Should We Pay for Our Social Media/Messenger Applications? Preliminary Data on the Acceptance of an Alternative to the Current Prevailing Data Business Model

Frontiers in Psychology 11 (2020)
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In the age of surveillance capitalism, the prevailing business model underlying the use of social media applications (“apps”) foresees the exchange of personal data for the allowance to use an online service. Such a data business model comes with many potential negative side effects ranging from violation of privacy issues to election manipulation. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to think of alternatives to the current data business model. The present study investigated how strong the support would be for a monetary payment model among a sample of 210 participants. Participants were asked about their willingness to pay for social media, if in turn their data would be private and other problems concerning social media use would be tackled. Only one-fifth of participants (21.43%) supported such a model. From the Big Five Personality traits, Agreeableness was positively associated with support of such a model. Finally, data are also provided on how much participants would be willing to pay for social media on a monthly basis. The present study’s findings are of a preliminary nature and will contribute to the start of an important discussion.



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