The latest competitor vying for social media market share, Sqeeqee, calls itself a”social networthing” site and “the first-of-its-kind money-making social media network.”
Sqeeqee also offers a search engine and unlimited, free cloud storage.
Users make money in the form of Sqeeqee Bucks ($ Q Bucks) with nearly every click and post (when $ Q Bucks reach $ 100, Sqeeqee deposits the funds directly to users’ PayPal accounts), and the fledgling social network will also share ad revenue with users who bring in advertisers or have enough people on their pages.
Bubblews has what seems to be a singular focus — the more users post and people share their articles, the faster they make money. tsū is an invite-only platform that promises to pay users a share of the already existing ad revenue, made possible with the amount of content they share.
On the other side of the boxing ring is Ello, an invite-only social media platform that made a grand entrance with a magna carta signed by the founders stating that they would never take adverting dollars.
With Facebook developing so many ways for users to promote their businesses, brands using paid advertising and newbies offering cash to users, what does the future of social media really look like?
Bryan DeSena, account director for social media with Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles, told SocialTimes:
Facebook changed the industry because it offered advertisers an opportunity to target users based on self-expressed interests. The only thing I would trust about a user on the payola platforms is that they want to get paid, and that doesn’t tell me much about their buying habits. Just like our offline lives, people will find ways of making money in a variety of different ways, and smart advertisers know how to reach the right audiences.
There seems to be a fundamental disconnect about why people use social networks. The CEO of Bubblews (Arvind Dixit) says, “People aren’t the product, people are the power.” I think he’s wrong. People and the lives they share with their networks are indeed the product. The power is in the platform that enables it all.
Facebook and Twitter are successful at selling advertising because they are incredibly powerful communications tools that people want to use — not vice-versa. The primary reason people use these networks is not to make money — it’s to make their lives more enjoyable and efficient.
And even if Facebook and Twitter adopted a revenue-sharing model, only a very small percentage of the population would be capable of attracting a large enough audience to make any meaningful money. It’s hard enough for celebrities and journalists to monetize their large social audiences on existing and popular social networks, where network effects of a large existing audience are already built in. So never mind an average Joe trying to eke out a few dollars building a network on a relatively unknown social network.
A new report by social analytics provider Ninja Metrics analyzed more than 365 million game players in 250 countries and regions around the world and found that the true social value of a user isn’t found in their social network activity, but in their social connections.
Dimitri Williams of the University of Southern California further explained:
This report confirms what many people have suspected, but has never been proven by hard data: The age of consumer-to-consumer marketing is here … Social connections translate to monetary values.
In a YouTube video, digital thought leader Gary Vaynerchuk pointed out that he never turns down a media interview, no matter how big or small, because, as he stated:
One is greater than zero. Never undervalue or underestimate the power of an individual user because you simply never know who’s watching, who’s reading. In our digital universe, a user’s value seems to not lie in the platform they choose, but the user themselves.
Readers: Would you be interested in trying out a platform like Sqeeqee? Why or why not?