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


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 27, 2023

3 min read


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


In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, new business models are emerging, challenging the traditional reliance on advertising. Startups are exploring alternative revenue streams such as subscriptions, in-app payments, and e-commerce. This shift towards monetization opens up opportunities for innovative platforms to redefine how we connect and consume information. Additionally, the rise of synthetic kinship, where humans interact with AI creations, poses exciting possibilities for the future of social media.

The Changing Face of Social Media:

The traditional model of social media heavily relies on advertising revenue. However, startups like BeReal, Poparazzi, Mastodon, and Post News are shifting towards subscriptions, in-app payments, and e-commerce. By focusing on creating a better use of our most valuable resource - time - these companies are redefining the social media spectrum, moving closer to the media end. This departure from the traditional advertising model allows for more sustainable growth and revenue generation.

Embracing Functional Economies:

Social media platforms can draw inspiration from immersive games like Roblox, which have successfully built in-world economies. Instead of solely capturing attention, future social media giants may prioritize the creation of functional, multifaceted economies. This shift towards a more sustainable business model could lead to healthier platforms that offer a more immersive and engaging user experience.

Synthetic Kinship and the Future of Connection:

Humans have an inherent need for kinship and a sense of belonging. Currently, social media platforms fulfill this need by facilitating connections between individuals. However, with advancements in artificial intelligence, it is plausible that humans may have synthetic friends and loved ones in the future. This concept, though dystopian, opens up a realm of possibilities for social interactions. AI could be used to bootstrap new social experiences, creating billions of synthetic personalities to interact with human participants. The lines between human and artificial people will become increasingly blurred, transforming the nature of social media interactions.

Genius and Annotating the Web:

Genius, originally known for its annotations of rap lyrics, has expanded its functionality to include annotating websites. Users can now add "" to the beginning of any URL to access an annotated version of the page. While this feature raises copyright concerns, Genius ensures that visits to these pages do not cannibalize traffic or advertising revenues for the original source. Genius's ambitions extend beyond music, aiming to become "Everything Genius." The platform's group annotation feature, reminiscent of co-founder Marc Andreessen's early web browser development, allows users to comment and engage in discussions on any page.


The future of social media lies in innovative business models that prioritize user experience and revenue diversification. Shifting away from reliance on advertising opens up possibilities for more sustainable growth and revenue generation. Additionally, the rise of synthetic kinship presents exciting opportunities for transforming social interactions. As social media platforms continue to evolve, incorporating immersive economies and embracing AI-driven experiences can revolutionize the way we connect and engage online.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. For startups seeking to disrupt the market, starting from a niche and being underestimated can be advantageous. By focusing on a specific audience or industry, startups can build a loyal user base and gradually expand their reach.
  • 2. Consider alternative revenue streams beyond advertising. Subscriptions, in-app payments, and e-commerce can provide more sustainable growth and revenue generation, allowing startups to monetize their platforms early on.
  • 3. Embrace the power of AI and synthetic kinship. Explore ways to integrate AI-driven experiences into social media platforms, creating unique and engaging interactions for users.

In conclusion, the future of social media is marked by shifting business models, the rise of synthetic kinship, and the exploration of new revenue streams. By embracing these trends and incorporating innovative ideas, social media platforms can redefine the way we connect and interact online.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)