How Can Blockchain Add Value to Your Social Media Networking?
The total number of social media users worldwide is 2.34 billion and the number is expected to touch 3 billion by 2020, according to several sources. The level of engagement that is happening via social media is unprecedented. Unknowingly, millions of precious personal data are exchanged and shared without any reward. Ultimately, customers do not own the data. The control is in the hands of the owners of such platforms.
- Commercialization of data
- Sensitivity to privacy
What is the best way to come out of this situation?
The answer is decentralization.
Blockchain is a decentralized network. Creating social media platforms using Blockchain technology has several advantages. It can enable users to own and control their information. A decentralized social media platform is a serverless application in a blockchain-based distributed network. Once a blockchain social media network is ready, users have to just create an account and post content. They get rewarded for every post. In short, if leveraged correctly, the perks of a Blockchain social media are eternal.
“The breakthrough of blockchain is really this notion of distributed trust, and I think the bigger breakthroughs are going to happen when people apply blockchain to use cases,” said PayPal COO William Ready.
Difference between Current Social Networks and a Blockchain Social Network
- Social networks are centralized
- Social networks control user data
- Less security
- Lack of authenticity
- No reward to content owners/viewers
- Less transparent
- Less robust
- Prone to censorship
- Currently, each social media platform has its own level of permissivity
- Can fail anytime / Can be muted
- Social networks are a decentralized distributed network
- Users have complete control, value that a user creates stays in his/her control
- Totally secured
- Completely authenticated
- Everyone who positively influences the network is rewarded (reputation-based)
- More transparent
- More robust
- No censorship
- Blockchain allows anyone with a token/coin to post
- No central point of failure / immutable
What are the Major Blockchain protocols?
There are several platforms available today with which you can build decentralized blockchains.
- Bitcoin is a public blockchain but is designed for peer-to-peer transactions, and thus, cannot be utilized as such to build smart contracts for a decentralized system.
- Hyperledger is more for building a private blockchain network.
- Ethereum is a well-known and well-functioning platform that can be used to construct decentralized blockchains.
Ethereum Has the Potential to Change the Way We Communicate via Social Media
Have a look at the below image which gives a clear picture of all the players who are testing Ethereum for social networking.
Ethereum is an open-source blockchain-based distributed computing platform.
Active since 2015, Ethereum’s current market capitalization is estimated to be $118.5 billion USD. Several players have already started exploring the possibilities. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has already prompted a call for a decentralized social network. Messaging app Telegram is all set to launch its own Blockchain platform and cryptocurrency.
Ethereum is programmable and has much broader applications. It is self-sustaining and unstoppable. Creating blockchain applications are much easier with Ethereum. There are one million transactions running on the Ethereum platform today, with a thousand different applications built on one single platform.
So, typically what happens when we have social media on Ethereum blockchain?
- Users generate content.
- Users are made to watch ads.
- Advertisers shell out money to display ads on the social media platform to connect with the audience.
- Owners of the social media platform (the central entity) benefit by taking money from advertisers.
- Owners of the social media platform benefit by taking content from users.
- Ultimate profit maker – Owner.
- Users provide content and get rewarded in return (in the form of cryptocurrencies).
- Users have an option to either watch the ads or not. If they choose to watch they get paid in return.
- Advertisers pay to reach users (who are only keen to watch).
- Basically, instead of the owner making all the profit, users make a profit here.
The main intention is to protect identity and reputation of the users and give them credit to use the platform.
“I expect 2018 will be the year where all of the ideas around scalability, Plasma, proof-of-stake, and privacy that we have painstakingly worked on and refined over the last four years are finally going to turn into real, live working code that you can play around in a highly mature form in some cases on testnets, and in some key cases even on the public mainnet,” Vitalik Butarin, founder of Ethereum said in a statement.
We are seeing a growing number of developments being made to incorporate this technology and improvise ideas and concepts that can shape the future of social networks.