A few days ago I was reading a Bloomberg Tech Newsletter with the title Meta, Twitter Subscription Plans Risk Turning Off Everyday Users. Twitter had its paid subscription for some time, since the Elon Musk take over that’s been accelerated. Meta (Facebook) is implementing a similar plan now. Both apparently driven by shrinking advertising revenue. So far, so understandable. What I’m wondering about is hidden in these two paragraphs:
Still, what I find most telling about these subscription offerings is that the platforms will soon prioritize content from paying users over others. It’s a reminder that social networks have evolved away from the original premise of being a place to see mostly posts from your “friends and family.” They are instead focusing on attracting a certain kind of person – the creator – who makes fun skits or videos or blog posts.
Professional creators seeking more eyeballs have historically had to pay for advertising. Now, there’s another way — and the content that rises to the top because it was made by subscribers may not actually be as entertaining or interesting.Meta, Twitter Subscription Plans Risk Turning Off Everyday Users
Both Facebook and Twitter are already full with advertising (or as they call them, “sponsored posts”), often of very dubious quality. If to that the algorithms will add the posts of paying users, or as they call it, will prioritise that content, will that not make the timeline of the average non-paying user even more unappealing as the updates from their friends will almost disappear?
What are the chances of this turning off the average non-paying users? Which in turn would mean the paying users hoping to get more impressions not getting what they are hoping for as well as the advertisers not getting their ad views, further reducing advertising revenue for the social media companies.
Are they hoping to convert more non-paying users to paying users in order to improve their timeline? I doubt that, considering they have been conditioned to “free” for many years, even decades. So could this make average users to reduce their social media time? Which in turn could also turn off the above mentioned paying users as their prioritised posts are reaching fewer people? Making the social media companies losing even more revenue?
Will be interesting to see how this develops over the coming years I think.