Best Blockchain-based Decentralized Social Media Networks
If you have watched the show “Silicon Valley”, you will remember that one episode where the protagonist group thought they had lost all their data. But in a fluke, they got it all back after discovering that the data had been backed up in a network of smart fridges.
While the show had stretched reality to a bit of an extreme, it illustrated the concept of a decentralized data storage and sharing system through a peer-to-peer network pretty well. Blockchain technology is based on this very concept.
Instead of storing all data on servers owned by a central authority which gives them complete power over the data, it is stored as blocks or chunks of data chained chronologically in servers all across the world not owned by any particular entity.
What Are Blockchain-Based Decentralized Social Media Networks?
Blockchain-based social media is a decentralized social media system that is stored using blockchain technology. That means every activity on the network gets irreversibly stored in the blockchain, all interactions are protected by end-to-end encryption, and the blockchain is stored on a decentralized network of servers composed of the devices of every user of the social media site. That means the higher the number of users, the greater the capacity to hold data.
You may also want to read: What Is Blockchain And What Are Its Business Applications?
What Are Decentralized Social Networks?
All blockchain social media networks fall under the category of decentralized social networks. A social network being decentralized pertains to the absence of a central proprietory authority holding all the data, to be “served” to users on request.
Rather, the data is stored in a decentralized and homogenous manner in servers or storage devices across each node of the network. When a person requests certain information, it is compiled from all the pieces on every storage device in the network and assembled in the device of the user.
Moreover, anyone can interact with anyone else due to the federal nature of the network. The founder of the network only draws up rules of the ethical use and compliance of the site, but that is about the only control they exercise.
Pros And Cons Of Decentralized Networks
The appeal of decentralized social networks lies in the following areas:
- Decentralized networks prevent the commodification and unscrupulous usage of user data.
- Since no single entity has control over what you can publish or not, there is greater freedom of expression.
- Interactions are protected using cryptography, resulting in greater privacy and security of data.
- The scope for crowdfunding for content creation through cryptocurrency is higher.
- The open-source nature of the network allows for the creation of private servers for content sharing and moderation more easily.
Decentralized networks may sound like the revolutionary future of social media, but they are not without their shortcomings. For example:
- There is no one to control or moderate content, which means there is no scope for censoring inappropriate content.
- Once your content is “out there” it is not possible to redact it.
- User authenticity is more difficult to verify.
- In case a network shuts down, all data on it will be lost.
- Decentralized systems are still prone to 51% attacks.
Concerns Associated With Traditional Social Media Platforms
Recently, traditional social media networks have come under a lot of fire. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced charges of personal data harvesting and using it to influence world politics. Snapchat faced a data spying scandal. And these are not the only ones.
It is common knowledge that social media sites track user activities and store all user data for marketing purposes. Moreover, most of them also are strongly thought to exploit and sell this data, although they deny doing so.
The problem is, the user policies of these networks lay it out that once the user registers on the site, they are authorized to store any and all data that crosses their site. Therefore, there is nothing we can do without strong regulation.
Having all your data in the hands of a single entity is a scary concept. Moreover, since we are not able to see what they are doing with that data, it is difficult to control who sees, distributes, or uses that data too.
You may also want to read: 6 Ways AI Can Spark Immediate And Scalable Progress Through Blockchain
Top Decentralized Social Networks To Watch Out For
Some of the most popular decentralized social networks that people use are:
- GNU Social – A microblogging site allowing both private and public communication
- Mastodon – A federated, self-hosted social networking site with distinctly hosted and operated user nodes or bases.
- Steemit – A blockchain social blogging site that rewards users for producing and curating content
- Synereo – A social media cum content delivery platform that rewards creators for contributions
- Sapien – A privacy-focused social media site that compensates users for providing content
- Indorse – A site for professionals that requires proof of skills and is based on a rewards system
- Diaspora – A social site based on independent communities called pods with common interests
- Minds – A cross-platform network that pays users for content creation, includes free and paid accounts, and has an encrypted chatting portal
- All.me – A social network featuring monetized blogging as well as shopping
- Earn – Built on Coinbase, it pays users who are part of lists to complete microtasks based on their interests in cryptocurrency.
- SocialX – Allows users to share pictures and videos in exchange for cryptocurrency
- Peepeth – A network that promotes activism and thoughtful content
- DTube – A decentralized platform for sharing videos
- Manyverse – A social site using Scuttlebutt to store data on user devices making it possible to operate offline
- Memo – A bitcoin-based social media site where you can post “memos”, images, and videos
Decentralized social media platforms still have a long way to go before they can compete with giants like Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat. However, people are learning and becoming more open to the idea of blockchain social media – especially due to the freedom and security provided.
Many are especially attracted to the easy earning opportunities and schemes of decentralized, rewards-based social media sites. Needless to say, they will definitely occupy a large scene in the future of social media.
Bhavik Soni is a Creative Writer at Auto Monkey. We provide an original analysis of the latest happenings in the social media industry. Connect with Latest Social Media Trends and News plus tips on Twitter, Facebook and other social tools on the web. You can connect with Bhavik on LinkedIn here or follow tweet him @Automonkey_
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