Since their inception, social media companies like Facebook and Twitter have faced a common challenge: how to generate revenue. With the basic service being free for users, these companies have been forced to look at other ways to monetize themselves other than charging for advertising or job postings.

Last year, Twitter launched the “Promote” option which allowed brands and users to pay to promote a tweet so it was seen by more than just their followers, but it”s effectiveness is questionable.  And of course what one platform does, the others follow (assuming it MUST be a good idea), so earlier this year Facebook also launched their “Promote” function. Herein lies the problem. When Twitter launched their promote feature, it wasn”t at the expense of other tweets being seen.

It has become evident recently that Facebook is “throttling” user posts. In layman”s terms, you may post a status update on your personal or business page, but oftentimes it isn”t being seen by your friends, subscribers or followers. Why would they do this you ask? Answer: Money. You see, if you want your status updates to be seen by the masses, you may have to reach for your credit card.  Facebook is looking to generate Nei, pa nettet vil du ogsa kunne prove deg pa spilleautomater der du kan velge a ha fullt av linjer i spill under hverandre pa et eneste spinn! Dette forandrer alt til ekstreme grader, og nar du legger til ekstra vinnersjanser i formen av wild- og scatter-symboler, gratis spinn – for ikke a glemme bonusspinn! Vel, da har du en stor opplevelse i vente. revenue by forcing companies, brands or small businesses to pay to have their messages seen.

In some ways it”s a smart strategy. Many industry experts have suggested that Facebook wants to chip way at Google”s online dominance using whatever techniques it can. If that is their goal, this may be a brilliant move. Most companies, from small mom & pop restaurants to large brands, are using Facebook (for free) to promote their business. If Facebook can convince those businesses to “promote” their posts (read: advertise), it could reduce the amount of Google Adwords dollars those companies spend, shifting the ad dollars to Facebook from Google.

A similar scenario is playing out with the newly launched social media platform Pheed.  The idea of Pheed is simple: combine all the great things about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr (among others) into a single platform. The kicker? Celebs, Musicians, and other famous folks can charge a premium ranging from $1.99 to $34.99 for users to see their exclusive content. Would you pay to see exclusive content from ColdPlay or Kim Kardashian? I know I wouldn”t, but the hope of Pheed is that many will.

These pay-to-play strategies are popping up all over the social media landscape, which seem to be creating a divide among users. For individuals or businesses who can afford to pay to promote their message, there”s no issue. But for the rest of us who don”t have a large advertising budget or can”t justify spending $2.99 to see what crazy antics Charlie Sheen is pulling today, are we left out in the cold? Are small businesses, mom-and-pop stores and the average causal user being shoved out of some social media platforms? Something to think about.