A company that offers online free text, video, audio and email exchange is making headlines as the internet warms and companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Twitter are finding ways to monetize content that is already on the web.
But in an increasingly crowded space, free text has long been a risky bet.
“Free text is like any other service where the value comes from a free-to-play model.
And what I mean by free is a service where you pay for it,” said David Pecher, an associate professor of marketing at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and co-author of “A Free Text Economy.””
It’s like paying for your car, a car service, and then you’re paying for the car.”
The rise of free text and other text-based services has spawned a boom in new online services such as email-based chat and video sharing sites.
In February, Facebook launched a new app called WhatsApp that lets users send and receive text messages free of charge, as well as video, pictures and audio.
The service is available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone, as does Microsoft’s Outlook.com app.
Google’s Google+ Messenger service offers free text messaging for anyone who signs up for the service.
And Twitter’s free video chat app lets users upload videos to their timeline free of cost.
“There’s a lot of new entrants in this space.
A lot of people are looking for alternatives to traditional advertising,” said Steve DeAngelo, a marketing professor at the University of Delaware.
The growth in free text services comes as social media sites are increasingly focused on making money.
Facebook has spent more than $200 million in 2016 on ads and promotions on its social media platform.
And Google, Twitter and Yahoo, as they continue to experiment with new business models, have been investing heavily in mobile advertising.
“If you look at the way that the social networks are monetizing their data, the data is being used in a way that’s different from the traditional way of advertising,” DeAngelo said.
Facebook said it would continue to pay for ad placement through ads.
Twitter said it was “working hard” to monetise its content.
“We are continuing to build out a comprehensive advertising strategy that includes paid search ads, ad-supported social media platforms, and targeted advertising,” the social media companies said in a statement.
Yahoo, meanwhile, has been developing an advertising program for mobile users.
But Pechers view free text as a gamble.
“I would say that for the next decade or so, it will be the free text business,” he said.
Free text and free advertising are often at odds in online terms.
Free text can be a good marketing tool for companies, but Pecheres is skeptical of the business models that use it.
“I think the free texting companies have gone too far and have been too arrogant,” he added.
“They’ve just been doing things that don’t work in other industries.
They’re not seeing that the value is there.”
Free text offers a glimpse into the way people are buying and consuming content.
A recent study by research firm Nielsen found that the average person spends about $6 on content on social media.
The internet has brought a flood of data that helps companies monetize and measure the value of their content.
But it also has changed the way content is consumed.
Free texts, or text ads, are one way that people consume content online.
They are an extension of text messages that are sent to one person, or a collection of texts that are shared by several people.
They are a form of advertising that helps a company gain an audience and reach consumers.
And they can also be controversial, as a tool that makes it easier for companies to track who posts what.
“A lot of these free texts, it’s just like, ‘Hey, I don’t care about the text,'” said Tim Anderson, a professor of communication at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
“You’re paying to send someone a text message.
You’re not paying for anything.
It’s a service.”
The trend to monetizing free text began long before the internet, when businesses like AT&T and Time Warner used text messages to get their customers to buy their products.
But as the technology has matured and companies have been able to use text messages as a form more efficiently, they have also been using them to market to consumers.
“Companies are now using text messages, especially in their mobile advertising, to get people to do more of their online shopping,” said Mark Siegel, a senior analyst at Forrester Research.
“People want to buy something from a company that is not in their social network, so they send text messages.”
The proliferation of text ads has also created a problem for those businesses that are trying to survive in a crowded online market.