There is a growing trend of Blockchain implementation in the social media industry. This development is changing how the public approaches an ecosystem which has before now been at the mercy of a few individuals in terms of security, commerce, functionality and general control.
The significance of social media to everyday life keeps growing with each passing day. In the areas of education, politics, e-commerce and even relationships, the social environment built upon cyberspace is continually proving its relevance as a tool for effective communication between individuals and groups across different parts of the world.
Blockchain can overhaul social media
The emergence of Blockchain technology brings a revolution to this industry which is already visible in the areas of improved reliability and earning opportunities. Derin Cag, founder of Richtopia says:
“With the rise of Blockchain technology, socio-economic transactions are improving and becoming more democratic as we shift from the Internet of information to the Internet of value.”
According to Cag, there are numerous benefits of having Blockchain technology frameworks within social media platforms.
- First, it could help tackle fake news through establishing a rewards-based 'credit ratings system' for journalists and bloggers, which then could get embedded to all websites.
- Second, it could improve user data privacy by providing people an option to opt-in for sharing programmes where they automatically get paid in cryptocurrencies when their data gets sold to third parties.
- Third, it could improve automation through the use of smart contracts where Blockchains could interact with multiple platforms simultaneously on a user’s behalf. For example Facebook could speak with Twitter, could speak with Instagram, could speak with Reddit and so forth on a much deeper level than available at the time of writing.
- Fourth, if the social media platform itself is based across distributed ledgers, this could help improve security because for example Bitcoin is one of the only valuable things online which has never been hacked itself.
One major problem that exists within the social media ecosystem and cyberspace, in general, is the significant lack of privacy and indiscriminate sharing of personal data across major social media platforms.
Be careful what you sign
It may not be particularly accurate to assume that these platforms make use of the data of individuals without their permission because almost every single one of these platforms have a ‘Terms and Conditions’ documents which most users agree to without even reading a single line of the usually extremely long document.
Most of the time, the ambiguous statements within these documents empowers the platform owners and administrators to exercise the level of control that we see today. However, this extensive control by the centralized platform owners does not only enable the indiscriminate exposure of users, but it also shuts them out from any possible benefits that they could achieve by the use of their personal data and identity. These are some of the problems that are already being addressed by Blockchain implementation in social media.
The five-year forecast
Abhishek Bhandari, co-founder and VP of Bloomatch tells Cointelegraph that Blockchain is revolutionizing each and every industry at the moment. He notes that the major attraction of various sectors towards Blockchain is the basics of Blockchain for maintaining data on multiple and decentralized nodes.
“I assume in next five years most of the platforms in digital space would use Blockchain.”
Bhandari affirms that Social Media has become a very important and indispensable part of human existence and Blockchain technology would give a sense of protection and satisfaction to all users. He explains that current social media platforms have many drawbacks in terms of data security and cyber crimes, problems which he is certain that Blockchain technology will eventually address effectively
All about attention
Dor Konforty, CEO of Synereo elaborates that the primary purpose of the marketing, content, and features of Facebook, YouTube and most other modern media platforms is to increase the number of hours each user engages with the platform, to the point where it may disrupt their lives, so that they can capture and sell more of their attention as well as information about their behavior.
However, Konforty explains that without a centralized entity profiting from this, and with value generated flowing directly to users through intermediary-less interactions, new platforms will adapt their business models to rely on added-on services rather than on practices which have already been proven to be harmful to the health of their userbases.
Konforty also notes the complexity of monetization on social media:
“Monetization is another deep trouble; creators of original content are in a position where the method they chose for publishing their creations defines their method of monetization, if existent. While YouTube shares some of their proceeds with creators, Facebook, Twitter and the like don't do even that.”
Ultimately, without intermediaries shaping the discourse and being in full control of the available content, all geared towards their bottom lines, the space of possible social and economic interactions will expand greatly, benefiting all involved. Likewise, without huge datastores immediately available to centralized entities, dystopian scenarios such as allocating scores to citizens based on their online activity and adherence to the mandated way of living may be averted. This is the promise of the Blockchain.