In the Mashable article “Who Will Monetize Social Media?”, author Ben Parr discusses the front-runners in the race to establish a viable and sustainable way to monetize social media. Parr says the top candidates are Facebook, Twitter and Apple mobile media. The Mashable poll accompanying this article asks readers “Who will be the leader in monetizing social media?” The results were mixed, with 15 percent of people responding that “There will be no one leader.” But the option getting the largest number of votes was Apple mobile applications, with 27 percent of the votes. Parr says that while Apple itself is not a social media outlet, the incredible success of the iPhone demonstrates how indispensable Apple may be a social enabler.
Apple isn’t a social media company, so why does it get a spot on this list? The answer is the wild success of the iPhone application store. Apple has succeeded where Facebook has not – in monetizing third party applications. On top of that, it has created a vibrant marketplace for mobile social media. Will that innovation lead to more social media companies turning to mobile devices for monetization, a place where people seem more comfortable paying for software?