I’m here to tell you what the future of social networks is.
And it involves some form of blockchain, AI, and live-assembling trust networks that generate value for all involved.
But before we get there, let’s take a short trip through the present.
What we have now is a virtual geography relying on platforms (think social and othe ways of tapping into human information and workflows) + location (think virtual assets that correspond to real world places and things) + functional websites (think apps, businesses and ecommerce).
Social as a service is still the network infrastructure guiding most human interactions on the web.
We are not yet at a place where we have functional, focused and knowledge-embedded interactions woven into the social fabric of our platforms.
Which is a shame, because people tend to use the tools at their disposal.
Designers may flock to a couple of the design-focused social platforms.
Some people discover Reddit, which is knowledge-embedded conversation as a service.
It’s a mix of conversation, taxonomy and real-time knowledge discovery and evolution. Good place, but it does not include the actual personal-social dimension of social platforms, which keeps it highly focused, but reduces potential for widespread adoption.
And there are other examples, but for the layman, and especially for new generations growing up with social, the available tools are very reductive.
Messaging, personal presence, video communication (which even as recently as 2000-something seemed like such a futuristic thing, yet here it is, but not fundamentally different as a creative tool), and some incipient forms of knowledge management as a side-effect of social sharing.
Yet as the speed of content grows, and we rapidly approach a time when the average informational article will be easily written by Niche AI, the dynamics and economics of content sharing will have to fundamentally change.
So here are a few predictions related to that:
Virtual Finance and Virtual Communication Will Be One Ecosystem
Because blockchain allows for instantaneous micro-payments, while the physical economy has very long cycles for the creation of money and monetary value, a time is coming, very soon, when the mechanics of monetizing content and social attention/energy will HAVE TO change.
Right now we are stuck trying to monetize content using the physical economy, which is a fundamentally flawed approach, since the internet is obviously its own financial ecosystem.
Not just because of the ‘attention economy’, not just because it’s actually becoming the financial layer of the world, but because the economy itself is based on communication, and the internet is the medium of communication.
Online, meaning right now, as a given fact of the modern world, communication is instantaneous, yet we use an exchange medium rooted in the physical economy, which takes decades to generate layers of value.
This in itself should clue you in to the massive revolution about to take place.
What do you think will win out in becoming a partner exchange medium for communication?
Something instantaneous, or something measured, at best, in cycles that span years and large geographies.
When the change does happen, and it will, expect to see massive transformations in the way average people are able to conduct business and enact collaboration, as well as a much pickier clientele for content.
Right now, people rely on content platforms to receive information, or they simply churn through the random flows of their social feeds.
The first is the old model, where trust and information-ability are centralized according to the capital accumulation of the physical economy.
The second is the incipient form of the new model — but it is random, amnesic, and without a built-in intelligence for quality, applicability and content taxonomy.
Which leads us to point number 2.
Intelligent Networks Reduce Scarcity — Especially Knowledge Scarcity — To Zero
With the advent of truly intelligent (communicatively-persistant) AI assistants, distributed social networks will become possible wherein the nodes are established and live-assembled through intelligent interactions between the AI assistants themselves.
By building a relationship with your AI assistant, you will have a 24/7 engine that scours the world looking to improve your social experience, social network, geographical/temporal/financial accessibility and, of course, your content experience. And it will be able to collaborate in real time, continuously, with similar knowledge-experience engines to align values, generate network effects and build permanent or temporary mutual pathways based on very specific goals.
If Niche AI will be able to churn out basic articles at the same level as content mills, or even better, AI assistants will be able to block them the way a pop-up blocker removes those annoying little floaty tabs.
Which leads me to my final point.
Virtual Money Maps Communication Flows, Which Become the Exchange Medium for Value
Because human communication is inherently valuable, and all human systems and structures are a result of human communication, it will become the inherent value flow of the human economy.
The internet, as structure, system and service, is an architecture of communication. The most efficient currency is one that directly maps the root exchange medium: communication. Digital and decentralized currency will always tend towards this over time.
We now perform countless acts of communication and content creation in attempts at establishing relationships, sales and thought leadership, but we do it through an amnesic system where 1)content (knowledge) does not directly reach people based on their wants and needs, but based on scarcity and agitation, and 2)people are not able to pay and inter-pay for the things they like, need and want, as far as communication and knowledge, because both the value and exhange mediums of their economies are rooted in a slower process.
When money becomes digital in an AI world, it will quickly align with communication and knowledge, and both content shock and content scarcity will disappear as people become able to directly form long-term economic relationships based on communication and knowledge.
And that point, the physical economy will be a layer for the digital.
Also, human nodes in the economic system will be able to establish and inter-exchange value directly, not as a service, the way Bitcoin is a service because it allows you to do this, but as an inherent value proposition of the economy itself.
And finally, decentralized AI assistants will be able to form long-term non-amnesic relationships between nodes based on the wants and needs of humans, rendering interruption marketing absolutely obsolete.
The only reason interruption marketing was ever a thing in human history was because of attention, presence and knowledge scarcity.
In other words, you cannot see everything, be everywhere, and know everything, and because of that, you do not know what you need to know.
Not with any degree of certainty.
At least, not for most people.
But networks of personal AIs collaborating 24/7 based on human wants and needs will quickly reduce these amnesic and entropic flaws of human communication and presence, and increase the speed and stability of positive signals, while eradicating signals based on scarcity.
Live-assembling networks, systems and structures of knowledge, communication and economic value, fully inclusive based on personal wants and needs, will be far more efficient than any other form of structuring information, and will therefore become the generative source of economic activity and value.