An Uncritiqued Frontier of Social Media: The Social Media Subscription Model

  • Paul Geyer University of Leeds
Keywords: Social Media Subscription Model, social media, social media subscriptions, mixed model, data, surveillance


Even after Elon Musk announced Twitter Blue, subscription services such as Snapchat+, YouTube Premium and Meta Verified, remain an uncritiqued aspect of social media. Within this article, subscription services on social media take centre stage. This article focuses on three key points: First, subscription services have remained uncritiqued because of the blind spot created by the emphasis on data collection. Second, the Social Media Subscription Model (SMSM) now asserts social media as part of a mixed model (Fuchs 2020, 134) instead of only being considered as an advertising model. Third, applying the classical Marxian twist of capitalism as self-negating, the SMSM is also a structural response to a contradiction of "peak data", meaning how does social media sustain itself if commodifies all data? Stressing the necessity of viewing the SMSM and social media as part of a Mixed Model.

Author Biography

Paul Geyer, University of Leeds

Paul Geyer is a PhD student of Political Theory at the University of Leeds. His research focuses on social media, Political Theory, Critical Theory, and ideology. His current research project focuses on subscription services within social media and investigates how they are changing one's subjectivity and ideological relationship to capitalism, whilst also advocating for a neo-feudal understanding of the subscription side of social media.