Decentralized Social Networks: an Overview of the Most Popular Platforms

Blockchain technology is more and more tightly entering our daily life since recently. The fact is that the vast majority of people think that the implementation of this technology is limited only by the development of the cryptocurrency industry. But in reality, this is absolutely not so. A distributed data registry can be used in almost any sphere of life: finance, games, databases, logistics, and more.

In this article, we will talk about startups that create blockchain social networks. The developers of these projects promise to reach a fundamentally new level in the issue of personal data protection, as well as significantly improve content regulation. Despite the fact that the transition to decentralization is a gradual process, already today we can understand how exactly such social networks will work.

1. Steemit

This social network is notable for being a pioneer in this direction. The project “Steemit” was established almost three years ago, more precisely in the summer of 2016. It is often compared to “Reddit” since the users in “Steemit” create and correct the content themselves. People receive real cash rewards (SMT tokens) for active participation in the development of the project.

The developers of this project have focused on positive feedback. In “Steemit”, the authors are financially interested in publishing high-quality content. Such a model positively affects the value and quality of materials and the usefulness of the platform itself.

2. D.Tube

“D.Tube” is a decentralized analog of the Youtube video platform, which is created using the unique IPFS protocol. The main goal of the project developers is to create a platform free from censorship, on which it will be possible to freely post and promote absolutely any author’s content.

This project uses Steemit technology for verification of users. Absolutely any video file that is uploaded to “D.Tube”, by default, becomes encrypted content. If you are interested in blockchain technology, then you probably know that everything that goes into the distributed registry remains there forever. After publication, the files cannot be deleted, but if there is a need to delete some video on the “D.Tube” site, it can only be deactivated on the company’s server.

3. Peepeth

“Peepeth” is a unique micro-blogging platform, like the well-known Twitter. This project uses the blockchain Ethereum, that is why it is better to install Metamask for correct work. The interaction of users with each other is essentially the same as on Twitter. The only difference is that all publications are stored in IPFS, as well as on the company’s servers.

Despite the fact that “Peepeth” is a free site, the developers declare that they can delete inappropriate content on their own. Based on this, we can conclude that this platform has not yet fully shifted to a decentralized business model.

4. Indorse

This project is focused exclusively on professionals, so its closest centralized analog is “LinkedIn”. At the site, you can test the skills of other users while remaining incognito.

“Indorse” financially encourages its users to establish relationships with other members of the platform. For active participation in the project`s life, users receive IND tokens, which can then be spent on promoting their own pages in “Indorse”.

5. Minds

The developers of this project want to create absolute freedom of speech online. ERC-20 tokens platforms can be used to promote your Minds page. You can earn coins in two ways: working with content or conducting on-chain transactions.

6. ONO

This is the first project that was based on the blockchain EOS. This social network began its work on April 15, 2018. You can express your thoughts without thinking about censorship on this platform. There is the ability to exchange instant messages on ONO.

It should be noted that the EOS blockchain has a large bandwidth, this has a positive effect on the speed and usability of the ONO platform.

Centralized vs. Decentralized Social Networks

All of the above projects have a lot in common. Firstly, almost all platforms operate on the principle of rewarding users for certain actions (with the exception of Peepeth). Secondly, they all struggle with centralized censorship, which means that not one body, but the whole community is engaged in content moderation. Users decide whether to delete a particular publication or not. The main problem of our time is the false news that is published by major media and the blockchain technology allows to solve it.

It is worth noting that we will not get along without at least partial centralization. For example, the search algorithms of the largest social network in the world Facebook, collect a huge amount of data for their further analysis. This allows this social giant to effectively prioritize the display of content. This is convenient for users since in this model it is much easier for them to find their content.

It is also worth noting that the use of decentralized social networks can cause a number of difficulties for ordinary users (for example, storing keys)

Conclusion

Just a few years ago, decentralized social networks were something unreal. But now we can observe that due to blockchain technology, positive changes are taking place in this area. Of course, at this stage, it is difficult to imagine that decentralized sites will be able to completely replace the usual social networks that are controlled from a single center. But in any case, it can be affirmed that work in this direction is underway. And already now we have the opportunity to use similar sites, which develop and become more comfortable and safe every year.

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