In all sorts of industries and across a very diverse business audience, innovators are coming up with lots of new ways to change and improve business processes with blockchain technologies.
The obvious low-hanging fruit, in terms of blockchain applications, is transaction-based verification with cryptocurrency. But that’s not all that blockchain is bringing to the table these days. Decentralized finance is evolving in many directions, at once.
Here’s another major innovation that may not be getting the attention it deserves – blockchain’s enormous impact on social media.
Social Media Landscape and the Blockchain
Social media is a multibillion-dollar industry, obviously. Its market share, in terms of marketing and advertising dollars, is immense and continues to grow. As a digital common space, it represents more of what we say to each other, more of a policy setting influence, and much more of a business venue than in years past.
So What Does the Blockchain Do for Social Media?
Essentially, it brings the promise of first-party verification – the idea that posts and content can be inherently validated for ownership and in ways that make other aspects of data forensics obsolete.
“Facebook doesn’t create content,” Tamara Jones writes on Medium, talking about how blockchain can provide these verifications for social media that put the power back in the hands of the actual content creators. “People do. Every day, around the world, billions of people are sharing parts of their day-to-day lives, thoughts, blog posts, photos, and videos, and creating valuable content.”
Now, blockchain is giving the creators a better way to benefit and reap the rewards of their labors. A piece in the Journal of Cyber Policy talks about “user-centric paradigms” that blockchain is forming in the social media space, and how those have a bearing on how the business will go in the years to come. In so many ways, intellectual property will get easier to validate and protect, and the functional web will become more of an empowering space for more users.
Corporate and Open Source Contributions
Not to be outdone, major blue-chip companies and policy offices are adding their own two cents to the blockchain revolution in the social media world.
There’s IBM’s own set of tools for blockchain, with evident applications to social networks.
“Discover how we bring complete transparency to digital transactions with immutable, distributed ledgers delivering newfound trust to media, entertainment, and advertising – while reducing costs, eliminating intermediaries and unleashing new value across supply chains,” write company spokespersons, suggesting that “consumers, artists, and brands” while have a greater share in leveraging digital content in the future.
Community Involvement Is Another Important Aspect of How This Trend Is Taking on
“Blockchain Social Media are decentralized platforms built on blockchain technology that allows the development of applications and smart contracts,” writes an unnamed author at LeewayHertz, in a piece describing moves “toward user-controlled data.”
“These decentralized social media platforms enable end-to-end encryptions for every interaction.”
Subsocial and its Social Media Platform
Subsocial is a company empowering users to form an independent, censorship-resistant framework for their social networks, and for digital marketplaces that they may participate in.
Using a Substrate protocol and IPFS, Subsocial provides for decentralized file storage and, in the words of spokespersons, “allows users to be truly free online.” The platform works with Polkadot, which Subsocial characterizes as “a next-generation blockchain protocol that unites an entire network of purpose-built blockchains.” This, engineers believe, will allow users to create systems that can “interoperate seamlessly at scale.”
With Web3 grants and other foundational achievements in hand, Subsocial is poised to make some of the above impact on social media a more immediate part of what marketers and others do through today’s Internet.
How does this work? With Subsocial, users can rent or sell their posts as NFTs. The platform offers “social token” utility, and different kinds of smart contract handling to add social network functionality that’s verified with blockchain protocols. Take a look and think about how the blockchain is going to change big social media rapidly and soon.