Paid Social Media Could Be Way Better
Remember those first few years when cutting the cable cord made you some kind of trailblazer?
People watched in awe as a determined few gave up traditional TV for good, opting instead for on-demand streaming. You didn't get the full array of cable channels, but who needed SoapNet and QVC anyway? Plus, it was a satisfying middle finger to old, lazy cable companies.
The new world of content is more dizzying but also more customizable. It's not as easy to flip through channels, but you only need to pay for the shows you want, rather than ponying up for the fishing channel just to watch football on Sundays.
Why can't we do the same with social media?
- The immediate uproar following Elon's $8/month for Twitter suggestion was easy to predict, as people hate paying for things that they're used to being free
- But paywalls can enable better content. I want to throw my phone through a window when I see an ad every 10 seconds on a Snap video I got baited into watching.
Obviously, there are pros and cons. Social networks would probably scale down, as only a select few would opt for a paid tier. But do you really care about what a bunch of randos are posting on Twitter anyway?
- Substack has made it easy to follow and pay specific writers that you like, just like Patreon has done for creators
- Removing people as the product from social media would reduce the incentive to vacuum up every piece of data possible to sell to advertisers. Just let me pay 5 bucks a month and leave me the hell alone when I'm browsing other sites.
What are your thoughts, fellow apes? Would you pay for Twitter, Insta, TikTok, or Snap? Why, or why not? Drop some feedback below; we're curious to hear what you think.
The big question: Will Elon's monetization of Twitter implode, and if so, how will other social media companies get their arms around the coming decade?