Decentralised 🛠 Centralised social networks
It's difficult to predict which type of social network will become the global leader in the future. Their success will depend on user adoption, revenue models and regulatory environments.
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Social media is more centralised than your favourite coffee shop's seating chart. A handful of companies control what we see, hear, and share online, making big bucks off of our content without giving creators their fair share.
But it's not just a popularity contest - it's also a money grab. The way social media works right now is like a one-way street: we're stuck with whatever these companies give us, and they make sure no one else can play in their sandbox.
The reason for all this is simple: these companies own everything we create online, and that means they get to call the shots. It's like they're the only ones with keys to the gate, and we're all stuck outside.
But what if we could change that? What if we could create a system where everyone had access to the content we create, where no one company controlled everything?
That's where decentralisation comes in.
Just like Bitcoin and Ethereum are changing the way we think about money, we can use the same principles to revolutionise social media. By decentralising content, we can create a public pool that no one entity controls.
Think of it like a big public park: everyone can come and play, but no one person owns it all. That means more innovation, more competition, and more control for us, the users and creators.
The Work Required
To shift from a traditional social media platform to a decentralised blockchain platform, significant changes are required. This includes developing and deploying new technology infrastructure based on decentralised technologies like blockchain, changing the business model from selling services to using cryptocurrencies for generating revenue, providing users with more control over their data, and complying with data privacy and blockchain technology regulations.
These changes include:
Developing and deploying new technology infrastructure based on decentralised technologies such as blockchain would require significant development and testing efforts.
Due to the inability to collect and monetise user data, the company would have to fundamentally change its business model. Rather than selling services, it would need to use cryptocurrencies to generate revenue.
Users would have more control over their data and would be able to choose how it is used and shared, so the user experience would likely change as well. Users must be able to easily use the platform.
Data privacy and blockchain technology regulations would need to be followed by the company, as well as all other applicable laws and regulations.
What about the incumbents?
Guess who's getting into the text-based updates game? None other than Meta (formerly known as Facebook)! They're creating an app called "P92" for all you creators and public figures out there to share your timely interests.
But what really sets this app apart is that it's planned to be decentralised. Users will have the power to set up their own servers and rules for moderation. It's like giving the keys to the kingdom to the people!
Meta's legal and regulatory teams are already on top of privacy concerns, and while there's no official release date yet, it's looking like this app could potentially work with other social media products.
The Bluesky project, which Twitter supported financially, is now a public benefit company that aims to reduce the power of centralised platforms like Twitter. Elon Musk, the current owner of Twitter, was already discussing an open source protocol with Dorsey via text messages before his acquisition.
Dorsey left his CEO position at Twitter in November 2021 but remained on the board until May 2022. Shortly after stepping down, he took to Twitter (of course) to tout Bluesky as "an open decentralised standard for social media." He believes this new platform is necessary to give users more control over their content and reduce censorship.
Why not sponsor, eh?
The User Experience
When it comes to decentralised social media platforms, the user experience would be different from that of traditional centralised platforms. Users would have more control over their data, with the ability to opt in or out of different types of data collection and sharing, or have more control over privacy settings.
To attract and retain users, the company would need to focus on designing an intuitive and easy-to-navigate platform, providing tools for content creation and sharing, as well as unique privacy and security features not found on traditional social media platforms. Creating a compelling user experience would be key in setting the decentralised platform apart from centralised alternatives.
The Paper Work
Compliance with laws and regulations is crucial for a decentralised social media platform, especially when it comes to data privacy and blockchain technology. Each jurisdiction has its own set of laws and regulations, which the company must comply with.
For instance, in regions like the European Union and California, companies are required to comply with data privacy laws like GDPR, which mandates that users be given certain rights, such as access and deletion of their personal data.
The company must also ensure compliance with laws related to cryptocurrency, smart contracts, and other aspects of blockchain technology. Additionally, the company must be aware of and comply with other relevant laws and regulations, such as those related to advertising, consumer protection, and financial regulations.
Decentralised social media platforms like Mastodon and Lens Protocol are gaining popularity as users search for alternatives to Silicon Valley giants. Mastodon's "federated" network approach, which spreads out the costs of running the program and allows for different content moderation standards, is gaining traction.
However, some new users find the decentralised server system confusing and slower than Twitter. Lens Protocol, incubated by Aave, uses non-fungible tokens to create user profiles and posts, and is seeing an uptick in users.
Minds, an Ethereum-based Facebook alternative, has had a multiyear head start on many newer social media alternatives and is resistant to surveillance, algorithm manipulation, and censorship. Ultimately, a social media platform's success depends on its user base, and these alternatives offer different benefits and drawbacks compared to the dominant Silicon Valley players.
Decentralised Vs Centralised
Control and ownership of data: In a centralised social network, the platform owns and controls the user data. This means that users have limited control over their data and how it is used or shared. In contrast, decentralised social networks allow users to own and control their data, and they can choose who has access to it.
Privacy and security: Centralised social networks are more vulnerable to security breaches, data hacks, and censorship. Decentralised social networks, on the other hand, use encryption and blockchain technology to provide greater security and privacy to users.
Censorship and moderation: In a centralised social network, the platform has the power to moderate and censor content posted by users. Decentralised social networks are designed to be more resistant to censorship, as they do not have a central authority that can control or censor content.
Network effects: Centralised social networks have a larger user base and are therefore more attractive to advertisers and businesses. Decentralised social networks are still in their early stages and have a smaller user base, which may limit their ability to attract businesses and advertisers.
Overall, decentralised social networks offer greater control, privacy, and security to users, but they may not have the same level of network effects as centralised social networks.
David vs. Goliath?
Big tech companies are exploring decentralisation to avoid legal battles over content moderation, censorship, and takedowns. This could lead to the development of several decentralised social networking sites such as Mastodon, Activity Pub, and Happening. However, embracing decentralisation would mean forgoing the power that these companies currently enjoy, and they may not be willing to share that with their users.
If decentralised social networks were a superhero, scalability would be their kryptonite. These networks struggle to handle the massive amounts of traffic and data that traditional platforms do, making it hard to keep up with the big guns.
Plus, with blockchain-based networks, the native crypto economy can be as unpredictable as a rollercoaster, leaving users wondering whether they'll be rewarded with a fortune or left empty-handed. But fear not, sustainable economic models and decentralised storage systems like IPFS can help keep these networks afloat and protect users from the villains of the internet.
TTD Week That Was 📆
The week of crooks, big tech and the movement of the smart money.
Saturday: The story of James 🧙♂️
Friday: Are NFTs still hot? ♨️
Thursday: Asia + Web3 games 🌏 🏹
Wednesday: Apple bites 🍎 🔪
Tuesday: The crypto crooks🪝
TTD Week In Funding 💰
Giddy $6.9 Million. Recoverable self-custody smart wallet technology
Tiny Tap $8.5 Million. Alternative education system co-owned by teachers and the community on Web3.
Zodia $36 Million. Digital-asset custody services to institutional clients.
Credora $6 Million. Platform for managing the lending and borrowing lifecycle.
Metagravity $9.5 Million. Compute infrastructure for the metaverse.
Thetanuts $17 Million. Products to maximise risk-adjusted yield generation in all market conditions.
Fluree $10 Million. Open source semantic graph database for secure data sharing and data insights.
MetaCRM $2.5 Million. CRM solution for Web3 projects.
FlappyMoonBird $2 Million. Bird-themed web3 games.
Vega $2 Million. NFT avatar collections.
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