How much do you really pay for using online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and the rest?
Do you think it’s free?
What of the hidden price that you aren’t aware of yet?
For those of you who think you are not paying anything for using platforms like Facebook and the likes, here is food for thought for you. Do you believe that these platforms make money irrespective of whether you pay to use them or not?
So then, how do you think they make their money?
In fact, for most of these platforms, the secret is that the platform is not the product that they are marketing. Unfortunately, the product they are selling to make money is “You”. What do you mean by that? You ask.
Well, let me explain to you what I mean.
You as an individual or a human being cannot be sold directly. In fact, that will be a hell of a job to do in this 21st century. Almost every authority frowns on human trafficking and hence may not permit these companies to engage in them.
However, the actual thing that is happening with these online platforms is so subtle that nobody at all raises an eyebrow at what is going on. What they are actually trading is one of the most precious commodities you can have as a human being.
What could this precious commodity of yours that these people are selling with or without your permission be?
Whether you agree or not, it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that time is one of the most important commodities available to mankind right now. So, what these platforms do is that they sell the time you stay on their platforms to others who are willing to pay.
Why will someone who does not know you be willing to buy your time?
The truth is they are not paying for your time because they think your time is precious. Rather they are paying for it so that they can show you whatever they want to show you.
I hope you get it now? The more time you spend on online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc, the more money these platforms make.
This is simple mathematics. As you stay longer on the platforms, they are able to show you more ads and hence charge the advertisers more. This is a win-lose-win situation most of the time. But it is unfortunate that you usually happen to be on the losing end if no money is coming your way.
Note that most of these platforms are also investing so much in powerful algorithms to predict what you like and what you don’t like based on your interactions on these platforms.
By so doing, they are able to show you the best of ads that will resonate with you and get you to patronize the product or services of the advertiser.
The more these online platforms generate money for the advertiser, the more the advertiser pays to advertise to you and the cycle continues without you benefiting (if you aren’t doing that strategically).
This is what I call the WLW (Win-Lose-Win) Cycle.
But it is high time we broke that cycle and changed it to a WWW (Win-Win-Win) Cycle.
The moment I discovered this secret, the way I used to use these online platforms changed. I now know very well that I am a product that people are selling to make money.
I made up my mind to reposition myself within that framework and turn it into a win-win-win situation instead. I mean, I decided to exchange my precious time for something important too.
Exchange, they say, is no robbery.
You also have to start thinking about it. What possibly could you be exchanging your precious time for? In the online or digital space, there are a lot of things that you can use as leverage. These can easily help you make money.
One of them is to build a host of SUPERFANS on these platforms which you can also make money (legitimately). Audience building with a goal and a plan on how to monetize is essential if you want to exchange your time for something precious.
Another common way is through content creation and anyone who can read and write can make money from it.
One more interesting concept that I have discovered over time is that; most of these companies or platforms decide how much your time is worth. They charge advertisers based on how much they estimate your worth to be.
Usually, advertisers pay more for targeting people in first world countries as compared to others in a third world country. But does that mean everyone in a third world country’s time is less worthy than that of a first-world country?
I refuse to accept the fact that someone else’s time is worth more than my own just because of geographical location.
So I quiz, who can determine how much your time is worth?
The best person to do so should be yourself. But until you do something that will make people aware of how much your time is worth, they will keep giving you an estimate of what they think it is worth.
You, therefore, have to think twice about how you spend your time on these platforms.
So, the ball is in your court now. Make a decision as to whether you want to remain in the WLW cycle or you also want to be part of the WWW cycle?
If you want to master content creation and make money from it, then join my Content Creation Masterclass. Sign up using the form below or click this link Content Creation Masterclass
Dr. Ehoneah Obed
Ehoneah Obed: Pharmacist, Software Engineer, Health Informatics Student.
Inspiring tech enthusiasts and future healthcare innovators. Sharing insights on software engineering, health informatics, and motivating young minds in technology and healthcare.