Is there a future for social media on the blockchain?
Even after the debacle of the Cambridge Analytica data leak, we continue to hear of new scandals surrounding the Facebook empire. This has lead to a growing need to find alternative platforms where we can trust that our personal data is kept private and secure.
The blockchain and its ‘un-hackable’ nature is the ideal foundation to build new trusted solutions on which we can all have faith.
Since the inception of Bitcoin, there have been a few social media platforms. Some good some bad, some will survive and thrive, and some won’t. There’s also a blogging site — Steemit, (which I don’t class as social media) being grouped amongst them.
There are a few social media platforms either live or being developed on the blockchain. Here I briefly write about only 4 of them.
- Steemit: Recently Steemit announced they are laying off 70% of their staff. This was mainly blamed on current crypto market conditions. Hmmmm, I don’t think the market conditions were the catalyst to be honest. Steemit, at best is a clumsy, cumbersome, average looking blogging site that resembles something from the early days of the Internet. Categorizing it as a social media platform is a bit of a stretch. Steemit seems to have had issues from the start, not only with the design, look/feel and user experience, but also from a customer service perspective. From personal experience, it took me approx 8 weeks to receive my logon credentials from the time of registering; and I was lucky. I know people who are still waiting after 6 months. If this was the kind of customer service experienced when the market was healthy and with Steemit fully staffed, what will it be like going forward. Steemit, a Dan Larimer startup, served its purpose to prove that tokenization of content on the blockchain was possible and revolutionary. To be fair it opened up the possibility of other (legitimate) social media platforms on the blockchain. Maybe if Dan had stuck around rather than leave it and move onto pastures new, he could have driven through improvements.
- Mithril: uses ERC-20 tokens to reward users of the platform. The platform itself is not decentralized and does not run on any blockchain. Mithril has approximately 10,000 active users and is growing. Mithril’s tokenization is built on their concept of ‘Social Mining’. As users produce content on the network, they earn MITH. Their mining rewards are directly linked to their influence and success as a contributor on the network. The more network value they bring to the platform, the more MITH they earn. All mining efforts and rewards transact via the Ethereum Network.
- Howdoo: soon to go live, Howdoo will run on its own blockchain. By providing regular updates and online demonstrations, the Howdoo team are building up a substantial interested and highly supportive community. Howdoo have attracted many ‘ambassadors’ for the platform specializing in certain content genres such as music, gaming, DJing and other areas. Howdoo is not only a cutting-edge social media platform for the average user, but also a platform with content creators in-mind; where brands can be built and marketed and at the same time ensuring that everyone is fairly rewarded. Many social media sites reward only those who can dedicate vast amounts to content creation. If you have a passion, you can share it and earn. Be it art, music, gaming, cosplay, health blogging and more; you can build and market your own channel and create a passive income and loyal fan-base. Users of the platform get to choose what information they share about themselves, ensuring that they remain anonymous if they wish, or alternatively expose certain information which will in-turn reward them with tokens. There is also the ability to block all or view only certain ads, again rewards are available depending the choices made.
- Minds: has been around for a while and has many users. It is however still just a DApp (decentralized app) residing on another blockchain. Currently it a hybrid on-chain and off-chain model on the Ethereum network. In fact, Minds is so heavily invested in Ethereum, they aim to become the biggest DApp on the Ethereum blockchain. With the sudden demise of Ethereum over recent months, one has to wonder how Minds will cope going forward if Ethereum continues its demise or ceases to exist. The long-term future for Minds seems rather uncertain right now. The MIND token is also an ERC-20 token. It could be in their own best interest to follow Howdoo’s lead and create their own blockchain rather than relying on a third-party solution.
Summary: whilst it is great to see social platforms moving towards the blockchain, similar to the early days of MySpace and Facebook, there may only be a few winners. With this in mind and judging the vision, ability to deliver and potential leaders in this space, I have to say the pick of the bunch for me is Howdoo. Although not live yet, I have been following it closely for a few months and am nothing but impressed with the way these guys are going about building their platform, community and back-end support.
When compared to other social media options, Howdoo seems to have a plethora of features on offer. From the ability to earn tokens by sharing content, to the ability to decide what ads you see or not; again, by leveraging tokenization within its own ecosystem, token and blockchain, 100% independent from outside influences such as Ethereum.
By having their own blockchain Howdoo are able to offer the opportunity to invest in master-nodes, which appear to have an attractive reward structure. See https://howdoo.io/nodes/ for more details.
The number of partners these guys have on-board is impressive and they appear to be going from strength to strength.
With sign-ups well in excess of 35,000 (at time of writing), they already have over 3.5 times the number of users Mithril has on their live platform.
As an investor, if you compare the value of Mithril with Howdoo and factor in the number of users, the platforms and value both companies have; you may come to the conclusion that Howdoo has great potential. Whilst this is not financial advice and is purely my opinion, take a look at the detail yourself and make your own mind up.
Disclaimer: This article is based purely on my opinion. I do not endorse any of the companies or branding that I write about. I use them for demonstration purposes only, to make a point or as an example. This is not financial or any other form of advice. Always do your own research.