Happy Prime Day. Very few companies have the power to create “a day.” Amazon does. It also has the power to save us from Twitter, where some MSM figures spent the weekend taking vows to distance themselves from the platform that has both addicted and disfigured many, though not all, in the Manhattan-Beltway media elite. Twitter is bad for the soul, they seem to be saying, or at least for the national “conversation.” They are right.
So my message on Prime Day is pretty simple: Save social media, Mr. Bezos.
The fact is that Amazon has more than 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers around the world. Jeff Bezos revealed the number in a letter to shareholders in April. Despite a price hike on the basic membership, I expect the number to keel growing. That’s why I own some Amazon stock. Amazon is the Kudzu of retail. It’s not stopping growing anywhere soon. So Amazon Prime is going to keep growing too.
To join Prime is to become a credentialed member of an Internet ecosystem. You can’t be anonymous —not easily at least— and it costs real money to join, but benefits are real as is the steady accumulation of tens of millions of members.
Prime would serve the public and Amazon’s shareholders if it was to launch a Twitter-like platform but only for Prime Members. Call it for the purpose of this column “Prime Platform.”
You don’t pay, you don’t play. But once in the door (and 100 million plus people —not bots— are already through the opening as members of Prime) “Prime Platform” could become the “always good Twitter” instead of the often dark and frequently disgusting Twitter of trolls, fanatics and extremists.
Twitter is diseased and there isn’t a single user who doesn’t know that. It is also indispensable for news and sports junkies. There isn’t an alternative. Or at least there hasn’t been one to date.
Prime Platform could change that. Prime Platform could exile the worst of the Twitter behaviors in the “terms of service.” The Eden of social media could be opened, all because it costs money to get in, but the cost is ancillary to the real benefit which is the shopping service. The community already exists. It would just change its chatter land from Twitter to Prime Platform.
Prime Platform would evolve to destroy not just Twitter but probably Facebook and Snapchat, Instagram and pretty much every other social media platform out there because, again, it kills off the creep factor but keeps the fun and the news feed functions of good Twitter.
Give it some thought Mr. Bezos. A “Prime Platform” is a meeting place online whose time has come.