The Potentials and Pitfalls of Pay-to-play Social Media
The channels are offering pay-to-play models to industries to drive engagement
“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product” has long been a common refrain about the business of social media.
The saying implies that you, the user, aren’t paying for apps like Instagram and Twitter because you’re giving away something else: your attention (and sometimes your content), which is sold to advertisers.
But now, this free model of social media — subsidized by advertising — is under pressure. Social media companies can’t make as much money off their free users as they used to. A weaker advertising market, privacy restrictions imposed by Apple that make it harder to track users and their preferences, and the perpetual threat of regulation have made it harder for social media apps to sell ads.
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