The Future of Social Media is PAID

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If you’ve been on social for some time, I’m sure you’ve come across an insane amount of spam. This is true for all social media networks – X, Instagram, YouTube – everywhere.

For the last few years if you were on X, you would be BOMBARDED with crypto and “pussy in bio” spam.

When I say bombarded, I mean you would get 3-4 spam comments the second you tweeted. Literally the very second.

The thing with that type of spam was that you would know it was spam just by looking at it.

Pretty obvious spam. You can tell by looking.

Since many people complained about it, X finally took some action and got rid of the obvious stuff.

X took down some bots.

However, catching spam bots is a cat and mouse game and the bots keep getting better with time.

The spam has gotten better. They are using AI to make their messages look more real.

Here is an example:

The reply is a spam message.

Most people assume that this reply is real user.

I know this is spam because the account name is in italics and I’ve seen many spam messages from people with account names in italics.

More examples of spam that look like real messages.

For now these spammers are not that hard to detect (italics in account names, etc.) but in the future, they’ll figure out this stuff and with AI tools like ChatGPT – the spam would be nearly impossible for regular users to detect.

You will not be able to tell which user is real and which user is a bot. The spam messages will use AI and look real.

Most people already cannot tell the difference between real images and AI generated images.

This woman does not exist. The image is AI generated.

Eventually you will see spam messages on social media that are impossible for most people or even software to detect. Social media companies are destined to lose this game of catching bots because the bots keep getting better.

Social media users will have no means to know whether they are talking to a bot or a real person.

The Future of Social Media is PAID

The future of social media in general (not just X) is that the best social networks will require you to pay money to use them.

It cannot be a small/cheap payment or a one time payment because then spammers are not sufficiently demotivated to create bots.

It will be a monthly charge (similar to X’s premium services) and only paying users will be able to interact with the platform.

Or maybe free users can interact but their interactions are not counted in the algorithm and all replies from them are hidden behind a “view free replies” or some sort of similar filter.

Why Free Social Media Will Not Work Well

This is because of 2 reasons:

1. Free social media would not be a big thing because you wouldn’t want to use it.

You would have no idea if the person you were talking to was a real human or an AI chatbot with an AI generated image (even videos can be AI generated).

You would not want to be on the free platform if you can pay for it. Free would mostly be limited to those who cannot afford to pay.

Just like Neftlix and Spotify killed movie and music piracy. – paid social will kill free social.

2. The economics of advertising on free social media will not work after paid social media shows up.

Free social media is funded by ads. Who do the advertisers want to reach? The users that can spend money.

But the users that can spend money are on paid social media without ads.

You don’t have to be very high IQ to see what this means. Ad revenue on free networks will be drastically low.

If all of the top 20% spending users leave for paid social media (which will have no ads), the ad revenue will fall by 80% (not 20%). Pareto principle.

People with less money buy less products, the ad conversion rate is lower, refund rates and customer support costs are higher, etc. Obviously, advertisers will bid less money to advertise to such people.

The Big Takeaways (Actionable Advice)

1. Paid social traffic will eventually die. When I say die, I mean it’ll stop performing well as the highest income users will pay for not seeing ads.

Today you can make a product and test it with paid ads. In the future, you will have to pay influencers to promote you. This is already true and will get even truer as social moves from free to paid.

2. The future of ads is influencer marketing. Since the only way to reach a wide audience is via paying influencers (paying the platform will be a thing of the past), the value of influencer marketing will increase.

Of course we might see some sort of tiering where the base paid social media plans will still show ads and the only the top plans are fully ad free. Even if this happens, the top customers will only be accessible via influencer marketing.

3. Build an audience NOW. If you want to profit from this trend, you need to build an audience NOW. Not tomorrow, not next week – NOW.

Start posting regularly on any social media platform and try to grow. If you do the work now you will reap the rewards later.

You know what the game will look like so you can prepare to thrive in it.

You know what to do.

Until next time.

Your man,

Harsh Strongman

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