Token Based Pay as you Go: The Future?
For a social establishment which is operating either in the real world as a bar or club or online as a social platform, an underlying objective is to make money from all the social interaction that the establishment or platform provides. However, unlike the real world, in the virtual world there are many business models one can integrate into their respective platforms in order to generate income. This article will discuss the more traditional revenue models such as payments for features, subscriptions and advertising before turning its attention to what it considers to be the future: a flexible token-based pay as you go revenue model.
Feature based services work by restricting or limiting certain basic behaviours that can only be unrestricted by paying a certain amount to unlock them. Want to keep swiping to meet people? Pay. Want to continue sending messages? Pay. Want to send a second picture? Pay. In this type of environment basic functionality is being artificially restricted in order to generate revenue.
The problem with limiting basic features in this way is that the cost of unlocking these features is designed to be expensive in order to lure one into purchasing a seemingly cheaper, but overall more expensive subscription. Additionally, the restrictions being imposed on the features feel arbitrary and artificial, which contribute to an overall negative impression of the platform in the sense that it can only function properly by paying.
The natural progression from a feature unlocking based model is a subscription model. In subscription based models, all the feature restrictions are removed by paying a fixed amount of money per month. Choosing a longer subscription length results in a cheaper monthly rate. However, the problems with this approach are evident; one could already match someone early on in the process, therefore paying extra would then feel like a waste. There may be any number of reasons which someone would stop using the platform for a given length of time, so why would someone want to pay for something they may not use?
The final nail in the coffin for these basic models is advertising. Besides being intrusive and under constant siege from lawmakers, the advertising model fails because in order for it to be relevant, the social platform must share your personal data with the advertisers. However, this is a danger zone for many social platforms, therefore the advertisements displayed are useless and not targeted to the individual, adding little value for the user and supporting companies who cannot decide what their business model should be.
So what could be the answer to all the problems with these revenue models? The token-based pay as you go model is a great modern way to ensure that customers are not only paying a fair price, but also that they only pay for what they use. Note that the token basis is critical here. Simple pay as you go platforms with fiat currency are in general too expensive and cannot scale. However, when replacing the fiat currency with tokens, it is then possible to obtain many tokens for a cheap price and spend less-than-a-penny amounts which simply would not be possible with fiat currency. It is also possible to support more currencies, since each currency can be separately converted into a token.
The end result is a platform that is most cost effective for the user. Simply select a price and spend the tokens as desired. If there is no desire for interaction, do not spend anything! The platform functions the exact same way for those with many or few tokens, thus eliminating the idea of restricting features. There are no subscriptions which waste your money since you buy what you want and spend when you want. Advertising supported models are already obsolete and have no place with companies who know what their business model is. Explore platforms such as personly which implement this new token based pay as you go approach and enjoy continually meeting people without the feeling of wasting time and money.