Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!
Web2: the greatest robbery of all times
In this article, we are going to look at web2 from a different angle, and see that web2 is the greatest robbery of all times.
What is web2?
Web2 is Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, AirBnB, Uber, Deliveroo, Just-Eat, ...
Add up all the revenues of these companies : it's huge.
We produce the wealth
First and foremost, web2 sites are free. And if it's free, then you're the product.
Second: the content of web2 sites is provided by their users.
On Facebook, we add the content. On YouTube, we shoot, edit and upload the videos. On Twitter, we write the tweets. Same goes for Instagram, Tiktok, ...
On AirBnB, we clean up our house to put it for rent. On Uber, we wash our car and propose ourselves as drivers. On Deliveroo, Just-Eat or Uber Eat, we take our bicycle out of the garage and deliver food across town.
We produce the wealth of Web2. Either in the form of content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ... or in the form of services on AirBnB, Uber, Deliveroo, ...
They take the revenue
Web2 companies really played it well. We produce the content, they put ads in it, and get the advertisement revenues. At best, they give us a few crumbs.
On YouTube, don't hope for much under 100 000 followers. Youtubers revenues are opaque. Nobody really knows exactly how they are computed, and Youtubers themselves have very limited visibility on their income. So much so that to get a proper living out of their productions, they have to rely on some external sponsoring services like Tipee or Patreon.
This shows how little, from the gigantic revenues Youtube gets from advertisement, they sprinkle on the people who produce the wealth that is on Youtube.
Google and Facebook have built empires on content we produce.
But my Facebook feed is almost worthless!
Are you kidding? Ok, you may think the few words you post on Facebook are not much worth, and that your audience is tiny, but it is so targeted. The content you post strikes right into your circle of intimate friends. And as Facebook knows you better than everybody else, each content you publish, attracts the attention of your friends and gives Facebook the opportunity to deliver them with the best targeted advertisement ever.
Any of your post is gold to Facebook, because any of your post attracts the attention of your circle of friends. Facebook then turns this attention into revenue.
The greatest robbery of all times
This, is the greatest robbery of all times. Wealth, in form of content or services, produced by all of us, generating rewards for the web2 behemoths.
If you want to figure out the amount of the theft, the computation is quite simple:
- Facebook 2021 revenue : $118 billion (up from $86B in 2020)
- Youtube 2021 ads revenue : $28.8 billion (+46% year on year)
- Twitter 2021 revenue : $5 billion (+36% year on year)
- Tiktok 2021 revenue : $4.6 billion (+142% year on year)
- AirBnB 2021 revenue : $6 billion (+80% year on year)
- Uber 2021 revenue : $17 billion (+56% year on year)
- Uber Eat 2021 revenue : $8.3 billion (+72% year on year)
- Just-Eat 2021 revenue: €5.3 billion (+33% year on year)
- Deliveroo 2021 revenue: £1.8 billion (+50% year on year)
Web3 to the rescue
In my following articles, I'll explain how web3 will introduce a complete paradigm change. You might know web3 only through DeFi (Decentralised Finance), and be mislead into thinking that web3 is only a bunch of crypto-trading and crypto-lending applications.
You are actually quite right, because that's what web3 currently is. More than 90% of web3 is DeFi. But other applications are coming: publishing platforms like StoryPress.info (on which you are reading this article), social networks, ... dozens of these applications will come in the next years, based on web3 technology. They will completely rewrite value flows, revolving around new types of incentives.
Stay tuned, because web3 is only just starting, and what will follow will be very exciting.