Turns out we’re not as addicted to narcissistic social media sites as we like to think, at least not where money’s concerned. Social media researchers from the University of Southern California are reporting that no one, as in exactly 0% of the people surveyed, would be willing to pay for previously free web apps like Twitter.
USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has spent the past ten years tracking user behavior relating to the Internet and social media websites as part of their ongoing Digital Future project. Their most recent report examines, among other things, the effects of paying for access to websites, web apps, and online news content. And while it’s not surprising to learn that most of us are total cheapskates when it comes to the online world, what was unsuspected (and hilarious) is how resoundingly people shot down the idea of paying for Twitter. No love there apparently.
Part of the problem is that people are highly (and, some would say, justifiably) resistant to the idea of paying for things that they previously got for free. In fact, the study finds that even though most people hate online advertising, they’d rather put up with ads then pay to access content. More importantly, it’s not just Twitter getting burned. The same principal holds for newspapers and other media sites. In general, paywalls are traffic killers, but that hasn’t stopped the floundering print media industry from resorting to paywalls to protect their content online. The Wall Street Journal already operates a paywall model, and the New York Times will implement its own starting next year.
Rest assured, though, paywalls aren’t our thing here at Mediaite. The ads though… Definitely feel free to click some ads.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]