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The Problem is not the Medium, but the business model

The image crisis of the social media is based on the data hunger of the platforms. This Problem could be quite easy to solve: for example, through a Facebook subscription.

comment by Katharina Coach Katharina Coach

Katharina Kutsche, Born in 1977, is a member of the economic editorial office of the SZ. Previously, she worked as a police officer in Hanover and worked there as money laundering, corruption, and breaches in professional duties committed. After 18 years of service you gave the police-brand, however, attended the German journalist school in Munich and made parallel to the journalism Master's degree at the LMU Munich. She writes about technology and digitization, and is interested in nature for whistle-blowing and crime issues.

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The year of 2018, was good for Facebook and Twitter. Both companies are regularly criticised for doing too little against hate speech and incitement of Violence. In the spring it became known as the company Cambridge Analytica by using the Facebook profiles of the users of the US presidential election campaign influenced. In December, a British member of Parliament E-Mails from Facebook's published, showing how ruthless the allegedly social network does business. Data leaks always come back. And last week, a mother's Facebook and Twitter complained in an open letter: it accused the company to have their pregnancy digital detected, but not the stillbirth of their child. Their user accounts were also recorded in the mourning period, with advertising around the Baby and motherhood.

Just the last case shows that the social media are at a dangerous point. Although user numbers and revenues. However, the greater the criticism, the greater the disgust for the users, avert the consequence at some point. This is an entrepreneurial dangerous. As a reaction, the groups of screws with their Algorithms or make more of an effort with the Monitoring. But, what makes you so prone to advertising errors and misuse, do not change: your business model. Since the actual error is. And should correct the person responsible immediately.

Facebook makes the same mistake as the media companies previously

Many industries are financed by customers to pay for the product and its production. Companies like Facebook price not your product, but the data of those who maintain free of charge a user profile. Customers are not the users, but also for all those companies who pay for personalized advertising. And the customer is king.

Interestingly, the social media make the same errors as the analog. The print media continued to long to solve a mixed model of sale and up to two-thirds of sales and the familiar View of the fact that the fat years would stop. An economic crisis and the new advertising channel the Internet were the advertising revenues worldwide, as a strong decline that some Newspapers had to give up. For too long, it took until the media companies have entrusted to monetize their digital content. Many have not recovered economically by this bug, you should give social media to think.

The inventor of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee, congratulated this year his "child" with an open letter to the 29. Birthday. In it, he mentioned two myths that limit the collective imagination of the Internet: that advertising is not the only possible business model for Online businesses. And that it is too late to change the functioning of platforms. In two points, one had to be creative. He's right.

The digital networks could be at the core of good products

What should speak against it, a monthly fee for networks and short message services to take? In other words: Why do Facebook, Twitter and all the other not the users to customers? With a subscription price for the service that you take in, how to pay for the Internet access, you need. In return, the companies would have to do without it, the digital souls of their users for ad sales to evaluate. This is in the sense of Berners-Lee is not a creative idea, because of the video streaming service Netflix, for instance, works already with such a model. Various Apps offer the basic services and advertising-free premium services for a surcharge.

The abhorrence of personalized advertising and, above all, their moral miss handles the fact that Facebook and Twitter could be at the core of good products superimposed. Anyone who wants to stay with people who live abroad, with former colleagues, classmates and study friends, has in the social network is a simple technical way to do this.

A new business model may not contain hate speech and disinformation. But it would provide entrepreneurial for more security, if the companies to set up wider and advertisements to users based on independent. The next economic crisis comes. And the next scandal.

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