The emergence of the Web 2.0 forever changed the face of the internet. User-generated content became the order of the day, as the modern-day internet was actualized. The World Wide Web was no longer a static network, but one in which information began to flow from different corners of the globe at breathtaking speed.
At the heart of the user-generated Web 2.0 revolution were social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These platforms have become successful tech companies making billions of dollars from advertisements and other social marketing campaigns. Content creators, in contrast, haven’t had such success.
The lack of any significant framework that rewards the contributors of content creators is a major flaw of the mainstream social media platforms. According to Sherman Lee, co-founder of Good Audience, a social media agency, achieving success as a content creator is a tedious and tenuous journey.
Despite the fact that content creators are the backbone of the modern day social media construct, they do not earn a commensurate reward for their efforts. The bulk of the revenue generated from social media activities goes to the big social media platforms and the advertising agencies.
In a guest post on Forbes, Sherman Lee posits that blockchain technology and its attendant decentralization of systems is the perfect solution to the problem. By making content to become an asset on a blockchain, a unique piece of content like a Facebook post or a blog post can be recorded and monitored on a blockchain.
All forms of engagement generated by the post such as likes, retweets, impressions, comments etc. will be reflected on the blockchain ledger. In this way, a suitable reward matrix can be designed based on the impact of the content and the entire process becomes highly transparent.
Already, there are a few services that are trying to decentralize and tokenize the social media space. Steemit is a social media platform that rewards content creators with cryptocurrencies. Content creators on the platform earn Steem tokens based on the degree of engagement generated by their posts on the platform.
Steem tokens can be traded on a number of cryptocurrency exchange platforms or exchanged for fiat money. The Steemit platform is based in New York City and was established in the year 2016. Currently, Steem has a market capitalization of over $1 billion dollars and a trading price of $4.34.
While the Steemit platform has had some success in tokenizing the social media space, it is still a discrete social media platform. Only users on the platform can benefit.
A truly decentralized blockchain-based social media service is one that is able to provide cross-platform services across the major social media platforms. One example is Gifto, a Hong Kong-based service that allows content creators to be rewarded with virtual gifts across the major social media platforms.
These virtual gifts can be converted to GTO tokens which can be subsequently traded on cryptocurrency exchanges or converted to fiat money.
The tokenization of the social media space has the potential to provide rewards for content creators. With such platforms in place, content creators can monetize their content creation efforts and gain better rewards for their hard work.
It also enhances the transparency of the system, as the content creators and the general social media public will become more involved in the social media economy.
Feature image by Dmitri Litvinov