The race to change social media as we know it is ON. In the digital age, attention is a scarce resource. The old social media model is fast becoming obsolete when facing the new model that blockchain offers. Blockchain-based social media are turning the economic incentives on their head. Rather than extracting content and attention from users to reward shareholders, the new model rewards users and make them shareholders in the process.
As this idea move forward, it’s hard to believe that Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube won’t eventually go the same way MySpace did.
In this article, I’m surveying the 2018 landscape of where the blockchain is.
4 Blockchain Social Media Networks
As Sola’s whitepaper describe it:
Sola is the next generation decentralized social platform that incentivizes and benefits all involved parties — users, third-party developers and the core team. The name Sola is an acronym for “social layer.”
The team behind this have had 10 years of experience and are really having a novel approach to social media. For one, there is no “followers”, “friends” or even a newsfeed. Rather it works through suggested posts via a machine learning model. Their economic model is also different. They use a revenue sharing model that comes from multiple sources of revenue such as advertising.
- Native advertising (third-party networks at the early stage);
- Pay-per-engagement model (connectors for 3rd-party services that
want to benefit their users for engagement — games, apps;
- Custom ad-hoc campaigns;
- User purchases for services built on Sola Platform (Action
- Points, ad-free accounts, additional exposure);
- SOL transactions commission;
- Token sale (limited capacity).
What I like about this project is that they are focusing on having an revenue model that doesn’t only depend on token speculation. The UI is slick and the idea of cards and stacks are very innovative.
Recent changes made quite a few users angry since the vote-based auto distribution of SOL is discontinued. But the platform is still a very interesting concept and it will be interesting to watch what will become of it in the future.
onG.Social – Achieve More Together
onG.social is according to their website:
A blockchain based social dashboard that provides ease of control for both central-decentralized social media networks and that also supports community building and social interaction with cryptocurrency rewards.
I’m going to be honest, when I registered and logged in for the first time, the welcome page copy felt like a cheap network marketing advertising from 2014. Alexa SiteInfo tells me that its global ranking is 621,556 and that most of it’s users are from Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other east-Asian countries. That’s pretty abysmal to be honest. Also, there doesn’t seem to have a focus to bring in developer to develop apps for it. All in all, it doesn’t look too good to me.
Akasha is a ethereum powered social media network that has freedom of speech, access to information and privacy as it’s main value proposition. In the morning that tried joining to review their web app, their website seems to have crashed. For an idea that has been 3 years in the making, that’s not too good.
But I’ve seen screenshot and the UI seems very clean and slick. The idea is a good one but I have doubts that ethereum is made for social media.
Here are my main critics about Akasha:
Ethereum has transaction costs
Apart from very marginal cases, I don’t see how a network can charge it’s users for using a service they could get for free elsewhere.
Ethereum is too slow to handle millions of transactions
Social media has to be extra fast, almost instantaneous and it has to have the bandwidth to run the same amount of transactions that regular website such as reddit can.
The focus on freedom of speech is an error in judgement
In concept when we talk about currency, that’s good. But the problem is that every social media networks needs moderation…otherwise, the place becomes toxic. This ideology might get in the way of building a thriving community.
I’m ready to be corrected about this
As soon as the web app is functional and I can use it more fully, I will make sure to write a full review of this main contender in the blockchain-based social media world.
Steem is currently the number one in the race. With over 385 apps built on top of it already, the Steem blockchain is poised to dominate the content web. It does have it’s problems and is far from being perfect. But despite the downside, this blockchain can boast with some impressive apps built on top of it:
- Steemit.com – The MVP of the Steem blockchain (1,741 Alexa Global Rank)
- D.tube – Decentralized Video Platform (20,697 Alexa Global Rank)
- DLive.io – Decentralized Streaming Platform (51,114 Alexa Global Rank)
- Busy.org – Facebook Like Interface of the Steem Blockchain (34,150 Alexa Global Rank)
- SteemMonsters – Collectable Magic The Gathering Like Card Game
- SteemPress – Seemless Integration Between WordPress and Steeem
One of it’s main advantage is that it is fairly easy for web developers to build on top of it. One of it’s major downside right now is the distribution of the Steem token. The network works on a delegated proof-of-stake and the networks token are distributed in proportion to how many Steem tokens are vested. Because of the Pareto Principal, which guarantees that in any creative venture majority of the rewards will go to a minority of users many users feel discontent about reward distribution.
There is also many abuse by people who want to game the system as well as the dominance of bot votes that people bid on to get a coveted place in the “Trending” section. These are only but a few of the challenges that the Steem blockchain face.
Now, I may have missed a few blockchain-based social media in this survey, please let me know if I did and I’ll make sure to review it as soon as possible.