What if the data or content you shared on social media is owned by you and possibly a source for revenue generation?
Not long ago, the giants of social media of the past had been overthrown. The children of the 1990s will remember that Orkut, MySpace and Friendster have been left behind in the dust by Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. What happened? How have profitable companies with large user bases suddenly reduced to zero? The answer is simple; MODIFY.
In the digital world, everything moves fast. Users like you and I share things faster than ever, data is generated at an unimaginable speed and the Next Big Thing has already been replaced (perhaps forgotten). In a world like this, companies constantly need to renew their services and the nature of their services based on the needs and wishes of users or risk falling into disrepair.
Now more than ever, people are worried about what they are paying to use these seemingly free services. This is one of the reasons why websites keep telling you that their privacy policies have been updated because Facebook's 2018 data leak showed us that we are all paying for our personal data. We now know that there are many applications for data that we generate on a daily basis and there are companies that are willing to invest a lot of money to get access to this data. As long as we continue to use social media, our data will be sold to these companies. But if we had an alternative, a lesser evil?
Welcome to the post-blockchain digital world. If you are reading this article, it is likely that you already know that it is blockchain, but for those who do not know it, you can read all about it here. In simple words, blockchain allows the authentic verification of identity, information and data. Therefore, it can be used to improve social media by giving ownership of one's data for one thing.
This new change is exactly what Facebook and other social media giants need to incorporate into their services or risk being replaced. New blockchain-based social media sites are already popping up in the Silicon Valley and everyone seems to have some common selling points, more or less:
Decentralized: immune to censorship
It is likely that you and I live in parts of the world where sites like Facebook and YouTube are readily available. But there are parts of the world where certain social media sites are banned or censored. But sites like Sapien are based on the blockchain, so a decentralized architecture makes it almost immune to blocking and censorship. Without a central authority, the network can not be closed. Hurray for freedom of speech!
Tokenized: incorporates cryptocurrency
In simple words, tokenization means that you can divide something into parts and give each part a unique value. For example, like digital collectible dogs and cats. New social media sites such as Sapien, Sola and Steem are based on SPN token, SOL token and STEEM token respectively.
It becomes a bit complicated so we think of the points as tokens. These points contain micro-values as a sort of virtual currency. But since the tokens are linked to a cryptocurrency, they have the potential to be exchanged for cash. This has a very important application, which takes us to our last point.
Incentivized – Creation of content based on awards
Today's social media platforms profit from our data. Our information is used for targeted advertising, so it is clear that more data is collected from us, more ads can show us. This is the only way to please their shareholders.
If the intermediary was removed and you were responsible for your data, you could not only be active or passive on sharing data as you wanted, without fear that your data will be collected without regulation all the time, you could also be paid for the content you create and post on social media directly from the advertiser.
Let's go back to tokens / points. These points will be assigned to users to like, comment, share, create content and much more. These points would then be converted into the equivalent amount of cryptocurrency and withdrawn by the user through an exchange. You would be paid to use social media!
The incorporation of blockchain technology into many existing platforms and services is unavoidable. I believe we are late for a move into a new world of social media where we are owners and owners of our data and content. Although the above initiatives are still young and require a lot of work before being able to compete with Facebook and Twitter; remember that the bigger they are, the more they fall.