Plans to improve on today’s ‘free’ social media business model — in which services are paid for by selling users’ information to advertisers — have always raised a difficult question: how can you get people to start paying for something which they think of as free at the moment?
Many ideas involve users being rewarded for content that they post. No doubt those users would be happy. But without selling their data to advertisers, the audience would have to pay, somehow, to use the network. Bitcoin could make those transactions technically easier and cheaper, but is that enough? It looks like Bitcoin SV (BSV) entrepreneurs are starting to provide some real solutions.
A panel at a recent London Bitcoin Meetup was produced and chaired by Darren Kellenschwiler, an entrepreneur who’s working on his own BSV startup Probat.us which will connect ID and content, but independent of any particular platform. During Darren’s session, advocates of BSV-supported social media came up with some plausible answers to the question of why users would want to pay.
Twetch is a social media startup — a kind of homage to Twitter — where users have to pay BSV with Money Button to add content. But don’t think of that as paying for what you could get free on Twitter, said CTO Ben Izvirni. Instead, you’re paying a little — the BSV equivalent of maybe just a couple of pence or cents — to have your information stored on the blockchain immutably.
What’s more, even if you have to ‘pay to play,’ said Jonathan Aird another BSV entrepreneur and the founder of BSVnews.today, there’s an incentive to do so, because you can make some money back when people reward you for good content.