This article is part of a series that came straight from The Social Christian ebook which you can get now at ChurchMagPress. along with the PowerPoint slides and audio presentations Phil actually used.
The business of social media is still a bit undefined. Social media platforms are being valued at billions of dollars, but their worth is transitory and unconnected to reality. Yahoo, though not a social media platform in the current sense, was a predecessor to some of the platforms you see today. Years ago, Yahoo was king of the heap and had a theoretical price tag of $125 billion, only to watch it all fade away. Recently, Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo for over $4 billion. That’s a 96% loss of value. What we can take from this is the ephemeral and fickle nature of online properties and platforms. Let’s not kid ourselves: the social media landscape we see today will be different in a decade. Facebook looks stable, but Twitter is beginning to sway—RIP Vine—and Google Plus has all but toppled over. Nothing in social media is assured as everything about social media, including the technology and business behind it, is rapidly changing.
All that being said, what we do know so far is that the primary way social media networks make money is through selling influence and access, which are two fancy words for what used to be called advertising. Don’t misunderstand me: basic advertising is still a major component of the internet and social media in particular, but the philosophy behind it is changing.
But why should you care about all of this? Because the access being sold is access to your Facebook feed. The influence that dozens of companies are trying to buy is influence over your next purchase on Amazon. They’re luring you in with smart ads that follow you for days after doing some digital window shopping.
In short, the business of social media is you.
What you’ve just read is an excerpt from my new ebook, The Social Christian: A Theological Exploration of Social Media, published by ChurchMag Press. If you’d like read more, you can purchase a copy of your very own for $10. If you’d like to step it up a notch and use this book as the basis for a class or small group, you can purchase a church license for $30.
To find out more about this neat little time, head on over to ChurchMag Press.