Social media is one of the inseparable aspects of our lives with many interesting functionalities. The notable social media networks used globally today have a significant role in fuelling our everyday communications and interactions with different services. Where do decentralized social networks come into the picture?
A closer look at the foundations of popular social networks today would show you that they are centralized. The centralized control of big companies on social networks leads to various problems, such as data breaches, privacy violations, censorship, and server outages. Therefore, developers seek best practices for creating social networks on Ethereum with the power of decentralization.
The introduction of decentralized social media platforms could help in resolving the common concerns associated with conventional social networking platforms. You can rely on decentralized networks to improve the overall experience of users alongside presenting the scope for a future with decentralized social media networks. The following discussion offers you a detailed guide on decentralized social media alongside its benefits and risks.
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The Journey to Decentralized Social Media
The discussions about decentralized media as an alternative to existing social media networks draw attention to the origins of decentralization in social networks. As the internet moved further towards web3 standards, decentralized social media emerged as an alternative to conventional social media. Somewhere around 2004, web2 evolved as a worthy successor to web1, thereby introducing dynamic user experiences in comparison to the static web. Web2 represents almost everything you see on the internet today, particularly the user-generated content you can notice on Facebook and Google. However, the content created by users is stored on centralized servers owned by companies, including Facebook or Google.
Therefore, decentralized social (deso) networks are an essential requirement for countering the concerns due to centralized control over the servers storing user data. The power and influence of companies on social media networks have been a topic of constant deliberations in the tech community. The need for decentralized social media blockchain platforms emerges from the criticisms of centralized platforms. Centralized social media platforms utilize significant amounts of data in their control for monetization and brand advertising purposes. With the momentum in the development of web3, the internet could become more semantic and intelligent. As a result, it would interpret and connect various data sets in a decentralized manner without involving intermediaries. Therefore, web3 can establish the foundations for enabling social media interactions without including centralized intermediaries.
Definition of Decentralized Social Networks
The discussion on new advancements with the help of blockchain would refer to examples of crypto exchanges such as the BISQ network and many other applications. Decentralization in social media networks has been made possible with the help of blockchain, a distributed ledger technology. The basic design of decentralized social media protocol involves blockchain. It helps in enabling users to exchange information alongside publishing or distributing content to the audience. Considering the fact that the decentralized social media applications operate on a blockchain network, they also bring the advantages of blockchain.
The advantages of blockchain social networks would help in introducing decentralization thereby removing unauthorized control as well as censorship. You can find many examples of decentralized social media networks which offer alternatives to popular social media services, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. On top of it, blockchain-based social networks are more likely to have better features in comparison to conventional social platforms.
Working on Decentralized Social Networks
The functionality of every new DeFi network relies on blockchain technology for transforming financial services. While digital technologies have enabled better accessibility of financial services online, DeFi puts the users in control. The same can be applicable in the case of decentralized social media, which transforms the existing model of social media networking with decentralization. You can go through the best decentralized social media networks to identify how they work alongside understanding the role of blockchain in driving their functionalities.
Decentralized social media serves a collection of different decentralized applications, or dApps, based on smart contracts which reside on blockchain networks. You can notice how blockchain plays a crucial role in the design of decentralized social media apps and networks. The code behind the smart contract works as the backend for the decentralized social or deso networks. The smart contract code provides the definition of the business logic underlying the social media network.
The implications of decentralized social media crypto relationships would also come into play in deso networks. Conventional social media platforms depend on databases for storing user information alongside program code and other important data pointers. However, such approaches lead to single points of failure alongside introducing significant levels of risk. For example, Facebook encountered many outages due to varying reasons in different instances, rendering the platform inaccessible to users.
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Security and Decentralization
The primary design of decentralized social networks follows a peer-to-peer network approach featuring thousands of nodes worldwide. In such a design, the failure of one or a few nodes could not affect the uptime of the network. As a result, the social media network would run continuously without any interruptions, thereby ensuring that the network is immune to downtime and network failures. The design of decentralized social media platforms also utilizes decentralized storage systems, such as the Inter Planetary File System or IPFS. With the help of IPFS, the social networks created on Ethereum could safeguard user information from any type of exploitation. The decentralized storage approach also prevents the concerns of malicious usage as centralized agents could not sell user information to the highest bidders. In addition, decentralized networks can also prevent the concerns of stealing confidential details.
Native Tokens of Decentralized Social Networks
Furthermore, the decentralized social media crypto connection is evident in the facility of native tokens on different blockchain-powered social platforms. The native crypto tokens on decentralized social media networks could help in supporting monetization alongside ensuring the lack of advertising revenue. Users could purchase the tokens for accessing specific features alongside completing different in-app purchases. On top of it, you can also use decentralized social (deso) native tokens for paying tips to the desired content creators.
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Advantages of Decentralized Social Media Networks
The benefits of decentralized media on social networks also point out the necessity of introducing them in the web3 landscape. Here is an outline of the important advantages you can have with decentralized blockchain-based social networks.
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The foremost advantage of blockchain-based social networks would point to censorship resistance. It can also stay open for every user, thereby suggesting that users cannot be restricted, banned, or removed from the platform in an arbitrary manner.
Lack of Intermediary Intervention
The development of decentralized social media blockchain networks could help in ensuring that social networks would not have to deal with intermediaries. Now, content creators can enjoy direct ownership of their content alongside engaging directly with their fans and followers. Interestingly, users on decentralized social media networks could enjoy the facility of direct interactions with each other only through a smart contract.
Decentralized social media networks have been developed on the basis of open-source principles. It also offers the source code for public audits, thereby encouraging more trust in decentralized social media apps and protocols. Traditional social media networks use opaque algorithms and restrict the capability of users. On the contrary, blockchain-based social platforms could help in aligning the interests of content creators, platform developers, and users.
The next important benefit of social media networks based on blockchain is the same as that of DeFi network applications. Decentralized social media networks would leverage the global, peer-to-peer network of nodes, thereby reducing susceptibility to server outages and downtime.
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Better Monetization Frameworks
The best decentralized social media networks could also provide a better monetization framework for content creators. Decentralized networks could help in using in-app crypto payments alongside NFTs for monetizing the work of content creators.
Secure Data Storage
The effect of decentralized social media networks on data storage also implies the necessity of security. With the help of decentralized storage rather than centralized databases, you can find better options for the security of user data.
More Privacy and Anonymity
The most striking highlight of a blockchain social network would refer to improved anonymity and privacy. For example, users could sign in to blockchain-based social networks by using a crypto wallet or an ENS profile. As a result, users don’t have to share their personally identifiable information, including names, email addresses, and other details.
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Setbacks of Decentralized Social Media
The benefits of decentralized social media networks would also point to the possibility of setbacks. You cannot expect that a decentralized social media protocol would serve as the perfect replacement for existing social media networks. Decentralized networks are also open to vulnerabilities, and you can find some prominent setbacks, such as,
The most noticeable risk with decentralized social media refers to the possibility of malicious agents exploiting the way of operating the networks. Limited restrictions on removing users from decentralized social media networks can work in favor of hackers who want to exploit the vulnerabilities in the system.
Centralized social media networks use moderators to offer better monitoring of the proceedings in the network. The decentralized social networks have been designed without any centralized intervention, thereby removing moderators.
The developments in the domain of decentralized social media networks have been responsible for changing how the applications of social media evolve. On the other hand, they don’t have the attractive interface that popular social media platforms have developed over the years. Therefore, you don’t have appealing user interfaces in decentralized social media networks.
Popular Decentralized Social Media Platforms
The explanation on decentralized social media platforms would refer to the answers to “What are some decentralized social media platforms?” with examples. Some of the popular decentralized alternatives to social media platforms would help you understand that decentralization could transform the value of social media experiences. The alternative to Twitter is Mastodon, and Facebook’s alternative would include Minds and Diaspora. You can also access a decentralized alternative to Instagram, such as Karma.
The centralization of existing social media platforms has been one of the prominent reasons for various setbacks. For example, you have the pitfalls of skewed algorithms, censorship, and lack of privacy. On the other hand, decentralized social media platforms have empowered users with control over their data, assets, and experiences. The decentralized social media networks would also open up new avenues for the monetization of social media content. Content creators could use the peer-to-peer model to connect with their fans directly.
In addition, users could also reach out to their favorite content creators without unwanted intervention. Furthermore, decentralized social media networks also ensure freedom from censorship and unwarranted removal from social networks. Examples of alternatives to centralized social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, show that the possibilities of decentralized networks could transform social media. Learn more about decentralized social media blockchain in detail now.
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