8 New Web3 Social Media Protocols and Platforms
There’s been a lot going on in crypto lately. Earlier this week, Cryptocracy reported on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) taking action against Paxos over Binance’s stablecoin BUSD. This followed on the heels of the SEC forcing Kraken to shut down its staking operations. It’s clear that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler believes staking is like buying a security. But is it?
I could go into detail about why it isn’t, but I’ll save that for another day. Suffice it to say that the winds of crypto are changing direction. Still, there are positive developments.
This week, my new book Web3 Social: How Creators Are Changing the World Wide Web (And You Can Too!) launched for public consumption. At the back of the book, I’ve included a list of Web3 social media projects and protocols currently active. There are more than 100 of them. But I’ve since putting that list together, I’ve discovered a few more. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of book publishing, I wasn’t able to update that list. Therefore, below is a list of other Web3 social media platforms that didn’t make the list but which show some early promise.
I’ll preface this list by saying I haven’t taken any of these for a test drive yet. Still, the fact that they exist bears mentioning. In alphabetical order:
Bison Relay - Bison Relay was launched by Decred. Like a few other up-and-coming social media projects, Bison Rely is peer-to-peer technology that utilizes relays for message distribution. It promises individual sovereignty for users, allowing creators to post publicly or limit views to a select few. Chats are encrypted with “zero-knowledge communications,” and users can monetize their content with the Bitcoin Lightning Network. It also boasts of being censorship-resistant. Bison Relay is very early in development, so there are few users and only one server in operation, but they offer a tutorial to help you get set up. That’s a good thing because the only way to download the no-account protocol is through Github.
Bonuz - Bonuz is unique among Web3 social media platforms in that it attempts to appeal to both individual creators and businesses. For the latter, the platform offers a way to create events and grant access through NFTs and QR codes. Businesses can also create rewards opportunities for customers through NFTs and issue loyalty NFTs for recurring customers. For individual creators, Bonuz makes some of the same talking points that other Web3 social media platforms make and adds “always reach 100% of your audience,” a poke in the eye of Facebook, which is notorious for not distributing content to everyone who likes a page only to ask page owners to boost their posts through a monetary shakedown. For musicians, Bonuz promises the ability to create concert tickets to loyal token holders before the public sale, set up challenges for fans, host metaverse meetings and other events, and create exclusive content as NFTs. Bonuz plans to roll out other features for specific creator audiences, such as artists, athletes, actors, and politicians. Predicated on token-gated content for its users, Bonuz offers a unique take on content monetization.
Cashrain - Cashrain has a unique proposition. Built on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, users can create communities and reward those communities with Bitcoin Cash (BCH). That BCH is then distributed randomly among members of the community. Twitch users can use their Twitch login to access their Cashrain account. Cashrain has a list of active cashrains and a leaderboard. I’m not sure I get the appeal of sending money into a pool that is then distributed “randomly” to everyone in the pool. Maybe I’m missing something.
Chingari - Chingari is a video-sharing mobile app currently available only in the U.S., India, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Turkey. Chingari means “Spark” in Hindi and Urdu, which makes it more interesting to me. They’re also proud of the fact that they’re the only social network in the world that pays users in Gari, the native token, to socialize. Users can mine Gari; earn more through staking; earn NFT badges; create, mint, buy, and sell NFTs on the platform; and participate in events. With more than 150 million users, Chingari is the fastest growing social media platform in India, Indonesia, and Turkey.
Damus - Damus offers a social network you can control and set up just for your friends or your business. But it’s only available as a mobile app. What I find interesting about Damus is its tech stack. Built on open Internet protocols, it features end-to-end encrypted messaging, no account registration (in other words, you don’t disclose your name, phone number, or email address), and it allows you and your friends to tip each other on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Messages are distributed by decentralized relays. Damus is in very early beta.
DSCVR - DSCVR (pronounced “discover”) calls itself Web3 social media “with a sense of community.” That’s important because some Web3 social media platforms don’t feel like a community at all. DSCVR is a part of the Internet Computer and attempts to be a community-run Reddit. Essentially, users post content on the platform and earn governance rights for the blockchain based on their upvotes. Users can also earn Service Tokens by funding the platform. My thought here is, if the SEC has a problem with staking, they’ll for sure have a problem with Service Tokens.
Espers - Espers calls itself a Web3 fractal engine. What that means is they’re a blockchain project that offers secured messaging, blockchain-based websites, and an “overall pleasing experience.” At the center of the Espers experience is the ability to build a website on the blockchain that is secure from distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks and free from traditional hosting concerns. Beyond that, Espers plans to offer blockchain applications capabilities. Finally, secure messaging attempts to speed up the ability for users to message with each other while expanding messaging operations beyond text-only encrypted messaging using relays on the network. While this isn’t social media, per se, the ability to use end-to-end encrypted messaging is a step forward for many people even though Espers isn’t the first attempt at providing this service.
Taki - The Taki app allows creators to create and own their own social tokens. Calling itself a “token-powered social network,” users can earn tokens by participating in communities. Currently in beta, Taki has 825,000 users and has paid out 96.2 million total rewards. Taki was founded by experienced startup founders including Kevin Chou, who co-founded Rally, which recently announced it was shutting down operations.
For a list of more than 100 different Web3 social media platforms and protocols, be sure to check out my new book Web3 Social: How Creators Are Changing the World Wide Web (And You Can Too!).
What do you think? Which of these 8 Web3 social media platforms or protocols have the most promise?
Cryptocracy is a decentralized newsletter published several times a week. I curate the latest news and crypto analysis from some of the brightest minds in crypto, and sometimes offer a little insightful and snarky commentary. Always fresh, always interesting, and always crypto. Original articles on Fridays.
First published at Cryptocracy. Not to be construed as financial advice. Do your own research.
Image credit: Internet Computer stats