Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: It’s all about engagement.
That has been a recurring theme from time to time around this space, as notable examples always surface. Today’s installment: Square, which shares a CEO with Twitter, maybe not by happenstance.
Just as with Twitter’s features that get added, the suggested follows, the topics, the highlighted tweets you might have missed, the variety that shows up in your feed based on interests you didn’t know you had…
So also Square, initially of relevance to merchants as they process customer receipts; then customers amongst each other, to send, receive, and track financial interactions; then buyers and sellers of the networked currency, because all of these things relate; and finally, securities transactions, because the line between a purchase and investment isn’t always clear, and it’s all attention grabbing from assorted angles… not unlike your curated Twitter feed, which is your attention portfolio.
As with portfolios of stocks and other instruments, this works best when it’s diversified and you participate. The broker’s job is to facilitate the ways for you to do so. And if the brokerage is good at this, it’s rewarded as a business in assorted ways, directly or indirectly.
This has been the Wall Street business model, and the media business model, since the dawn of both. The future bank will be a media conglomerate, in fact it already is… another oft-repeated blurb ’round here.