Social media has infiltrated the everyday lives of a huge chunk of the global population. With media giants like Facebook and Twitter taking up a significant percentage of people’s time and attention, issues are not scarce. The main pain point stems from the exclusively centralized character of all these mega companies.
With the rise of blockchain technology and the advancement Web3 offers in the digital era, social media platforms are also bound to change. The times of centralized entities hogging all control over this sector of the online world are gone.
As users seek more transparency and control over their data, and conventional social media platforms take hit after hit for leaking customer information, the blockchain space has much to offer.
How can social media become decentralized?
The current state of the social media industry allows big companies to control the information it gathers from their users fully. What’s more, if said companies go bankrupt or decide to block you from their services, your whole history and activity remain locked within the platform. Imagine that Twitter goes bankrupt, as alluded to by new owner Elon Musk - that would mean all your tweets, shares, likes, and follows will be forever gone along with the company.
The main goal for social media platforms that look to become decentralized is to relinquish some of that control. Most importantly, these platforms should let users have access to their own data and executive decision-making powers over who gets to see this data.
And the blockchain is the perfect medium for this shift in perspective to happen. With decentralization at the core of the technology, new social media algorithms and decentralized social graphs are now allowing creators, users, and companies to own their data and fully control it.
Currently, Lens Protocol is leading the charge with an open social graph architecture that aims to allow dapp developers the freedom to create blockchain-based social media platforms. While still in beta, Lens has set ambitious goals to revolutionize the social media space.
What is Lens Protocol?
Developed by the creators of the popular Aave liquidity protocol, Lens Protocol seeks to revolutionize the social media industry. Bringing decentralization and web3 capabilities to developers, the protocol has an open-source structure allowing creators to launch their own social media platforms.
Moreover, dapp developers who decide to use the Lens infrastructure can also benefit from its modular design. All updates, changes, and upgrades to an application can be done in stages and through different modules, allowing ultimate creative flexibility.
Lens protocol also helps boost the authentication aspect of social media and reduces fake accounts to a minimum. The decentralized infrastructure supports NFT profile authentication, which ensures that all user data is attributed to the owner, and safely stored on the Polygon blockchain as an NFT.
And while new solutions like the Lens protocol offer a needed break from the centralized model currently prevalent in the social media space, adoption of this technology is still scarce.
Accelerating Web3 adoption with easy onboarding
While Lens protocol is offering the solution to a growingly significant problem, the adoption of this technology is still moving slowly. Centralized social media platforms have reigned for decades now, and users still need help with onboarding to the social media of Web3.
What’s more, Lens still only allows whitelisted candidates to get access to an authenticated profile NFT. This greatly reduces the number of people who can fully take advantage of the decentralized social media platform solution.
However, in an effort to create a gateway to Web3 social, companies like Phaver are trying to get the word about Lens out there and bring access to more people. The dapp allows users to create off-chain profiles and still follow the flow of information on Lens until they get a whitelist spot. Once this happens, all their follows, and likes are automatically transferred on-chain and stored in their profile NFT.
“Many are right now looking for alternatives for Twitter, and it's a great opportunity to shift to more ethical Web3 options, but onboarding is still very restricted. Phaver helps with that by providing a "Web2.5" starting point where anyone can access and follow the Lens content and be waitlisted for their very own profile NFT.”
– Joonatan Lintala, CEO, Phaver.
As Web3 social media becomes more popular, Lens will attract even more attention, which is why the platform is still testing out access only through whitelist spots. But if you are eager to get involved with the decentralized future of social media, platforms like Phaver are a great start.
With the rapid growth the Web3 space is experiencing, the social media industry is bound to be affected, and possibly for the better. What’s more, the undoubted benefits Web3 social will bring to the industry might be just the thing to help bring the coveted “next billion users” into the space. Still, to get there, the industry needs not only scalable solutions like Lens, but also user-friendly onboarding and the right tools to welcome non-natives to crypto.
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