The Future of Social Media: Shifting Business Models and Synthetic Kinship


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 26, 2023

3 min read


The Future of Social Media: Shifting Business Models and Synthetic Kinship

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, social media platforms are undergoing a transformation, with new business models gaining traction and the concept of kinship taking on a whole new meaning. As the last generation of companies relied heavily on advertising, startups are now exploring alternative revenue streams such as subscriptions, in-app payments, and e-commerce. This shift towards monetization reflects a desire to utilize our most valuable resource, time, more effectively.

With the emergence of platforms like BeReal, Poparazzi, Mastodon, and Post News, a new wave of social media companies is promising a better use of our time. These platforms are moving away from the social aspect of social media and focusing more on providing valuable media content. This shift is also mirrored in traditional media, which has become increasingly polarized, catering to specific political affiliations.

The adoption of subscription models and in-app payments aligns well with the hit-driven nature of social media. By offering a paid product, companies can generate revenue even if their app experiences only temporary popularity. TikTok has already demonstrated the potential for social networks to serve as gateways to e-commerce, further diversifying revenue streams.

Looking beyond advertising, social media may take inspiration from immersive games like Roblox, which have successfully created in-world economies. Rather than solely relying on ads, social media giants of the future may focus on building multifaceted economies within their platforms. This shift in approach could lead to a healthier relationship between users and the platform, as attention capture becomes less of a priority.

Fundamentally, humans are driven by the need for connection and kinship. Currently, this can only be satisfied through interactions with other humans. However, as technology advances, it is plausible that synthetic friends and loved ones may become a normal part of our lives. We may find ourselves interacting, talking, and sharing with AI creations, blurring the lines between real and artificial relationships.

To address the challenge of building active communities in the early stages, future platforms may leverage AI to generate synthetic personalities that interact with human participants. This approach could create the illusion of a bustling network, even with a small number of real users. As the distinction between human and artificial people becomes increasingly blurry, these platforms could provide novel social experiences.

While prioritization is crucial in the startup world, it is essential to strike a balance between doing what we enjoy and what is necessary for success. It is easy to prioritize tasks that align with our skills and interests, but this may not always be what the company needs at any given time. By holding ourselves accountable and constantly questioning the why behind our actions, we can avoid the trap of fake progress and focus on what truly matters.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace alternative revenue streams: Consider exploring subscriptions, in-app payments, or e-commerce as viable options for monetizing your social media platform.
  • 2. Build multifaceted economies: Look beyond ad-based monetization and consider creating immersive in-platform economies that provide value and functionality to users.
  • 3. Prioritize effectively: Continually evaluate your to-do list and ask yourself why each task is important. Focus on what truly drives success and avoid getting trapped in tasks that don't contribute significantly to your goals.

In conclusion, the future of social media is evolving rapidly, with new business models emerging and the concept of kinship expanding to include synthetic relationships. By embracing alternative revenue streams, building functional economies, and prioritizing effectively, social media platforms can adapt to meet the changing needs and desires of users. As we navigate these shifts, it is important to remember that our most valuable resource is time and to use it wisely in creating meaningful and engaging social experiences.

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