Social media has always been about sharing, right? Well now, perhaps, the profits are about to get shared as well.
The new hook in social media may be this - you post, you profit - as two fairly new social networks have begun paying users for posts that attract traffic.
Bubblews, a site that went live just last week, along with Bonzo Me, are now paying their users for the content they post, particularly if it goes viral.
''I just feel like everyone on social networks has been taken advantage of for long enough,'' explained Michael Nusbaum, a surgeon from Morristown, New Jersey, who created Bonzo Me. ''Facebook has been making a ton of money, and the people providing the content aren't getting anything.''
For now, the Bonzo Me model is the most interesting as they are paying users up to 80 percent of its ad revenue for the most popular posts. Bubblews is paying by the click or if the post leads to some other kind of social networking activity.
Bubblews is also attempting to start another social media trend by encouraging their users to post deeper, more meaningful content instead of the typical fodder seen on Facebook such as a meal about to be eaten or baggage at an airport. Each Bubblews post must be at least 400 characters.
With Facebook seemingly constantly under fire for annoying their 1.3 billion users with privacy breaches and the constant changes to their settings in an effort to maximize their profit model, the move by Bubblews and Bonzo Me is certainly well-timed.
Bubblews CEO Arvind Dixit sounded like he may have been referring to Facebook when he recently said, "No one should come to our site in anticipation of being able to quit their day job. But we are trying to be fair with our users. Social networks don't have to be places where you feel like you're being exploited."
Facebook has also come under fire for frequently circulating ads containing endorsements from users who didn't authorize the marketing messages. This new trail being blazed by Bubblews and Bonzo Me appears to be a complete right turn from that model.
''I don't think this free-content model is sustainable,'' explained Rob Enderle, president of technology analyst firm The Enderle Group. ''You can't sustain the quality of the product if you aren't paying people for the content that they are creating. And you can't pay your bills if all you are getting are 'likes.'''