What is Blockchain & How it is Going to Transform Social Media?
Social media may seem like the most significant innovation in a long time. However, we could consider blockchain to be so.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter may have brought us all together on the internet, but blockchain can solve global issues.
As a decentralized, trustless, ledger, the blockchain allows for transparent, immutable record keeping. The entire network is overlooked by a community of dedicated users instead of a traditional central authority.
Information isn’t kept on a server nor a physical database. Alternatively, the ledger is maintained by all the computers connecting to it worldwide.
Each block on a blockchain holds multiple transactions – of which are verified by the community. The work they put in creates value for the relevant cryptocurrency, removing the need for an overseeing party.
However, the decentralized nature lends itself to other industries, like the aforementioned social media space.
For example, YouTube wouldn’t need to rely on ads and the community would be more involved with changes. We’re going to break down a few problems with social media that the blockchain can solve.
Social Media’s Biggest Problems
Right now, social media platforms are the primary way of sharing content. News posts, opinion pieces, videos, music – it’s a digital space for word of mouth to spread.
That said, this space has been invaded by corrupt companies looking to spread propaganda. It’s called the “fake news” movement, and it’s been hitting networks like Facebook at rapid speed.
Users no longer know who they can trust and who is sharing news to push their agenda. On top of this, platforms like YouTube are constantly changing up their algorithms and payment processes.
Creators have no say in this, as the content distributor relies on advertisers to generate revenue.
That’s not to mention the high level of content theft that’s incredibly difficult to combat.
Unless a creator watermarks the hell out of their creation, someone will re-upload it under their name.
Due to the instant nature of the internet, it can be difficult to see who the original creator is. Content theft is very real, and it runs the risk of ruining the careers of all sorts of creators.
In an increasingly global world, we still face region locked content for some reason. Some news websites and video platforms limit viewers based on location.
These platforms force creators to rely on them for success, so it’s difficult to fight inequality.
Even further, companies are looking to establish online brands all the time. In fact, it’s hardly possible to survive as a company without social media in the first place nowadays.
However, the lack of consequence on the internet allows users to spam and slander corporations.
There isn’t much a business can do about online slander, so they opt away from interaction at all. This limits potential brand awareness and harms any real connections to be made with customers.
Fortunately, the blockchain has the solution to all of these issues and more. As a decentralized, user-driven network, a blockchain social media space puts the people first.
In a world with an over-reliance on third parties and controlling entities, the blockchain solution may be the only one.
Social media platforms need to evolve. They’re currently full of fake news and spambots. Users say whatever they’d like to companies with no repercussions, and creators struggle with content theft and proper payment solutions.
These problems have plagued social media for decades, and it’s time for a change.
How Blockchain Comes to the Rescue?
In this list, we’re going to break down how the blockchain can innovate on existing problems in the social media space.
1. Identifying and Rewarding Value
Take traditional social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, SoundCloud, and YouTube, among others. Each one of these has an established ad-revenue model.
While this works for the platform owners, it puts creators and users at a disadvantage.
If you create a viral tweet on Twitter or blog post on Tumblr, you receive no form of revenue.
While you may gain some influence, that doesn’t convert into funds by itself. That’s not to mention the lack of attribution for copied content.
The blockchain presents a different idea – that users can be justly rewarded for their contributions to the network. Because blockchain is a distributed ledger, social media networks could track the original poster and pay them accordingly.
When a post is made, the creator will receive a token representing ownership. The more tokens a user has, the more they are rewarded for contributing to the network.
2. Access to Content
In some cases, content is region-locked. This mostly applies to video on say, YouTube, for example, but there are cases of even news sites doing so.
Yes, you can get around blocks with a VPN, but the blockchain provides another solution.
Because no one entity controls the network, no party can choose what content to block. As mentioned, the blockchain is a global ecosystem that anyone can access.
However, most blockchain projects require the purchase of a cryptocurrency for participation. Social media is usually free, so this barrier may get in the way of mass adoption. At least until people get used to the idea of cryptocurrency.
3. Content Authenticity
Fake news is a genuine problem in modern society. All sorts of made-up noise is made up every single day. Technology allows us to create convincing content that’s nearly impossible to tell from the real thing.
While it’s impossible to prevent entirely, blockchain-based social media networks can trace a source of information.
The open-sourced technology allows for users to trace it as well, of course. The fact that content is protected will likely attract many extra users and creators.
This forces traditional platforms to step up their spam protection, and blockchain projects will stand against bots and troll accounts.
Plus, the ability to trace content will keep creators honest and further educate the general populace.
4. Increased Interest in Online Participation
Social media is a bit of a gamble when it comes to dealing with the public. Sometimes, businesses and entities will refuse to interact with accounts on social media.
This is usually due to the fact that “anything can happen.”
That said, the blockchain will allow for easily verified accounts so businesses can pick who to interact with.
This will increase companies’ desire to communicate with the public, further expanding a community around the property.
Both businesses and the public will benefit from an increased relationship. Companies will see the more positive press, and customers will feel more welcome at different corporations.
It’s a positive idea that stands against the “no consequences” side of the internet that we all must face.
Right now, most of the focus on blockchain technology is surrounding finance and businesses innovations.
However, as those initial implementations move ahead, we’ll start to see more entertainment focused ideas like social media.
That said, a few projects are already working to move social media platforms to the blockchain:
Steem allows users to reward content creators with tips based on their work. Creators will craft written, video, or audio material.
The more successful the piece, the more money they will make. In fact, some creators make thousands of dollars per piece of content.
Tron is a bold attempt at decentralizing the entire web as we know it. Of course, that includes social media platforms. There isn’t a ton to show right now, but the project is working on multiple social media plugins.
3. onG Social
This is a social media platform sort of like Facebook. The different with onG is it’s entirely decentralized and working on improving traditional social media algorithms.
onG Social had 234,000 users back in 2017, so it’s certainly gaining some traction already.
Instead of creating its own platform, ReddCoin is looking to integrate with already established ones like YouTube.
While these traditional platforms reward generators with ad-revenue, ReddCoin allows users to donate to favorite content creators.
Of course, established platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter aren’t going to go down in a long while.
These spaces have hundreds of millions of users, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.
However, these platforms are becoming filled with more and more spam and negative energies. The large user base combined with a money-driven central authority creates a problematic space for innovation. Blockchain technology provides a solution.
With decentralized technology, we will see less content theft and more corporation participation. Content will become available worldwide, and creators will be adequately rewarded for their involvement in a network.
The social media industry needs a way to restart. This new and improved technology will allow that.
It’s still a ways away, but the opposition has to start somewhere. Multiple blockchain-based social media platforms are looking to challenge the traditional ones.
The notion that we must rely on a controlling party is a thing of the past. As time goes on, we must move to a more community-centric internet, starting with the way we interact.
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In Post Image: Shutterstock.com
DisclaimerThe writer’s views are expressed as a personal opinion and are for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.
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