Applications and Use Cases

How Blockchain is Poised to Disrupt Social Media for Good


September 18, 2018

Last May, Facebook began development of blockchain applications for social media in earnest, hiring experts in the space, and, according to industry-wide reports, exploring a wide range of use cases even as the social media and messaging giant was under increasing pressure given layers of scandals.

This month, Facebook is running a national campaign in the U.S., positioning Facebook as a place for friends, first – not just a business platform. By confessing to the weaknesses in their platform, including questionable use and sale of private data, spam, clickbait, and political manipulation that could have helped foreign adversaries rig the US elections in 2016, Facebook knows it needs to do more to protect people and whole communities of people.

Blockchain can help, a concept that is not lost on dozens of social media companies who are built on blockchain from the ground up.

Facebook recently announced that David Marcus, formerly head of Messenger, would lead a new blockchain research unit including senior Instagram executives, including VP of Engineering James Everingham and VP of Product Kevin Weil.

Disrupt or Be Disrupted

At its simplest level, blockchain’s distributed ledger technology is fundamentally about empowering and protecting private communities. Blockchain is related to crypto-currency but is not just for thinks like Bitcoin; it has matured into a large enterprise alternative for securing the integrity of data, way beyond all the ICO, blocks, forks, wallets and “bitcoin billionaires.”

Here are a few companies who have a lead on Facebook in this space, using the technology to distribute trust throughout a network of users, using encryption techniques and incentives for “miners” to make blockchain communities increasingly stronger and more valuable.

While Facebook continues to grapple with huge issues, including it’s clear in ability to govern which could lead to regulation being threatened by the U.S. government and others, these entrepreneurs are building intelligent blockchain platforms, including AI that makes smart and completely transparent governance rewarding for users who not only report malicious posts, but gives content producers a means to make money, while end users like and share their content through creative and fun voting systems.

Following are a few examples of the top companies building “better social” in very different ways. (If you know of a company we should add to this list, please tweet me).

STEEMIT:

Steemit describes itself as the first social network built on the Steem blockchain, a decentralized reward platform for publishers to monetize content and grow the community. It is a sort of Reddit. Steemit believes that the users of the platform should receive the benefits and rewards for their attention and the contributions they make to the platform. Steem is simply a points system. However, because this points system is blockchain-based, the points can be traded on markets as tokens. People buy and sell these tokens, and many holds in anticipation of increased purchasing power for various Steem-related services. The rewards people earn are tokens that have market value and are readily tradable.

APPICS:

APPICS is a next generation, reward-based social media application that introduces a new ecosystem which merges lifestyle with generated income inside a single mobile application. Users who spend their time and creativity, posting and voting on content are the source of revenue for any social platform. The users are like the engine of the network. Unlike on any other popular social media site, where 100% of the platform’s value goes to the shareholders, APPICS enables all users to earn a fair share, as well as influence in the network, through a cryptocurrency reward-token (XAP). (XAP is the first new social coin issued by STEEM, which is the tech behind STEEMIT.

INDORSE:

Indorse is a LinkedIn-like decentralized platform based on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike traditional social media platforms, where users can make any claim about themselves which are often taken as the truth, Indorse verifies and validates the claim, and rewards users for endorsing the skill sets of others?—?a process the start-up has coined as ‘indorsing’.

SAGOON:

Sagoon has a vision of a world where everyone makes money while they socialize. They aim to change social media the way it is designed to use and interact. Sagoon is a one-of-its-kind social movement - Connect. Share. Earn - building meaningful connections, sharing useful information and earning while socializing.

onG.SOCIAL:

onG.SOCIAL is a blockchain-based social dashboard that provides ease of control for both central-decentralized social media networks and that also supports community building and social interaction with cryptocurrency rewards. oNG.social “brings all social networks of an individual to one place. An individual’s content can be distributed to all of their networks through the onG network at the same time. onG goes a step further by monetizing the efforts of participants within the network. Unlike traditional systems where content creators have to scout for advertisers, the onG network technically ‘lends’ advertisers to content owners.”

SOLA:

Sola (sola.ai) is a hybrid of media and social network governed by AI altogether with users. The platform, which according to its website counts more than 700,000 users worldwide, has evolved from what it calls “the concept of following.” Users post news, stories and entertainment cards, Sola takes care of the rest.”

KiK-Kin:

The teen chat app “Kik” has freshly launched a cryptocurrency called “Kin” and raised just under $100 million in an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). Kin is designed to offer incentives to developers and network contributors for bringing digital services, applications, and another value adds to the network. The long-term concept is to curate an in-app marketplace where brands can advertise directly to users via chat and collect payment, while users too can sell services to other users on the app. The company wants to make Kin the ideal payment tool for a digital sharing economy of equal opportunity by securing partners that can help them integrate Kin into high-engagement communities.

SYNERO:

Synereo offers blockchain-enabled Economy solutions, allowing direct and platform agnostic monetization of original content posted anywhere on the net.

WildSpark, the first tool released by Synereo, presents an entirely new way for original content to be monetized. WildSpark works as a distributed meta-layer on top of social networks, where users are incentivized to reward both creators and curators directly with AMP, without the media hub, social network – or Synereo – taking a cut.


Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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