April 21, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
We’ve entered into a mobile app renaissance of some sorts, as more social media apps than ever before are being funneled into the App Store and Google Play Store for users worldwide. These apps tap into a variety of human communication methods, from the voice-only Clubhouse to the video response-only Rizzle. If you’re someone who prefers to consume video and nothing else, TikTok and YouTube have your back. Yet, if you want to unwind after a long day, sit back on the couch, and watch someone play your favorite video game, Twitch is ready to deliver.
We have everything at our fingertips to satisfy our emotional, connective, and entertainment cravings. It has never been a better time to be a content consumer: you can find anything you want, learn a new skill, and launch an online business without spending a cent. That’s why more people than ever before are buying smartphones, going online, buying everything they need, and running entire empires through their laptops or cellphones — you just can’t beat it.
While we continue to benefit from the fierce competition between the biggest tech giants of the world, these companies are working overtime to try and stay ahead of the curve.
Just look at Instagram’s desperate recent attempts to launch (too many) new features to the app. What was once a simple photo-and-caption posting app has morphed into a hybrid of IGTV (Instagram’s YouTube), Instagram Reels (Instagram’s TikTok), Instagram Stories, Instagram Shop (Instagram’s Amazon), and Instagram Live. These new and exhaustingly confusing features resulted from stats proving that TikTok was downloaded more than Instagram, Facebook and Messenger in 2019.
Facebook, Google and Amazon have enjoyed an unrivaled command of the tech market for nearly 20-years now, which is why this sudden burst of creativity, invention, and promotion has them panicked. Just look at Clubhouse, which hit the 8 million download mark this week. Everyone from Elon Musk to Kanye West is planning to jump on the voice-only resource and share their thoughts as the majorly disruptive app sends those at Facebook into even more of a panic. That’s probably why Facebook announced this week they plan to launch their own rival Clubhouse app for users around the world.
Opportunity from competitive strife
In a lot of ways, today’s social media market is less about who ‘comes up with the idea first,’ and more so about who executes it more swiftly — or who’s able to swallow their pride and straight-up copy another app to remain in control.
Either way, this competition exists in a market that floats far above our heads and out of our reach. But in this case, that’s actually a good thing. While these tech juggernauts expend every last bit of energy to be seen as No. 1, content creators can capitalize from not only 20+ free-to-use content streams, but also from the ability to monetize their content that is seen as “virtual gold” within each new app.
Let’s look at the example of the new Instagram Reels and Clubhouse. Instagram is so desperate to swallow TikTok that they provide Reels creators with the ability to be ‘seen’ in the algorithm again – something that has been long gone for regular photo posts without some boost or Facebook ad. Instagram is willing to reward those that are fueling their Reels feature, in exchange for additional content. The average Reels creator is now experiencing a surge in Instagram engagement, followers, and biography link clinks, which they are monetizing through online courses, e-books, online stories, and affiliate platforms. Best of all: Reels creators don’t have to pay for ads for this exposure; Instagram is willing to give it for free.
Moving over to Clubhouse, which is poised to explode in user downloads throughout 2021, the early app adopters are quickly amassing a following that will be seen as instant professional credibility when the app becomes public. In fact, Clubhouse is set up perfectly to permit content creators and room hosts to charge subscriptions for those that want to listen in every week. It’s a real-time podcast app that allows users to interact with the hosts instead of just listening to them. It’s this kind of gratification that makes the idea of Clubhouse far more advanced than the static podcast, and why every kind of radio personality should get on the app immediately.
But, as Facebook launches its own Clubhouse next month, both Clubhouse and Facebook will feverishly award their best creators in the beginning to win the voice-only social media award. They see content creators as their best leveraging chips in the all-out social media poker game.
Infinite residual income streams
While the ultimate battle plays out, content creators are making money off of video views on TikTok, ad placements on YouTube, e-commerce products on Instagram, thousand-dollar coaching packages on Facebook, podcast downloads on Spotify, affiliate marketing impressions on Pinterest, online courses on Clubhouse, and biography link clinks in every single social media app.
If even the slightest effort is put into making content and recycling it around five or six different social media apps every day, entrepreneurs can strategically retire in 2021.
Best of all: many of these social media apps provide the opportunity for entrepreneurs to make serious residual income. Some evergreen YouTube videos generate upwards of $1,000 per day, year after year, without creators ever having to touch them again. That’s probably why since 2017, the number of YouTube content creators that earn five-figures per year is up by 35%, while those earning six figures are up by 40%.
There can only be one ultimate winner in the social media space. Why not capitalize on technology competition and set up residual income streams that enable you to live a life of total financial freedom? While Facebook, Google, and Amazon are busy fighting each other, they’ll hardly notice that their strategic promotional tactics allowed all of their content creators to retire.