A Triple-Layered Business Model Framework for Social Media


  • Ootto Petrovic University of Graz




Social media, business model, triple-layered, sustainability, environmental impact


Social media are increasingly based on commercial business models. Scientific literature and articles in the mass media have been available for some time discussing individual aspects of economic business models and their environmental and social impacts. Often these statements are contradictory, biased towards a certain aspect, and without context by comparison with substitute goods that cover similar needs. This paper aims to develop a framework to understand the business models of social media, including their social and environmental impact, and to identify starting points for innovations. In addition to the economic layer of the business model, the environmental and social layers are also discussed. The latter two are still underrepresented in the domain of business model analysis. First, the elements of the economic layer of social media business models are defined. Then it is shown how the single economic view can be expanded to include the environmental and social impact. Finally, we argue why the different socioeconomic backgrounds of involved stakeholders should be considered to avoid a biased, ethnocentric view of business models.