Thanks to blockchain technology, there is a great opportunity to improve the way social networks work today.
Disadvantages to current social networks
One well-known problem in current social networks is that they are centralized, meaning that they are managed by a central entity or a leadership team.
Typically, the key priority of the leadership team is to generate value for the shareholders, not to consider privacy matters or other ethical issues from the user’s point of view.
The business model of social networks like Facebook is to sell the private data of their users to advertisers. Thanks to the vast amount of personal information that the users share, the advertising can be laser targeted.
Lately, Facebook has been involved in a number of scandals like the Cambridge Analitica scandal, which was a result of Cambridge Analytica’s abuse of its ability to access millions of users’ Facebook profile data.
Benefits of blockchain-based social networks
One of the key concepts of blockchain technology is decentralization, which means not having one central entity or authority who makes the decisions. Instead, the social network would be based on programmed protocols that would use self-executing smart contracts.
Security and privacy would be a strong benefit to this approach, as the user would be in charge of their private data that would be cryptographically secured and impossible to access by third-party providers (like Cambridge Analytica).
Here is a good description of the difference between the traditional social networks and the new ones, which are based on blockchain technology:
“First business model of the Internet: Centralized entities with massive centralized platforms with huge user bases, which extract revenue from services they give to users. (This would be Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, etc.)
Second business model of the Internet: Distributed peer-to-peer networks where the users of the network are also the owners of the network.“
Referring to the “second business model of the Internet“ described by Carlson-Wee, one of the benefits of blockchain-based social networks would be that the user would be incentivized to use the network.
In other words, the more you would upload content to the social network, the more you would earn its own virtual currency.
Just imagine if you could be paid for all the photos and other kinds of content you have shared on Facebook.
Building a social network based on blockchain technology that users love and where all the functions work perfectly is a somewhat complicated goal.
Currently, there are many projects that strive to be leaders in this category.
So far, the largest social network that runs on blockchain is Steemit, but it’s yet to experience wide-range user adoption and still needs to improve some of its features. At the time of writing this, it has 27.64 million monthly visits, according to Similarweb.com Once a social network reaches 100 million monthly visits, we could say it has gained some degree of wide user adoption.
Other related articles: