Anyone who’s been on Twitter knows what is flawed about it. Toxic tweetstorm to outrage mobs…Twitter is indeed a weird place where the worst of humanity easily comes out.
Some people think that the solution for all of that is a Twitter clone built on Ethereum. This project is called:
Peepeth – The Decentralized Twitter
Now I’m going to review some of the features that Peepeth brings to the table and then give my humble opinion on the project afterward.
Here are some of the interesting features that peepeth brings to the world of social media. Those features don’t have to be on the blockchain to be considered interesting. Not all problems need a blockchain solution right?
One “like” per day
…to help generate timeless content. The idea is that with a finite amount of “like”, people would consider more carefully who or what they want to reward with their limited supply of likes. As a general rule, the more of something you have, the less each unit is valuable to you.
Pin someone else’s Peep to your profile (but not your own)
This is self-explanatory but it is a feature that isn’t there on Twitter that can be nice to change the culture of self-promotion.
Decentralized Storage Using IPFS
All data isn’t stored on the blockchain but on the IPFS service. This service comes at a cost and this is why one has to pay a small amount of ETH in order to store their data.
You can post for free after ten days and 100 Peeps (otherwise, it costs a small amount of ether, a cryptocurrency, to prevent spam)
Peepeth can boast that is has a great UI that is quite intuitive to use.
My Review of Peepeth
I would say that all of the non-blockchain features that Peepeth proposed are quite nice to be honest. The cultural problem of Twitter is big enough that some people would look for a better place to land. Most of us, I hope, want a place for civilized discussions and a place where we raise each other up rather than tearing each other apart. But I could be mistaken…what if people actually like the “arena” of Twitter?
The UI is very nice and easy for someone to understand.
Oh man…where to start. Sometimes, writing these social media dapps review feels like the “Groundhog Day” movie with Bill Murray. The reason why people try to build social media dapps on Ethereum is beyond me.
High Barrier To Entry and Not Enough Incentives
So in order to start using Peepeth, one has to:
- Open an account on an exchange
- Buy Ether
- Install Metamask (and backup their keys)
- Fund Metamask
- Pay in order to sign-up to Peepeth
- Pay to store their peep once in a while
And for what? A slightly modified version of Twitter that calls itself “decentralized”…while only one website works with their technology. WHY would one go through all that trouble to be on social media? Sometimes, devs just don’t understand users and what makes them tic…they think in terms of features and technology and that’s a big mistake.
The problem is not painful enough to deserve a solution
There is a story where a teacher in marketing ask his classes what is the #1 thing he needs for a burger joint to succeed. Some people answered “the best burger” while others said “best prices”. In the end, the teacher gave the correct answer: “a hungry crowd”.
The market is not looking for “decentralized” or “blockchain based” features. Most people are not the kind of people who would be censored on Twitter or Facebook. They have a life, a family to feed and care for and friends in their neighborhood.
So why would the ordinary person conquer inertia for solving a problem they don’t have?
Peepeth lacks real incentives…it may appeal to a certain segment of the population that loves everything related to Ethereum but that will always remain a very niche market.
Unfortunately, this is where I land. Peepeth as very interesting ideas to change the culture of Twitter and their non-blockchain solutions for that are very interesting. But by using a pay-to-play model to solve a problem that people can’t care to solve, they have created a complicated solution to a non-problem.