Would YouTube be such a success if it wouldn’t be any content there? No music, no videos, no clips from films? Probably not. Still Google (who owns YouTube) don’t share a dime of their billion dollar profit from selling ad space to the creators of the content on YouTube. Imagine it would be no “free” content on YouTube. No visitors, no ads. No ads, no profit. No Google.

Wow.

Social media has made a certain impact on everyday people, no doubt. Facebook and Twitter have hundreds of millions users, but still they are struggling to find sustainable business models. Google makes a huge profit but doesn’t produce much own content. Actually, social media companies make their money distributing other peoples content. And then thay sell ad space connected to it. To share the profit with them who actually attracts the visitors has not touched their minds. It’s like running a newspaper with great profit from the ads, without paying the reporters that actually attracts the target group. Doesn’t sound to hard to make that profitable.

In the end everyone needs to get paid. To eat. To live. A tweet won’t feed. The question is, will social media really survive the ordinary working day when the hype is gone? Dunno. We’ll just have to wait and see. But if Google annual report is actually based on a content created by someone else (and not paid for by anyone), is the Google brand then really worth 31,9 billion (!) dollars? What happens if the songwriters, the scriptwriters, the producers and the publishers just say “stop…we want what’s ours of your profit!”

That wouldn’t be to crazy if you think of it. But it would change a lot of the (social media) world as we know it today.

I have noticed that I am not the only one debating the (lack of) financial success for social media. Scary enough, frequently the challenges are being brushed off with the arguments that social media is something different and can’t be measured in a traditional way. Well I am sorry to say that it has to. Facebook, Twitter and the other’s has to pay rent too. And salary to the employees. In the end, we are all the same.

If not. You need to make it become that.