The social media wars continue to heat up. Facebook has long been a dominant player, and it appears Mark Zuckerberg intends to maintain that edge. Zuckerberg suggests that a good way to ensure that people remain loyal to Facebook and continue to use it on a regular basis is to get a payout in virtual cash.
A few months back, reports surfaced that Facebook was creating a cryptocurrency for its WhatsApp platform. This project is being overseen by David Marcus, the former president of PayPal. There is speculation that said virtual currency could be used to pay a “data dividend” to its users.
The Facebook cryptocurrency is reportedly going to be rolled out in India on WhatsApp as the country boasts 200 million users of the app.
This article discusses the benefits of Facebook paying users a “data dividend” via the platform’s stablecoin. This dividend would be derived from the monetary value generated by the social media platform as people use it and advertisers fork over cash for advertising or for the data generated.
Facebook generated revenue of $55.838 billion in 2018 alone. The average user of the platform does not get any cut of that financial pie despite the fact it’s their use of the platform that generates the revenue.
This “data dividend” is a novel idea, and it could work. Would you be more willing to log into Facebook or use their apps if you got some coins every month for doing so? Of course, the company would have to be willing to shave off a few percentage points from their profits to have such a system, and there would be some work needed to determine how much a person would get.
The reality is that people willingly hand over a frightening amount of personal information to use social media, and this information is making people like Zuckerberg insanely rich. Why shouldn’t the people whose info generates the wealth not be allowed to have some crumbs of their own.