Elon Musk recently implemented temporary measures on Twitter to address data scraping and system manipulation, which sparked criticism from users who perceived it as a restriction on access to information and entertainment. While some users remain reluctant to leave Twitter, a growing number of crypto Twitter users are exploring Web3 Social networks, built on decentralized blockchain technology. These networks offer several advantages over traditional social platforms.
In this article, we will delve into the short history of Web3 Social and explore why these networks could be a better option for your online identity.
Growth Over Years
The first notable example of Web3 Social is Steemit, a blockchain-based platform launched in 2016. Steemit uses the cryptocurrency STEEM to incentivize content creation and curation, rewarding users for their contributions. Since its inception, Steemit has experienced remarkable growth, with over 1 million registered users and over $40 million in rewards to its users.
Web3 Social platforms today are still in their early stages but have gained substantial traction within the crypto community. Lens Protocol, a social graph project facilitating the development of decentralized social media, has experienced a remarkable surge in daily active users (DAUs) over the past year, growing from below 5,000 to over 60K.
Furthermore, the project successfully secured a significant $15 million in funding to advance the future of Web3 social media amidst the current market conditions.
Web3 and Social Media: A Perfect Match
One of the key promises of Web3 social networks lies in their decentralization. Unlike traditional social networks controlled by a central authority, Web3 social networks operate on a decentralized infrastructure, distributing control and ownership among their users.
Decentralization offers several advantages, including enhanced transparency, security, and privacy. In a decentralized network, there is no single point of failure or vulnerability, making it more resilient against cyber-attacks. Users can trust that their data is not manipulated or controlled by a central authority, fostering trust within the network.
2. Ownership of data:
Web3 social networks also promise users ownership and control over their data. Unlike traditional platforms that collect and monetize user data, Web3 networks allow individuals to own and control their data. Users can choose to share or keep their data private and even have the opportunity to monetize it if desired.
This promise of data ownership and control has the potential to rebalance the power dynamic between users and social media companies. Users gain the assurance that their data is not exploited without their consent and may even profit from it.
Web3 social networks aim to eliminate intermediaries such as social media companies and advertising platforms. In traditional networks, these intermediaries control the flow of information and monetize user data, creating an imbalance of power.
The open nature of Web3 protocols ensures that platforms are more accountable to their users. Users have the ability to take their assets and content to alternative platforms if they feel their interests are not adequately represented. This "right of exit" empowers users and encourages platforms to prioritize user interests.
The incentive structures of Web3 make it a natural fit for social networking. In traditional Web2 social media platforms, content creators often don't receive a share of the platform's financial upside, despite providing valuable content. In contrast, Web3 platforms built on blockchain technology offer the opportunity for creators to have a share of the economics happening within the platform itself. This can be achieved through mechanisms such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and tokens, which provide creators with ownership and financial incentives. It can also help create a more sustainable network, as users are incentivized to contribute to the network's growth and development.
Overall, Web3 social networks offer several promises that have the potential to revolutionize the social media landscape. Decentralization, ownership of data, removal of intermediaries, increased trust, and incentivization are just some of the promises that Web3 social networks offer. While there are still challenges to overcome, such as scalability and adoption, the potential benefits of Web3 social networks are clear.
Evaluating a Web 3.0 Social Protocol
When evaluating a decentralized social protocol, it's important to consider various aspects:
a. Accounts Creation
Creating an account on a Web 3.0 social protocol involves additional steps compared to traditional platforms. Users need a Web 3.0 wallet like MetaMask or Trust Wallet to securely store their private keys. They must fund their wallet with the required cryptocurrency, connect it to the protocol, and create a profile to start interacting.
b. Data Storage
In Web 3.0 social platforms, communication data is typically stored on decentralized networks like blockchains or distributed file storage systems. For example, IPFS is commonly used to store user data in a distributed manner across multiple nodes.
c. Content Moderation
Content moderation in Web 3.0 social platforms presents challenges due to their decentralized nature. Approaches include community moderation, algorithmic moderation, decentralized moderation systems, and hybrid approaches combining these methods.
d. Incentive Mechanism Design
Designing an effective incentive mechanism is crucial for motivating user participation. Key considerations include token economics, value alignment with platform goals, participation rewards, reputation systems, gamification, and token burn as a reward mechanism.
e. Registered Accounts and Applications
Web 3.0 social protocols enable developers to build decentralized applications (dApps) that interact with the protocol. Users create registered accounts through Web 3.0 compatible browsers, connect to the protocol, and then access dApps for various social experiences.
Case Studies: Lens Protocol
Lens Protocol uses Lens NFTs to represent digital content, allowing users to create, share, and trade unique NFTs on the platform.
ii. Social relationship
Users can form social networks and interact through posts, comments, likes, and direct messages. NFTs also facilitate connections by providing a way to share creative content and trade with others.
iii. Content and content relationship
Lens uses smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to manage social networks, user profiles, and content sharing. User-generated content is stored as transactions on the blockchain, while decentralized storage solutions like IPFS or Swarm handle media file storage.
Lens stores user data on an EVM chain and uses centralized servers to index the data and expose it via an API. Developers can then build applications based on this API.