Will manifold significantly change its revenue model before the end of 2023?
resolved Aug 8

Roughly extrapolating from the amount of mana that has been donated to charity, I would guess that the amount of money coming in to manifold from people buying mana is quite small. Will manifold change its strategy to try and generate more revenue before the end of 2023?

Examples of things that would count:

  • Making manifold real-money or soft-real-money in some way (e.g. mana is redeemable for things other than donations)

  • Ads

  • Selling market data

  • Running private prediction markets for companies

For all of these it should be clear that they are at least trying to make this a main source of revenue, and not just a bit in the side

Examples of things that would not count:

  • Essentially the same revenue model, but with a big shift in marketing that makes it much more effective (e.g. popularise EAs giving their 10% via manifold)

    Dec 11, 11:17am: Will manifold significantly change its revenue model before the end of 2023 → Will manifold significantly change its revenue model before the end of 2023?

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I've been thinking about how to resolve this, and I've decided there's a basic confusion in how I wrote the question that makes it hard to resolve.

I was trying to distinguish between "random stuff they try to make a bit of extra money" vs "serious attempts to pivot to some other major source of revenue" vs "_successful_ attempts to pivot to some other revenue source", with the question targeted at the second one.

I now don't think it's really possible to distinguish between the first two, because features that don't take off will tend to get sidelined and look like "random stuff", but this doesn't mean they would not have been pursued more seriously if they had got a more positive signal. Ads are an example of this.

Because of this I've decided to resolve N/A. I may at some point make another market on whether they will _successfully_ change revenue source, which is a more straightforward question

@WilliamHoward I have made a do-over market with the clearer question:

A "main source" of revenue would, Ithink, need to be double digits in terms of percentage. Right now, it looks like only grants and VC $ are main sources. Don't see any evidence of a serious belief that, e.g., ads could be a non-trivial source of real-money revenue as currently implemented as opposed to a sink to combat mana inflation.

1 and 2 were implemented together in the new ad feature:


@PatMyron I don't know if this should count. Ads aren't viewed by enough people to be worth paying for if you're not already a Manifold user, and the mana doesn't go to Manifold, it goes to the people watching the ads, so it's not a source of revenue.

predicted YES

"Will manifold change its strategy to try and generate more revenue"

To me, this question wasn't asking whether they would generate more revenue from ads, but whether they'd try to generate more revenue from ads.

I'm not sure why else they'd introduce ads other than to make mana more valuable so they could try to sell more mana

both /ad and the new boost feature are intended to be mana sinks eventually. the 0 fee is just to encourage usage at the beginning

They've already said they're planning on doing items #1 and #4 in your examples, so the question is just whether they get around to doing so before the end of the year.

@IsaacKing huh didn't know that