What if there is an app that is open and distributed and has the same functionality as Snapchat but without advertisements? Or what if there is a simply a Snapchat alternative that distributes 90% of its earnings back to users and/or charity and is a benefit corporation?
If something like this were setup as a benefit corporation, then it could be 90% of net profit that is distributed to users and/or charity. So, server costs could be accounted for. I believe that if creativity is applied to the problem then solutions can be found. See what the new social network Tsu is doing. Something analogous to Tsu could be done with Snapchat, Reddit, Vine, and so forth. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but this seems like a fairly good idea to me.
The current state of social media seems unsustainable. Most social media business seem intent on extracting as much money as possible through advertising from each user.
Digital sharecropping content silos may not be sustainable unless more consideration is give to all stakeholders and not just investors, owners, and employees of social media companies.
Open alternatives that share revenue with users or charities seem bound to arise. This post is mainly about Snapchat, but it could probably just as easily be about Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. All social media companies should become benefit corporations.
Will Snapchat succeed in extracting as much money as possible from users over the long term? Snapchat will not succeed unless they evolve enough.