Every day it seems, I discover a new social media built on the blockchain. I’ve read the SocialX.Network whitepaper a couple times but haven’t yet got invited to the closed beta release. If you want to join the waiting list, you can do so here.
So I will review to the best of my ability what SocialX has to offer, the good and the bad as far as I can tell.
What is SocialX.Network?
The company behind SocialX.Network is based in Indonesia finished it’s ICO with ~$1,916,465 in investment. Not the most successful ICO in the history of the world but it should be enough for a small team to get something off the ground. The product is built on Ethereum.
On their website, they describe themselves as follow:
SocialX is a community-driven social media platform allowing users to publish photo and video content. It has many similarities to established social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, but there is one major difference: SocialX is a decentralised blockchain platform where everyone can earn cryptocurrency SOCX token rewards.
But after reading the whitepaper, I wouldn’t say that their competitive advantage is the token reward. There are some features that other social media built on blockchain should take notice of. This is what I’m going to cover today.
SocialX.Network Interesting Features
Creative License Management
Anyone can take your images and use them as their own on social media platforms, like Instagram. According to analysts, the global still image market will reach 4.46 billion USD by 2020. SocialX wants to makes sure you get rewarded for your creative content at the same time as making it easy for others to use it legally.
This is a great idea to embed within a social media. People use images from other people all the time over the internet without a thought about the possible legal ramifications. In Social.Network, people will be able to purchase the creative license directly from the artist who creates content on the platform.
Prepaid Credit Card
This feature is not on their roadmap for the short term, but it’s nice to know that it is something that they want. This is definitely something that is missing on the other social media built on a blockchain…an easy way to spend your hard earned crypto!
Encrypted SMS and Voice/Video Calls
This is something that is already possible on other apps out there. But I haven’t found a dapp that is doing it. Combine this with a p2p money transfer and you may have something that got wings.
SocialX.Network will include a self-serve advertising dashboard for users…kind of like Facebook does. There isn’t too much detail as to how the profits will be distributed but they made it clear that it is a feature that is for way later.
My Review of SocialX.Network
Now, after going through the whitepaper a couple times, I think I have an idea of the general concept but I haven’t yet seen the implementation. We are all in the waiting list for now.
For this reason, take this review with a grain of salt and I will come back to it later this year when I gathered more data. Many of the issues an incentivized social media dapp face comes once thousands of people are trying to game the system.
The new features that it brings to the table. I like the idea of separating “likes”, that are a simple recognition that the content was appreciated, and “SuperLikes” that rewards users with tokens. I like the creative management system, I think the artists deserve to be rewarded when people want to use their work.
From what I can tell, they are going directly into the mobile market. Most people spend their time on their mobile rather than a desktop and also, it opens more avenues in developing countries.
Correct use of Ethereum
I bemoan all the time that Ethereum is not built for social media. There are transaction costs and for now very slow. When it comes to social media, people want free access. In my review of Sapien Network, I had their use of Ethereum as a negative, but in this case, it’s a pro. Using Ethereum to enforce digital license contract is a good idea as well as using it for simple p2p transfer. I’m not sure about how they are implementing the “SuperLikes” since it’s not specified in the whitepaper but we shall see.
Weird comparison with Steemit.com
Throughout the whitepaper, the comparison between themselves and steemit.com shows that they simply do not know what they are talking about. Steemit.com is an MVP to showcase the Steem blockchain. Especially on their telegram, they bemoan the fact that steemit.com doesn’t do video hosting while there are already many websites built on Steem that uses the same technology as them to host videos and music (IPFS).
Marketing Hype and Vague About Specifics
We get all sorts of graphs and statistics about the marketing but very little about the technology. For example after reading the whitepaper I don’t know how:
- The governance system works in detail
- They will verify identity (somehow with CIVIC)
- Rewards are distributed via SuperLikes
- IPFS or something else will be used for storage
The Moderator System
The system will automatically decide which users are active enough to become moderators. Moderators will then get an overview of all entries reported by the community. If a mod approves a reported entry, the user who reported the entry will be rewarded as soon as at least 50% of other moderators come to the same conclusion as the first moderator.
It makes me think of the Youtube Heroes Controversy. I’m not against moderators at all, they are necessary to provide a good user experience. I’m not convinced of the validity of this moderation model.
Not a Network, An App
I have a hard time to see how this project would attract a large number of developers who want to build dapps on top of it and what would be their incentives to do so. There are so many third-party involved (IPFS, CIVIC, proprietary technology) that one would have to get familiar with all of them in order to build something.
The verdict is still up since I haven’t seen the implementation of the whitepaper. I wish SocialX.Network to achieve their goal and prove that my concerns were unfounded. Please leave your comment below and make sure to join the waiting list to download the app.