Six Degrees, the first social media was introduced in 1997. By 2021, half (50.64%) of the world’s population is on social media. What exactly on these platforms is attracting the world to join? Is it information, entertainment, opportunities, or communication? In reality, it is all of and more than what is mentioned before. Social media companies work actively on engaging people with their products. Companies either use biological algorithms or simply incentivize the users to engage more and more in their applications. There is no doubt that their strategies have succeeded and seemingly continue to succeed. This means the world is on social media and people barely watch television now, let alone those pamphlets on street walls for any information.

Companies large and small have come to realize. the importance of having a presence on social media sites, primarily because in the global economy the goal is name recognition. “Liking” a particular brand, company, or product, regardless of its stage in the marketing life cycle, can generate immediate revenue. The current focus of every social networking service on the Internet is that of content. Search engines are being redesigned to focus on the content of the web page or social media site. Online marketing will follow, minimizing flash and gimmicks and changing their strategy to target channels where potential buyers focus on product quality and content.

Why will social media and online influence exist in the future?

Current Social Media Companies are business models worth millions and billions. Many people wonder how these companies make money when they do not charge any fee while making an account. They make money through Advertisements. It is not only human individuals who have social media accounts online, various businesses, organizations, institutions, etc have their accounts online as well. These accounts are made by their respective companies to spread the name of their brand amongst people on the same platform. However, people wouldn’t just search for one particular bakery shop on their own. So, in order to get enough outreach they display Ads on other users’ feeds, to do this they need to pay a certain amount to the Social media companies on which they are online.

The social media companies that were already creating a world for users to spend their most time on their apps now accommodate businesses as their customers. The addition of businesses on their platforms helps social media companies to engage more and more people by feeding more content. Hence, social media and the trend of online influence are more than likely to sustain in the future.

Is it a practical approach by the businesses?

When all these investments are being done by businesses to advertise their products, do they actually get the outreach worth their money? Yes, the algorithms used by social media companies to display the Ads work properly enough to be noticed by Online users. However, noticing the product only results in profit if the Ad viewers are potential customers of the respective product. The social media company recognized this particular factor and developed a solution. The companies collect personal data (with arguable consent)  from the users. These data may include their location, age, hobbies, search histories, etc, and based on such data, the users are shown the ads that could interest them. The given mechanism assures the potential profit for business companies who pay to run their ads.

Can individuals make a career in the industry?

The online influence industry has become a source of income for various people in different ways. It is obvious that any billion-dollar company like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc will have to hire employees for their functional offices. However, it is not limited to those full-time professions that are created by the social media industry. Various remote jobs such as Ad-moderators, content moderators, etc are hired by the companies. The respective employees’ job is to check the posts, advertisements, etc made by active accounts in their respective locality. They are supposed to monitor the complaints registered against posts for inappropriate content.

Individuals have found ways to the self-employed in the social media industry. For example, being a Youtuber is a well-recognized and decently paying job in the current world. If the content that you post online is entertaining or catchy enough, it will attract an audience which results in increased engagement on that particular app. Hence, social media companies incentivize such content creators to make more posts and gain audiences. The incentive isn’t only limited to what the company pays but if you have a good number of followers online, the businesses as well approach you to advertise their products. This means they will pay you for making posts about their products as you are the brand ambassador.

As it is clear that the past and the present of social media and online influence have made significant impacts in the world, the future seems strongly promising. The social media companies will continue to do research and execute their plans to maintain and increase engagement on their platforms. The businesses gain a profitable number of customers from social media and so they will continue to invest and fund these platforms. The job opportunities created by these companies are a major reason why people will continue to join this industry as paid workers and viewers as well as the information and entertainment that social media promises.