Blockchain technology is now at its peak conquering more and more spheres of the economy. With gaming, banking, insurance, and not to mention the crypto markets explosion already affected by it, blockchain is determined to change the rules social media sticks to. How? Let’s find out.
Decentralized social media platforms run on distributed ledger technologies. In contrast to centralized media which uses servers to store data, blockchain-based media records it on the ledger. That peculiarity prohibits amending the existing information and makes all actions transparent.
Blockchain can boast a set of features making decentralized social media platforms quite an innovation to look for, such as:
- No authority
Decentralized media are not governed by any authorities like centralized ones. It means that no one has the power to ban or censor any content which is a big step forward towards freedom of speech.
- Ownership protection
On a blockchain, it is really hard to steal someone’s personal data or user-generated content as everything is recorded on the ledger and thus is immutable.
To log in on a centralized social media like Instagram or Facebook, the user is to use either a private telephone number or an email. It creates weak spots in privacy protection. Once the account is hacked it can link to sensitive personal data leakage even down to physical address.
Registration on decentralized networks does not require real-life data but relies on public-key cryptography instead.
- Economic neutrality
Centralized social media is brimming with advertisements. What is more, many people feel frustrated when they see ads for things they would like to obtain but didn’t search for on this media. Privacy concerns once again. Also, users just get tired of being constantly bombarded with promotion materials. Decentralized social media doesn’t rely on advertisement but gets financial support from sponsors who believe in the success of such platforms.
- Clear content algorithms
Since decentralized platforms don’t have ruling authorities, no one can influence the content the users come across. The feed is tailored according to a user’s needs and interests and is not infiltrated by advertisers or any sort of propaganda.
Nothing can be 100% perfect and blockchain-run social networks have their fly in the ointment.
There are several minuses to be taken into account:
- Negative content
With no controlling authority and no ability to delete the content violent materials and hate speech can appear.
Depending on the outside funding, decentralized social media platforms run a risk of being shut down if funding is scarce. In that case, the users can lose all the connections and data.
Bots may endanger the functioning of decentralized social media platforms and engage in malicious activities. There is a risk of 51% attack in which over 50% of a network’s power can be controlled by perpetrators allowing them to edit data, which would damage the integrity of the system.
- Environmental concerns
Blockchain procedures require very sophisticated technological equipment, which, in its turn, consumes lots of energy leading to a harmful impact on the environment. However, developers are trying to create a solution to lessen the burden on the ecology.
Popular blockchain social media platforms
Despite the drawbacks, there are blockchain social media platforms with thousands of users:
Subsocial allows anyone to launch their own decentralized social network community. It is a member of the Polkadot Ecosystem. Subsocial gives the users the ability to choose roles, set the rules of the communities, and grant rewards. The platform has a monetization system for content creators.
Steem is a decentralized social media, powered by a team of full-time individuals, open-source contributors, and community members. The platform has its own cryptocurrency, STEEM, which is granted to active users for generating the content. The reward system is similar to the concept of gamers crypto, when one gains crypto via involvement in the platform’s activities, and can then make transactions with the assets received.
Mastodon is a decentralized twin of Twitter. The users participate in microblogging, sharing thoughts in the form of posts of no more than 500 characters, called toots. The members create separate communities and can decide whether the users from other communities can follow and join them.
Even though decentralized social media platforms are attracting more and more users, it is unlikely that the world will switch to them in the near future. There are some obvious limitations to be solved for the blockchain-running media to be universally adopted. Yet it has the great potential to change the game. Nowadays companies look for the help of experienced blockchain consultants to start implementing blockchain technologies in their projects and social media is no exception.