The unprecedented option made possible by blockchain technology for users to really own their identity, data, and monetization forms the basis of the argument that Web3 social media is inherently superior to Web2 social media.
Here, I’ll outline a Web3 social media future that I think most people will find fascinating.
Web 2.0 social media are bad?
I don’t genuinely think Web2 social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are as bad as some people claim.
I can still clearly recall my first Facebook experience. It was 2009, Facebook hadn’t even been made illegal in China, and I was a year 10 student. After signing up for Facebook for the first time, I was able to contact a German teacher who had taught English at my school within minutes only by recalling his first name. He was located all over the world. My mind was blown. My hippocampus experienced something as a result of social media’s instantaneous ability to link users from all over the world, and that experience created an enduring memory in that developing brain.
The very first message I ever got on Facebook.
The first Facebook post I ever wrote was right before I left for high school in Australia, which was also the first time I traveled abroad.
Since then, Facebook has had a significant positive impact on my life. As a Chinese student in my eleventh year studying abroad in Australia, Facebook became the primary platform for me to research cultures and connect with people from many cultures. It was fascinating, it was enjoyable to use, and it became necessary. Everyone appeared to be using Facebook and adored it.
There have been 13 years. Although Facebook has many new features, the core ones have not changed. Its original mission statement was “to empower people to share and create a more open and connected society,” but it has now changed to “to empower individuals to create community and unite the world.” These claims are also not all that dissimilar. How did Facebook change from being something that many people loved to something that was constantly in the news?
I believe the cause is that Facebook is trying to take on too much by owning so many identities, so much data, and so much control over monetization. It is hard for one institution to consistently manage such enormous duties. As a result, occasionally bad things happen, and Mark Zuckerberg, sometimes Facebook, gets the blame. We have a king who has great power over people’s digital lives in a world where democracy is overwhelmingly favored. Even the sagest and most charitable monarch would struggle to defend such power in a democratic society.
Any prominent social media platform’s built-in network effect will always increase this power. Such a centralized force will always be produced by the corporate structures and Web2 internet building pieces. As an outcome, we have already seen and will continue to witness stories similar to Facebook. A startup starts out with the goal of improving the world, but as it gets closer to achieving this goal, the dream becomes increasingly hazy. The bottom layer needs to alter for the cycle to end.
Hello Web3, hello blockchain.
The basal layer is where things are changing.
I always advise folks to study the Bitcoin and Ethereum whitepapers to avoid me having to explain blockchains in great detail. They are less technical and more philosophical, so any inquisitive mind should be able to process them.
In other words, you can finally own your identity on the internet for the first time in the form of a wallet address that no one else can change without your permission. In the form of immutable transactions on the blockchain, you can actually own your data. With smart contracts, which you are free to make, copy, compose, and use without anyone’s consent, you can genuinely own your monetization. You have the option to have a completely autonomous, self-centered, and digital life.
Your blockchain-based digital life can support you in the real world. You don’t require one million fans. You only require a thousand loyal supporters.
Social media on the Web 3, its potential and promise.
On a typical Web2 social media, the user journey starts with you creating an identity by logging in with your Gmail or Facebook account or by creating a username and password. That identification belongs to the platform. Then, this identity that represents you creates material that is shared and viewed by your network. In essence, the content consists of data streams that belong to the platform. In turn, valuable content draws more people whose attention has value for advertising, and with enough data, it is possible to get important insights. The platform is frequently the only financial beneficiary and has complete control over how much value is monetized.
A Web3 social media gives individuals back control over their identity, data, and monetization, giving creators more power and transferring less control to the network itself. The assumption of this transition in ownership is made explicitly, making it a commitment shared by all Web3 social media sites. Some refer to this as “can’t be evil” and compare it to Google’s well-known “don’t be evil” motto. There are numerous drawbacks, but some people have seen the potential prospects and are beginning to construct Web3 wallet development alternatives. I did some research in the Twitter conversation below.
The opportunity to totally redesign a Web3 social media from scratch is what the promised change in ownership of identity, data, and monetization really means. Web2 social media leaders may face existential threats as a result of the new possibilities. I wish to share some ideas with you right now.
1. Hundreds of apps cooperating to benefit you
Because you now have control over identity and data instead of separate, separated entities. Most likely, you’ll want to maximize their usefulness. I’ll venture a bold prediction: due to the convenience and benefits these applications offer, you won’t restrict access to your data but will instead make it available to more apps. The main distinction is that you will be completely informed about the accesses you are providing and the data that goes along with them, as opposed to being unaware of the data that the platforms have about you, how they are collecting it, and how they are using it.
Since every app would have access to the same public data you post to the blockchain, competition will arise among them to perform the best analyses of your data and offer the best services. As you carry your identification with you in the form of a wallet address to any app, you will no longer be restricted to using just one app. In addition to being interoperable, apps will collaborate to generate more data that will be useful to one another. Another app will research the open data analytics and services offered by one app to offer even better offerings. Apps will eventually develop a mutualistic, symbiotic connection in which they depend on one another for their data, analytics, and services in order to survive. They will have a level of familiarity with you that no other Web2 social media can equal. Hundreds of applications will collaborate to offer you the greatest services available that are specifically catered to you.
2. Providing resources to the interest you draw.
Your digital real estate is your social media profile page. A piece of real estate gets more valuable the more traffic it receives. Both physical and digital real estate can be highly valuable, even in areas with low traffic. Due to the absence of a binding agreement that allows for dynamic revenue sharing, this value on Web2 social media platforms is automatically accruing to the platforms. Facebook simply cannot establish contracts with each of its billions of users, let alone update the terms of those contracts on a regular basis.
Thanks to NFTs and smart contracts, this is now achievable. With NFTs, your digital real estate can be precisely and quickly tokenized. Someone will rent your NFT when they wish to make use of your digital space for things like, but not limited to, advertising. Digital space NFTs will give liquidity to the attention you draw because they may be freely exchanged on secondary marketplaces. Additionally, a smart contract that controls automatic revenue sharing will be entered into between you and the Web3 social media. Similar to property management, the social media site will allow you to choose another manager if you are unhappy with their services or rates.
3. An online community? a shopfront
Most individuals enjoy going to businesses to shop, but they detest internet advertisements. Why is this the case when ads are supposed to make shopping easier?
This is so that you can control your browsing while you shop in a physical location. You automatically ignore stuff that doesn’t interest you while consciously focusing more on those that do. You end up having a good time overall and seeing some intriguing things as a result. On social media, however, your goal is to view valuable material, and advertisements frequently get in the way. It is far more difficult to unintentionally dismiss items on a small screen because you have to actively browse through each piece of content.
Does this imply that social media ads will invariably result in a poor user experience? No, not always. The majority of us have appreciated and profited from the ease of online buying. Therefore, the issue isn’t with commercials attempting to persuade us to shop online but rather with ads that do not appeal to us. A net positive user experience might result if we can figure out how to make advertisements actually enhance our buying experience.
Due to the mutualism between the apps discussed above and the composability and simplicity of smart contracts, this is now achievable. Consider a scenario where Alex liked Bob’s tale about the Bored Ape on Web3 Instagram, Bob expressed interest in Cathy’s post about selling her CryptoPunk on Web3 Twitter, and Cathy placed a bid on Alex’s ENS Cathy. Eth on Web3 eBay. To realize that Alex wants Bob’s Bored Ape, Bob wants Cathy’s CryptoPunk, and Cathy wants Alex’s Cathy. Eth, the three Web3 apps cooperate. Each app then simultaneously displays a three-way trade request for Alex, Bob, and Cathy, who all examine and sign it. When they need the items the most, they are exchanged almost immediately. Three satisfied customers!
This illustration shows how Web3 social media might turn into a user’s preferred storefront. With the use of smart contracts and wallet address-based identities, app mutualism has the enormous potential to accurately and proactively provide us with the services we need.
The horizon is intriguing.
I hope you share my enthusiasm about the potential of Web3 social media website development. We are constructing a Web3 future one block at a time and getting there every day.