke

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I just finished an amazing book that was released this summer:

Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday

This guy gets it right. He speaks on creating something - a businesses, a book, art that are built to last and last and last.

i.e. a Productacracy.


There's no sugar-coating here. Establishing a Perennial Seller (productacracy) is hard f*cking work.

I loved his Churchill quote on the creative process, hadn't seen it before:

"To begin with," he said, your project "is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling it to the public."

My last 6 months have followed this progression to a T.


Did you go through that getting your oven mitts up on Amazon? If not, perhaps the barrier to entry was too low. Perhaps you didn't really create anything worthwhile.


This book gets you thinking about the long game. The long long game. The people are still buying your stuff when your dead game.


Anyways, you should read the book. Too many gems to list here.

But I'll leave you with this thought of the day:

"A product that doesn't have word of mouth will eventually cease to exist as far as the general public is concerned. Anything that requires advertising to survive will - on a long enough timeline - cease to be economically feasible"

Everything I Learned About Writing I Learned From Iron Maiden
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I noticed Facebook started advertising on major television markets. Guess that means the end of their productocracy. They never NEEDED to advertise before. And their stock is at a 52 week low. I only can hope it is the beginning of the end for Zuckerf*ck and company.

MARKED NOTABLE.
 

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An eye-opening section of Unscripted is when @MJ DeMarco speaks of the power of the Productocracy, and how when you do it right, it PULLS customers to you, rather than you having to PUSH them into buying (with heavy ads & marketing).

My last business required PUSH, my new business is generating PULL (and I don't even have product for sale yet).

Let me show you some of the differences:


Old business (Commodity, PUSH):
  • Product was a commodity. No difference between my product and competitor's product.
  • Required fancy packaging to differentiate (ate into margins)
  • Required bundling to differentiate, for only a slight price increase (ate into margins)
  • Required $15k+ ad spend a month, for only 100k/mo in sales. If I didn't advertise, they weren't buying. If I didn't advertise, I'd lose my search rank. I had no CONTROL, because a $0.50 increase in cpc would ruin everything.
  • relative value was low. The price I was selling at was 40% less than what I think the product was intrinsically worth. But, intrinsic value doesn't matter, when everyone around you is willing to sell a similar quality product for less.
  • Retailers ask me "how is your product better than X Brand?", and the only answer was to deflect away from the product and say "we're cheaper and ship faster!".
  • I struggled to authentically sell the product, and found myself half-assing the business, because I knew it deep-down that it wasn't relatively valuable.

New Business (Productocracy, PULL)
  • Product is unique to this country. There are no competitors with similar products.
  • No fancy packaging necessary. The product speaks for itself.
  • No similar products in the market, so I can charge what I want.
  • Because I can charge what I want, I can put in slightly higher quality parts and components, without having to cut into margin. I'll just charge a little more to make up for it, and then communicate the perceived value of those upgrades to the customer.
  • People who see my prototype ask me for the privilege of taking a picture of it, and then share it on Social Media... tagging my business.
  • People's eyes light up with wonder and excitement when they see my product, because it is cool, new, and exciting.
  • My friends are telling their friends about it, and I never asked them to. They never told anyone about my last business...
  • There is no competition, so any advertising I choose to do, should be dirt cheap.
  • Even with a prototype product, that won't be perfect on the first iteration, the relative value is a 10 out of 10, because there is almost nothing in the market to compare it against.
  • I don't plan to include retailers in the distribution of this product, because I think it has so much PULL, that customers will flock to me, and I won't need to sacrifice the margin to achieve growth.
  • I should be able to pre-sale my product before it's even available. Customers will want to buy early because of scarcity. (At least I think so... I'll let you know in a couple of months).
  • You can't shut me up when I'm talking about this product, because there is literally so much value to communicate. My voice was hoarse for 2 days after a local industry event a few weeks ago.


Share your experiences selling PULL vs. PUSH products. How have you established your own Productocracy?
I would love to see your product
 
OP
OP
amp0193

amp0193

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I noticed Facebook started advertising on major television markets. Guess that means the end of their productocracy. They never NEEDED to advertise before. And their stock is at a 52 week low. I only can hope it is the beginning of the end for Zuckerf*ck and company.

MARKED NOTABLE.
Ruh Roh

What did the ad say? "Please... won't you come back?"

I was off for a few years and when I came back last year it was shocking the difference. The hey day is long gone.

I can't remember the last time someone I cared about posted something that happened to them. Unless it was an outrageously huge recognition of some kind. Or like, a kid was born. The only active friends are those in an MLM or those building their personal brand and influence.

It's a ghost town. It's now only a place to share political articles and keep up with hobby groups.

There's so little content being posted from people I actually know, that the facebook feed has resorted to showing mostly "memories" and random posts from groups that I'm in.


And it's so bloated with useless features and colors and stickers it's border-line seizure inducing. It reminds me of myspace before it bit the dust.
 

Bhanu

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Ruh Roh

What did the ad say? "Please... won't you come back?"

I was off for a few years and when I came back last year it was shocking the difference. The hey day is long gone.

I can't remember the last time someone I cared about posted something that happened to them. Unless it was an outrageously huge recognition of some kind. Or like, a kid was born. The only active friends are those in an MLM or those building their personal brand and influence.

It's a ghost town. It's now only a place to share political articles and keep up with hobby groups.

There's so little content being posted from people I actually know, that the facebook feed has resorted to showing mostly "memories" and random posts from groups that I'm in.


And it's so bloated with useless features and colors and stickers it's border-line seizure inducing. It reminds me of myspace before it bit the dust.
My FB account asks me to add more 'friends' so that I can see their content . I already have 140-150 friends .Looks like no one is posting anything these days. All I get is request to watch/join useless videos, political groups and advertisement..lol .
 

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