Home » Why social media and messaging apps on blockchain may be a better option | OPINION

Why social media and messaging apps on blockchain may be a better option | OPINION

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Cyrus John: Just recently, popular messaging platform WhatsApp went into snooze mode for nearly two hours, taking over a billion users offline. What followed was an endless flood of memes, tweets, and headlines across social media highlighting the frustration caused by the downtime.

This isn’t the first time WhatsApp has gone down. There have been several instances in the past of messaging applications and social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube going down due to server issues. Needless to say, there are no guarantees that these services will be available to him 24/7. Because one day suddenly the government may decide to shut down any of these apps. I’ll wait until you come up with an example. Tik-Tok, time is up.

The fact that centralized messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and YouTube could go offline or be removed tomorrow establishes the need for decentralized messaging platforms.

The advent of Web3 has created a set of distributed services and applications that do not require centralized servers. These applications are mostly built on top of blockchain technology. Blockchain allows an application to reside on many nodes (computers) so that it cannot be easily taken offline or deleted.

But is it worth moving all of this to a decentralized platform? What if these services aren’t as good as they are today? I know you may not buy the idea of ​​​​but hear me out.

status quo

Apparently, many users are accustomed to the “my way or highway” attitude of big tech companies. If you use WhatsApp you must agree to our privacy policy. If you use Gmail, you’ll visit your email and see ads. All aspects of these “free” centralized services have their pitfalls. Ultimately, you exchange personal data in exchange for the luxury of using these services.

A Netflix documentary called The Social Dilemma takes a deep dive into how users’ behavior is tracked across these messaging apps and social media, creating profiles that target specific ads. AI is so detailed that Meta (previously known as Facebook) may know more about you than you know about yourself.

Just as there is no free lunch in life, these messaging apps and social media platforms are using data and selling it to advertisers to make money. This is a profitable business model. Using your data to sell ads has made these companies worth billions of dollars. Imagine if these advertisers paid for your data! What if web browsers paid you for browsing the internet (without putting your data at risk)? make this possible.

Some decentralized social media platforms give users more autonomy and control over their data. In this way, all browsing data and information is stored on multiple servers around the world and cannot be tracked by a single entity. Includes ownership, and more control over user-generated content.

Brave is a decentralized web browser that provides users with crypto for browsing the internet. In addition to this, it makes browsing faster and reduces your exposure to censorship among other features.

Social media platforms like Mastadon give you the freedom to not easily take down a post or video just because the company’s top hats didn’t like your content. The downside of this is that you may end up with a lot of hate speech on the platform, but since this is a community-driven platform, you can’t encourage hate speech, incite violence, or Users can vote to remove specific posts for violations. Any of the platform’s policies. But again, the community decides the fate of content. Not the CEO, not the government, not a group of angry activists.

But since a platform like Mastadon is free, ad-free, and subscription-based, how does it make money to maintain? This is the beauty of blockchain technology. All data is stored in multiple nodes around the world, so each node manages the maintenance of rewards in the form of cryptocurrencies. This algorithm incentivizes nodes for the hard work they put into maintaining the blockchain. Then everyone will be happy.

In the future of social media and internet browsing, users may be paid in cryptocurrency for browsing or be rewarded for placing ads on personalized pages. A true democratic ecosystem.

The possibilities are endless. In this way, users or consumers are directly motivated to interact with brands without the need for intermediaries like Facebook or Google Chrome.

LBRY is another example of a decentralized video hosting platform (such as YouTube). You can upload hours of video content and never have to worry about your videos being censored or deleted unless community members say otherwise. And this community will be a free-thinking, sensible and unbiased member on the platform.

Messaging apps such as Session and Dm3 are examples of decentralized alternatives to WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal. They’re not as good as his current batch of Web2 apps, but being on distributed servers gives you the added benefit of catering to Web3 users.

Time to switch?

This is a tough question, and most people will be sitting on a razor’s edge when answering this: Web2 apps have set very high benchmarks that rival decentralized platforms. Liquidity, easy access and a vast ecosystem. From ‘pados waali aunty’ to ‘rickshaw wala’, not to mention he already knows how to use WhatsApp and YouTube with billions of users.

I’m not saying these decentralized platforms are perfect alternatives. For years, WhatsApp and YouTube have been the de facto gold standard for all communication and information retrieval needs. We don’t want to discredit the years of research and development and funding that these big tech companies put into their products to make them user-friendly and popular among billions of users around the world. product and even I use it daily.

But many, like me, are looking for better alternatives out of fear that their private chats could be monitored or become part of the evening news debate. The WhatsApp chat leak and the Telegrams data breach are prime examples. Data on the blockchain is encrypted and does not reside on a single server, so potential breaches or leaks are less common.

Facebook (meta) lost its appeal as a significant number of users chose to leave the social media platform. Hashtags like #deletefacebook were trending on Twitter some time ago. Instagram, YouTube, and Google still rule the roost, but seeing the “power of data” in the hands of people has always feared increased Web3 adoption, and these tech giants is not what you want.

Just recently, BlueSky, a decentralized social media platform backed by former Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, had over 30,000 signups in just 48 hours. And this is just the beginning.

With the evolution of blockchain technology and the emergence of new AI-enabled Web3 applications, the future of social media and messaging platforms is on blockchains rather than centralized servers. This ensures economic neutrality by keeping pesky and invasive advertising away.

We understand that these messaging applications and decentralized social media platforms are still in the early stages of development and may not be able to offer the services that WhatsApp and Telegram currently offer. Key issues such as scalability, latency, security, and incentives need to be addressed before Web3-based distributed apps become mainstream. I think it’s only a matter of time before an app like this is on the list of “most used apps” on your phone. .

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