What is Platform Risk, and How Can Content Creators Protect Their Future?
Platform risk is overlooked by content creators until it is too late. Take action now, and mitigate platform risk before you lose your audience overnight.
OnlyFans gave a lot of content creators their first brush with platform risk, recently. They have since changed their minds, but the threat of platform risk is still very real for creators regardless of their chosen platform.
When your creative career is going well, it’s hard to envision it going away. Though platform risk can sweep a career away overnight if we aren’t careful.
What is Platform Risk?
Platform risk is when a creator relies too heavily on a single content platform. This puts their career in jeopardy whenever the platform changes the algorithms, or if their account is suspended, banned, or hacked.
Let’s look at some theoretical examples:
Example Scenarios of Platform Risk
A creator on Twitter builds a large audience. Everything they post does well, and eventually they sell some digital products and earn some good money.
However, let’s say that creator notices their birth date is wrong on their account. So they go in and make that simple change they overlooked at the beginning.
But Twitter’s automated systems catch this as suspicious, and the account gets suspended or banned. Suddenly, the successful creator has 0 contact with their audience and no income stream.
They can repeal the suspension, but it doesn’t take a long time for the damage to be done. Once they get back in and start posting again, it may take some time for the Tweets to get shown to the right audience.
A creator on Instagram can build a large following and even get some pretty great brand deals flowing.
But then Instagram can change the algorithm, and suddenly they’re not promoting that creator’s type of content anymore.
That creator either loses a chunk of income, or they adapt to the type of content Instagram wants. But the passion drops once they’re not creating the content they wanted to.
How Can Content Creators Protect Themselves?
If you are a content creator, and you are relying too heavily on one platform for your content it’s time to diversify a little bit.
To protect yourself from platform risk, the smartest thing to do is build an email list. Then you have a direct communication line to your engaged audience no matter what happens to your social platforms.
It could even benefit your creative career already. By sending email newsletters you avoid the risk of your profile being unjustly banned. And even better, your content doesn’t have to fight through the noise of the algorithm just to be seen.
Sure, you have some risk in terms of spam filters or your email provider going out of business. But there are steps you can take to avoid spam filters, and you can export your list out of any email service to use elsewhere.
You get to own the communication with your audience instead of rent it from a social platform.
A Full Frontal Example of Platform Risk
OnlyFans has given us an extremely clear example of platform risk recently. If you’re out of the loop, I’ll break it down a little bit.
OnlyFans announced that they would be removing explicit content from their platform. Notably, the platform is known for being one of the only mainstream platform for a sex worker to safely monetize their content.
The announcement immediately garnered reactions ranging from outrage to despair. Many creators reported a mass exodus of subscribers who didn’t see the value in the platform moving forward. Creators across the app had some legitimate fears about their future careers.
OnlyFans pinned this decision on their banks and credit card providers. Alleging that they had threatened to remove their services amongst reports of child pornography and other illegal content being present on the platform.
A very similar situation to what happened with PornHub last year.
Reversing the Decision… Kind Of.
Since the initial announcement, OnlyFans pulled a 180 and have “suspended” the policy change.
The word ‘suspended’ means this topic is going to come up again in the future.
Sex workers are safe on OnlyFans for now. But the relationship between creator and platform fractured when the initial announcement was made. Many creators simply will not (and should not) put their entire trust in OnlyFans moving forward.
If they want to protect themselves ahead of this policy returning, they should be looking at different lines of communication with their audiences like an email list.
Have you started building an email list, yet?
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