March 12, 2024

How Web3 Can Fix Social Media

Web3 is the third generation of the World Wide Web, and its primary mission is to make the internet fully decentralized.

In the previous article, we highlighted the main four pain points with web2 social media:

  1. Platforms held by monopolies
  2. Design to foster addiction and toxic content
  3. Lack of privacy
  4. Data taken out of users without consent and compensation

Even web2 platforms like Medium are beginning to acknowledge these problems. The solution Medium is considering these days is to award its user with a “visibility boost”, if they opt to sell their data. In the case of Medium, which is a blogging platform, companies buy from Medium users’ writings in order to train their AI chatbots and writing apps.

Twitter (or X) is slowly trying to shift its business model: from selling users’ data to selling premium accounts. This product promises to protect users’ data while granting them privileges like longer posts, and more visibility for their content and their profiles.

If likes become money

But what if you could go even further and, let’s say, turn likes into money?

This concept is already in place on several platforms, in some mild form. The most popular ones are of course Patreon and OnlyFans, but also Twitch embeds a tipping function that allows users to financially award their favourite streamers.

However, this money comes directly from the users’ pocket. It is still a great way of bringing the viewer and the creator together, so they can exchange financial energy, but if you know how social media work, there is still a missing piece: only creators monetize their content, while users can’t still monetize their usage data! And even creators monetize through a tip coming from outside the platform. They can’t monetize their likes.

How can SocialFi can solve this problem?

That’s when Web3 comes in, creating what is called “SocialFi”.

SocialFi is an economic system where users own their data from their social media activity and can get fairly compensated if they wish to sell it.

SocialFi can go as far as giving users even governance power, so they can decide how to shape the very product they use.

Unlike Web2 systems, Web3 SocialFi media platforms have 4 core strengths:

  1. Decentralized governance
  2. Design to award quality content
  3. Privacy-proof
  4. Users retain their data and get compensated if they wish to sell it

SocialFi early examples

Let’s look at one of the oldest SocialFi platforms existing: (ex Steemit). Hive is a blogging platform where writers can post their work. Readers can award the authors by liking (upvoting) their articles. The upvotes are directly converted into Hive dollars (HIVE), the platform’s currency.

HIVE derives its value primarily by the advertisers that buy ad spaces on the platform using this currency. Additional value comes from users purchasing HIVE to boost their content or to use other apps, like games, built within the Hive ecosystem.

The more ad spaces advertisers buy, the more valuable HIVE will be, for the benefit of the very people using the platform.

This technology has the potential to even reward users for simply using the platform. They generate useful data even by simply surfing on the platform. One day, you may generate a little passive income from just opening your favourite social media app.

Brave browser already employs a similar concept. Even browsing the internet generates data, precious data, especially when you watch ads. When you watch ads, Brave rewards you with BAT tokens that can be even used on Reddit, an historical web2 social media which is trying to become a web3 platform. has even the bold mission to bring SocialFi directly on X, allowing you to directly monetize your Twitter profile.

Many argue that SocialFi is just the newest flash-in-the-pan of the crypto industry, another get-rick-quick scheme with short term vision.

As always happens with new technologies, there is going to be a lot of speculation around SocialFi with related Ponzi schemes, but this doesn’t mean the tech is bad per se. As we said, SocialFi is being already integrated into established platforms, suggesting it is here to stay and to disrupt the social media industry.

How will SiBorg employ SocialFi?

SiBorg will employ SocialFi to tackle the most overlooked industry on the internet: podcasting. We believe that podcasts hide an enormous potential.

In an era where people are so immersed into their phones to the point of even ignoring in-person conversations, podcasts stand out as the purest form of discussion between individuals.

In 2022, podcasts had 424.2 million listeners worldwide. Past half of 2023 and podcasts can already count on 464.7 million listeners. In 2024, podcasts are expected to exceed 500 million listeners, for a market worth more than $20 billion.

Despite these outstanding numbers, there isn’t still a platform where podcasters can monetize their content while users can retain their data.

So far, the biggest investments in the industry came again from big monopolies: Apple, Spotify and of course YouTube.

These firms are notorious for how little they pay musicians posting music on their platforms:

  • Apple: $0.00783 per stream
  • Spotify: $0.00437 per stream
  • YouTube: basically nothing—$0.00069 per stream

These are peanuts compared to the huge profits these companies generate thanks to someone else’s music! And we have no reason to believe they will treat podcasters any better than musicians.

SiBorg wants to change that and give both podcasters and listeners an experience which is fun, fair, and community centric, as the whole internet should be.

SiBorg plans to accomplish this by leveraging the power of SocialFi. This means helping podcasters to connect directly with their audience, through a decentralized system, so they can create their own community and nurture it week by week, through authentic interactions that foster quality content. No more an advertising social platform that triggers addictive behaviour through inflammatory content or algorithms that promote such pattern, but a SocialFi platform that awards quality over quantity, active interactions over superficial debates. This is something traditional podcast platforms simply cannot offer, as they are still anchored to old business practices that treat the user as a product.

SiBorg embraces SocialFi to go into the opposite direction: creating a safe environment where the user is not a product, but a true stakeholder.

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