Jun 03, 2015 7:02PM

Monetising Social Media: Updates From Facebook, Apple, SoundCloud, Instagram And Pinterest

All I see is $igns
Obviously Facebook is a mercyless salmon trawler when it comes to banking off us. Nearly every week we hear about Messenger storing our movements, its microphone listening to what we're saying. It isn't even shocking anymore. We brush it off like it ain't no thang. In an attempt to get us to notice, a Harvard student created an extension called Marauder's Map, based of Facebook Messenger's collected data. Using it, we can literally see where the people we are talking to are sitting (within a metre accuracy), and where they go every hour after that. And we just kicked it like he was offering us an egg salad sandwich. 
Facebook also just announced that they'll be building their third data centre at their Iowa campus. And there's rumours they're about to spend over $200m on another one in Ireland. Huge. You've got to hand it to them though, they know when to put a treat in our mouth to get us to stop talking: despite criticism from the FBI, they're going forward with email encryption to keep us safe from h4ckers. Besides, y'all wouldn't being hanging out here if we weren't able to reach you on The Book. The guy's got a good side, too.
But these are things we know. As Apple CEO Tim Cook points out in his recent dis track (directed at Google and Facebook), "…some of the most prominent and successful companies have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information. They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetise it."
(It's cool to know that he followed that up with, "We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.”)
But who does want to be that kind of company? Who's seeing $igns this week? 
According to a leaked contract, SoundCloud are finally ready to stop loosing money (and give money to labels, too). If the contract is for reals, labels are set to get 10.5% of its overall revenue including ads, or 22% of its revenue on sound recording rights. They have plans for users, too. There's the already announced ad-supported tier, plus plans for two premium listening tiers – one with ad-free listening, and a limited amount of downloads; the other with full catalogue access. But this is just an alleged contract with a group on indie publishers. It's unclear what kind of payouts major labels and their artists would receive.
Instagram are in too, and have rolled out plans for shoppable ads. If it's a seamless double tap to purchase functionality, we're really looking forward to being able to purchase a 20 pack of nuggets and a Moschino phone case all in the same 'accident'. Pinterest have also announced the addition of a "buy it" button, which could lead to more annoying purchases like jars full of unmixed salads and Ikea furniture with shit geometric paint jobs.

Hayley Morgan