Three opportunities for a new wave of social media.
Subscription based – As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Social media is no exception. For years, we have thought it was free (or very cheap, if you are an advertiser), but the costs we have all been paying are actually higher than most can appreciate. Asking the audience to pay a subscription fee would force social media to actually narrow their scope and become niche products that need to innovate to thrive.
Verified identity – The past few years have proven that anonymity online is not going to work. Opening a social media account should not be as easy as getting a new e-mail address, and the part of audience that should not be allowed to use them (kids) need to be forbidden access right from the get go. People are not as toxic when their name and reputation is on the line, and that would go a great length to make social media a more pleasant arena.
No second guessing – Algorithms behind timelines and promoted content are hugely unsatisfactory for the audience. What if instead their task would be to ask? Interruption is always annoying, and banner blindness has been discussed and studied for at least twenty years now. Putting people back in charge of what they are offered (also in terms of ads) can only increase engagement and make for a better user experience.