From Free to Fee – The Future Of Paying For Social Media

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Social Media might start hitting you in the wallet.

It’s no longer a secret that these platforms are mature markets, and looking for new ways to squeeze money from users, while fighting for loyalty through new features and more cooler digital experiences.
Internet advertising helped launch the first two decades of monetization for social media, but the times they are a-changing.. and a-charging.
From a business model perspective, finding customers willing to pay for speed, visibility, customer support, status and more can help these platform to diversify their sources of revenue.
It is, as Kevin Kelly would call it, an ‘inevitable‘ that social media companies would follow other digital business models and start rolling out paid extras.
Let’s not be surprised that both Meta and Twitter are starting this process.

Here’s my radical thought…

I think it’s a good idea to pay for access to the social media platforms that work for you.

Is it about verification?
A blue check mark used to mean status.
Social media is now turning a paid blue checkmark into a “verified user”.

This is good.

I’d rather have verification than status any day of the week.
I’d rather pay for quality than become the product through my data.

Now, the question becomes: What is worth paying for?

Meta has announced its new paid verification service for Instagram and Facebook users, providing customers with a badge signifying that they’ve authenticated their identity. Customers will also receive proactive account monitoring for impersonators and access to a real person for account issues.
Twitter, on the other hand, has relaunched Twitter Blue, where customers can pay monthly for a blue checkmark, edit tweets, see fewer ads (coming soon), post longer tweets (4000 characters!), and be featured more prominently on other users’ timelines (status), among other offerings.


What does this mean for those who can’t afford to pay?
Will this create an information gap?
Will this create a greater digital divide?
Will this clean up the dis-information?
Should security be a paid feature?

Should access be a universal right in a world where local news, etc. is increasingly harder to access?

What do we really want?
Accessibility and fairness in the digital space.
Will companies like Meta, Twitter and Snapchat be able to find the balance between monetization, inclusivity and everyone’s ability to enjoy a better quality of life on the internet?

That is the real question.

This is what Heather Backman and I discussed over on 95.9 Star FM for a couple of minutes today.

What is Tech Tuesday?

Every Tuesday – for just a few minutes – I join Heather Backman (my old buddy from her days on CHOM FM and Jack 103) on the air at 95.9 Star FM to give a quick blast about the current state of technology, media and Internet culture.
We call it Tech Tuesday (and we do it in just a few minutes).

Once the segment goes live on 95.9 Star FM, I will post it here for you to listen in, learn, share and engage.