[PolkaStarter] Decentralized Social Media: What Does The Future Hold For SocialFi?
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok — social media have been embedded in the fabric of our society for the past 15 years, redefining how we communicate, laugh, work and get the news. The dawn of blockchain technology is slowly yet steadily shaking up every single vertical and industry we know, and social media is no exception. The third generation of the Internet will bring the social media ecosystem in ways that a few years back would seem unthinkable.
Own your tweets, memes and GIFs
Let’s start with a simple example. Whether it’s a group chat, a personal chat, or the comment section of a social media platform, we’ve all used or at least seen one of the memes included on this list. As crazy as this sounds, GIFs and memes have become a humorous yet meaningful way of interaction for our generation, encapsulating a specific mood, feelings or thoughts.
Have you considered who the original creator of these viral pieces of content is? Shouldn’t you be given the credit and monetary compensation for creating something the world uses daily? The infrastructure and nature of web2 make it impossible to track and assign ownership. Enter the blockchain.
In the blockchain version of social media, people will be able to own the rights to anything they say and produce. For example, the technology will allow you to mint your own tweets or Pinterest boards, proving you have the rights to your ideas, assets and creations.
Goodbye censorship, time for data security
This might be the most glaring difference between social media as we know it today and the social media of the blockchain era. As things stand, users are the product, and the platform is the seller. Platforms are centralized and, more often than not, are publicly traded on the stock market.
These businesses always have to thread the rope of what is good for profitability and the shareholders and what is good for the end-user. An apparent conflict of interest has often led to major scandals, such as the Facebook data privacy debacle. Moreover, with centralised social media platforms, users have no control or insights into what the algorithm shows them. There are countless examples of people getting shadowbanned or banned outright from these platforms for reasons decided by the platform owners. Can you imagine paying your bills, making your livelihood as a content creator, and getting banned from these platforms with no warning or way to defend yourself?
SocialFi is web3's answer to social media — combining networking and finance to create decentralized social applications, and it’s meant to change the paradigm set above, making you, the user, the owner, and the platform the facilitator. You’ll be the owner of your data, and you’ll be able to do with it as you choose. Platforms will be able to issue social tokens, and creators will be able to monetize their creations without a central figure taking the lion’s share of the profit. Platforms will essentially transform into marketplaces of exchanging value, creating a sense of exclusivity and shareability for content.
Web3 social media: the key to mass adoption
Getting people to relinquish what they’re used to and adopt new technology is challenging. We are all creatures of habit, and although blockchain technology has undeniable benefits and potential, it’s been received with scepticism. The web3 version of social media could actually be the key to unlocking mass adoption. This is a model that is universally accepted and recognised.
Community and communication are the new analytics
Current social media platforms base their advertising, approach and entire monetisation model on the data they collect from users. By mapping out user tendencies, likes, dislikes and trends, they tailor their algorithm, suggestions and promotional content accordingly. While that makes for a daily convenient user experience, it’s also an invasive process that digs deep into each user’s personal preferences. As a result, we, as users, are essentially sacrificing a big part of our privacy to let these platforms personalise the content they serve us.
Decentralized social media is proposing an entirely new approach. Analytics won’t possess the power and allure they now have because data resides with the user. Brands and interested parties must communicate with their users to understand their problems. What a community wants and feels will no longer be the product of fancy analytical models and numbers but the result of communication, discussion and interaction. It’s no surprise that the entire crypto space is powered by community-driven platforms, where users can be heard and reach project and platform owners.
What will happen remains to be seen, but the foundational pieces are already in place for SocialFi. Are you ready to embrace the new breed of social media platforms?
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