Meta-Markets is a stock market for social media profiles.
Users on social media platforms upload content, collect responses, build their social graph and the resulting activity feed by following or unfollowing users. The platform owners capture value of these network effects through control of data, they monetize users’ activity data by selling access to third parties and advertisers. Whereas, the majority of users are not well informed about the extend of value they generate on a social media platform. Meta-Markets raises the following questions: As users of social media platforms, what monetary value we create for the platform? How might the users benefit from the extend of the value they generated?
On Meta-Markets, members engage in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of their own social media profiles (e.g., Facebook profile) and trade shares of other people using a virtual currency. During the IPO process, each user accepts their profile to be represented as 1000 shares. They keep 50% of these shares, and sell the rest of it in a Dutch Auction IPO. After a 3-day auction, the initial value of the shares is decided and it gets traded openly afterwards. As in any market, supply and demand determines the value of each share of the social media profile.
Meta-Markets was active from 2007 to 2009 at meta-markets.com. The available markets that you could IPO your profile were Facebook, Delicious, Flickr, and Feedburner (a blog analytics company, later acquired by Google). Meta-Markets community traded shares of social media profiles and discussed fair valuation models, while engaging in an experiment on the relation between market dynamics and social values. The market was shut down after 2 years due to costs, just as bitcoin was starting.
On May 1st 2008, User Labor protocol was released as an outcome of the Meta-Markets platform.