Will Social Media Paywalls Be Common In The Future?

WPP is out with a new report that takes a stab at forecasting how data usage will transform over the next decade.

Not surprisingly, the existing ocean of data will be perhaps six or seven times bigger than it is today, although regulation will limit access to personal data so that software and marketing companies will develop models using less data but more efficiently.

Media business models will evolve, and social platforms will become what the report calls the “newest category of publishers” by 2030. By then governments will be holding them responsible for the content they host.

“Along with digital services such as maps, storage and search, social platforms will also use paywall models. This trend is already emerging in 2020 as social influencers begin to charge for content,” according to the report.

Subscription-based bundles of digital services included in the provision of internet access will be common, the report predicts. But while the era of free internet might be over, the good news is that most if not all of the fake news and trolling so characteristic of the early 21st century will likely be gone as well.



“By 2030 the battle between a free-for-all internet and a monitored environment will be over," notes the report. "Social platforms will block fake news and tweak their algorithms to avoid the recommendation spiral of increasingly extreme content."

Check out more from the report here.

2 comments about "Will Social Media Paywalls Be Common In The Future?".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, April 7, 2021 at 10:40 a.m.

    "Social media paywalls" and influencers charging for content are two totally different things.

    WIll people pay to use Facebook or Instagram in the future?  They will not.

    Will people pay to support influencers, avoid ads, and get additional content?  Yes.

    Subscription fatigue is already taking its toll on consumersl and the model of bundling a bunch of crap on top of the one service customers want is no longer working either.  Complaints are starting to rise against YouTube which has become almost unwatchable with the volume of ads at the worst possible times in content...thus pushing viewers to other platforms and aiding individual influencers working through "donation" models.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 7, 2021 at 11:16 a.m.

    While I agree with Dan regarding the probable resistence to having to pay for using Face Book and other social media, I doubt that they would lose every single user as some people are addicted to these forms of comunication or use them for promotional purposes which are deemed of value to the user. The question is how many and at what price---both of which can be determined with a fair amount of precision by small scale but objectively conducted tests.

    The question of content is also of interest for social media. In order to attract big time TV advertisers they may need to create their own content---probably some version of celebrity or entertainment news---as opposed to hard news--- pumped out on a timely basis. And, perhaps, something else---reality shows? This could require formatting to provide paced in-content commercial breaks---to give advertisers the kind of commercial exposure opportunities they have on TV---or some new ways to generate attention for ad messages-all of which needs to be sorted out by testing to see what's possible, how users might react, etc.

    Yes, the winds of change are blowing---as they always seem to ---maybe now is the time for some serious rethinking of digital media business plans---after all it's been 25 years and many lessons need to be learned and acted upon.

Next story loading loading..