Facebook stock is trading at the highest price in its short history. And you’re responsible for its rise, but you get nothing for your work. The social media king is surging for a number of reasons–mostly because it owns Facebook, Facebook Messenger (now its own app), What’s App and Instagram. Instagram just announced it has 300 million users, making it bigger than Twitter (by that metric anyway). Facebook stock is up over $80 a share. And let’s be clear, once again–it’s all because of you.
Users supply every ounce of content for Facebook. Users supply every picture on Instagram. For free. Repeat: you supply all the content and create the lion’s share of the value of Facebook for free. You feed the Instagram beast with content–75 million users a day use the app. The entire value of Facebook, Instagram and What’s App derives from users using it. In his scary and astute book, Who Owns the Future?, the Internet sage Jaron Lanier has proposed a number of ways Facebook and companies like it could compensate you for making their companies so valuable. But for now your best hope is to buy a few shares of Facebook stock. It’s the ultimate Like button. And you ought to demand that Mark Zuckerberg sing you a holiday carol or something. Imagine if he needed to write handwritten thank you notes to everybody who helped make his fortune. Facebook probably has elves to help by now.