As you probably already know, there are a lot of social media sites to choose from these days. Facebook and Twitter are some of the most popular and well-known, but there are other sites as well, ones that are still popular but haven’t quite reached the magnitude and scope of these social media giants. Networks like Tumblr, Instagram, and Snapchat, for example, all fall under this description, and most are in a desperate scramble to try and rake in more profits and keep afloat.
While these networks typically do make some money from advertising and subscription fees, it’s often not enough to keep going as is. For that reason, there have been reports that some of these networks are looking to expand their services…and in ways that you might not expect.
The biggest surprise, for example, is that Snapchat, as recently reported by Reuters, is allegedly considering offering investment advice to its (mostly) young users. These services would function as what is known as “robo-advisory services.”
Robo-advisory services, if you’re not familiar with the term, are basically automated investment strategizing tools that offer general investment advice based on certain known information about users of the service or, in some cases, make automatic decisions about where and how to invest users’ money and then do it for them. Snapchat, which has upwards of 100 million young users, may just be seeking to capitalize on the desires of those users- the desire for easy, simplified wealth and riches.
Of course, many people are skeptical of this type of offering, especially from a company that, up to this point, has dealt solely in photos. However, there are other social media sites that some might just trust with this kind of task, even those who do not trust Snapchat specifically.
Facebook, for example, has pretty much become the go-to source for news and information for a lot of people, especially younger people. Some even make payments using the site, meaning they’re already willing to trust it with their money. And, if they’re willing to do that, asking them to trust the site for investment advice isn’t that far-fetched. A decade ago, Facebook was solely a social media site, meant for sharing pictures and messages. Nowadays, though, it’s so much more, so it’s not that big of a leap to imagine it moving into the investment sector.
And, while there are undoubtedly some who would happily take and follow investment advice from Facebook, if not Snapchat, others think it’s just a bad idea to merge social networks with investment management. They compare it to going to an ice-cream store to buy steaks- you just don’t do it.
Plus, there’s the problem of social networks operating as free services. For quality investment advice, some type of fee would obviously be involved. Plus, people would have to trust these sites to invest their money for them, which most just aren’t willing to do, at least not yet.
While no plans have been made to put this robo-advising and social networking mish-mash into action, some are predicting that it could happen in the near future. Who would have thought it?