Web3 social media platforms like Mastodon provide a refreshing alternative to centralized social media giants like YouTube, Meta (Facebook), and Twitter, which are known for censoring content and banning prominent public figures and journalists. Blockchain-based social media platforms are community-governed. They provide new audience engagement opportunities and generate new revenue streams for creators using crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Furthermore, storing data on public blockchains allows content to live forever without fear of tampering.
Censorship can cause friction among online communities. Those on the side of free speech often believe that no content shouldn’t ever be banned, while many agree that there needs to be a robust framework for content moderation for the internet to be free, open, and without hate. Centralized social media companies often put the needs of directors and shareholders before those of their users. However, Web3 social media platforms put users in control of their data and online experiences using decentralized, privacy-preserving technologies.
In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the top Web3 social media platforms to look out for in 2023, including Mastodon, Odysee, Nostr, Mirror, and Steem. We’ll explore why Web3 social media platforms are becoming so popular and the advantages they offer over traditional social media applications. Furthermore, we’ll discuss some of the different mechanisms available to creators for generating new value and expanding their user bases.
Exploring Web3 Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms are coming under increasing scrutiny for censorship of prominent public figures and journalists. Centralized media platforms can ban whoever they want, which some view as a threat to free speech. In response to this, many influencers, journalists, and content creators are looking to Web3 social media platforms for new content distribution and audience engagement opportunities.
Web3 social media platforms offer decentralized alternatives to Web2 giants like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many others. Centralized social media platforms use siloed server farms with single failure points. This makes them easy to attack by any potential hackers. Central servers are also vulnerable to theft and damage from natural disasters. Web3 social media platforms address this issue by using blockchain and other decentralized technologies.
Public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum use distributed networks of nodes to store data. This makes attacking the network or manipulating data extremely challenging in comparison to traditional mechanisms. Because Web3 social media platforms use public blockchains, there’s no powerful individual or group that can censor content. In many cases, Web3 content moderation is put to community votes to achieve the fairest outcomes.
Furthermore, Web3 social media platforms allow creators to own their content and store it immutably on public blockchains. Many platforms enable users to tokenize content as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and create financial incentives for audience engagement using cryptocurrencies. Plus, several prominent Web3 social media platforms use privacy-preserving ad features that allow users to customize their online experiences.
Moreover, Web3 social media platforms allow users to earn crypto rewards for creating, viewing, and sharing content. Creators enjoy a robust publication framework that enhances their earning potential and safeguards against wreckless de-platforming. Below, we look at some of the most innovative Web3 social media platforms to watch out for in 2023.
What is Mastodon?
Mastodon is a free-to-use, open-source software and Web3 social media platform for microblogging. It enables users to run self-hosted decentralized networking services and interoperable websites using a standardized, open protocol for communication that makes it easy for any website within the Mastodon ecosystem to talk to another website.
Mastodon is creating a federated universe called the “fediverse.” The fediverse comprises multiple services with no single authority. It has no single point of failure and prevents the concentration of power that occurs among Web2 social media platforms. Instead of centralized server farms, Mastodon uses a decentralized network of nodes called “instances” to secure content and data. Users can select from various service providers or build their own decentralized applications (dapps) and websites. Each website can have a different set of moderation policies or community guidelines, making it easy for users to navigate sensitive content.
Some of the most popular tools available on Mastodon include; “Pleroma,” a modular microblogging engine, “Pixelfed,” a decentralized image-sharing mechanism, “PeerTube,” the YouTube-like decentralized video-sharing platform, and “Plume,” a platform for publishing long-form content.
Although Twitter-like microblogging features heavily throughout the Mastodon ecosystem, the platform also boasts audio, video, polling, custom emojis, and avatar animation. Moreover, Mastodon allows creators to build their own social media infrastructure that safeguards against censorship and provides new revenue and audience engagement opportunities. It gives communities the autonomy and flexibility they need to thrive in the modern digital age while providing a secure, privacy-preserving framework for sharing content online.
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What is Odysee?
Odysee is a decentralized social media platform that allows users to host and share various types of content. Although videos make up a significant portion of the content on Odysee, the platform also allows users to share audio files, images, and articles. Content on Odysee is hosted via LBRY, the blockchain-based file-sharing, and payment network. However, users don’t have to be blockchain enthusiasts to enjoy the platform.
Odysee provides a level playing field for independent creators and offers a secure platform for content monetization. The YouTube Sync function makes it easy for creators to upload existing content to the Odysee platform and automatically upload content on both platforms simultaneously. Rather than trying to compete against the number-one streaming service, Odysee allows users to connect multiple accounts without friction and make the most out of both platforms.
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What is Nostr?
Nostr is a decentralized social networking protocol that uses an architecture similar to that of Twitter. It was partially-funded by ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The platform makes it easy for users to create bespoke social networks that support encrypted direct messaging and various other social functions. Users can create self-governed accounts and identities that enable them to share content, interact with other posts, and follow their favorite accounts. Though the platform is built to be similar to Twitter, it can also be customized to emulate other types of social media experiences.
To start using Nostr, users must select from a list of available clients. Popular clients include the Telegram-like “Anigma” solution and the terminal-UI-based “Nostr Console” client. Upon selecting a client, users must create a private/public keypair using that client. Some clients create the key for you, whereas others require manual key generation. Nonetheless, this keypair forms the basis of each “self-sovereign” identity on the Nostr network.
Furthermore, users can create multiple keypairs, so all is not lost if they lose their keys. Plus, users can create multiple keys for different clients to enhance security between accounts.
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What is Mirror?
Mirror is a Web3 publishing platform that provides writers with a gateway to decentralized technologies. The platform offers a “credibly-neutral” publishing protocol. Users can mint posts as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), log in using Ethereum, access decentralized data storage, and create new revenue streams using NFTs and crypto. Also, Mirror allows users to embed NFTs in their posts and create wallet-based subscriptions using the integrated editor and Web3 tool kit.
Users own the content they publish on Mirror, which is permanently stored on the Arweave network. Even if the Mirror network ceases to exist, all Mirror content lives on forever on Arweave. The native WRITE token is the utility token of the Mirror ecosystem. It allows holders to vote on proposals to make changes to the protocol and creates an opportunity for creators to monetize their content.
Save our “Starbucks Odyssey” article for later to learn about NFT adoption.
What is Steem?
Steem is a scalable, social, public blockchain network. It aims to empower content creators by rewarding them for sharing digital media using the native STEEM token. The platform is home to a thriving community of developers and content creators with the shared goal of decentralizing the internet. It provides free cryptocurrency transactions that take around three seconds to finalize, making it an ideal solution for onboarding the next generation of Web3 social media users.
All content on Steem is immutable and publicly accessible. The native STEEM token plays an essential role in the Proof-of-Brain (PoB) reward distribution protocol that underpins the network and rewards creators for their content. PoB works in a similar fashion to the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism that secures the Bitcoin network, though it is far less energy-intensive. In essence, PoB works by incentivizing human effort throughout the Steem network so that STEEM tokens are more-accessible to those who contribute the most.
Steem uses Web3 technologies to enhance user experiences and minimize censorship. The project is also developing the “Smart Media Token” standard (SMT), which will create financial incentives for creators to grow their platforms and provide crypto integrations. Additionally, the Steem network uses a blockchain-based reputation system to encourage high-quality content.
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Web3 social media platforms use blockchain technology, NFTs, and crypto to empower content creators and enhance user experiences. Platforms like Mastodon and the others mentioned in this article aim to take power out of the hands of big businesses and put it in the hands of creators and users. Not only do Web3 social media platforms enhance security and flexibility, but they also help creators to create new revenue streams and audience engagement opportunities.
Furthermore, Web3 social media platforms facilitate equitable content moderation and censorship mechanisms to encourage community participation. Instead of a small handful of powerful individuals deciding what content is permissable and which isn’t, users can vote on whether or not content is offensive or harmful. What’s more, platforms can create bespoke community guidelines to prevent disputes about what should or shouldn’t be censored and so that users know what to expect when they participate.
Web3 social media platforms benefit creators by providing an immutable database for content storage. They also help creators earn more from their content by removing intermediaries. The increase in content creators joining Web3 social media platforms due to censorship and demonetization suggests that blockchain could play an important role in the next generation of social media applications.
Decentralization is a hot topic within the social media community, especially among developers and creators. The popularity of blockchain-based social media, messaging, and blockchain smartphones highlight the demand for free speech and data privacy among social media users and content creators.
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