Social Media Breakthrough: Yet Another Reason to Get Paid For Watching the Feed by@maria-lobanova
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Social Media Breakthrough: Yet Another Reason to Get Paid For Watching the Feed

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Social media was a great invention but the innovative wheel got stuck with Instagram and TikTok. Social media platforms got a whopping amount of $153 billion last year and scandals like the 6th Facebook breach affecting 533 million users. The answer to the question “what do I actually get from it” might be here this year. But what do we actually need to reinvent the wheel and change users' behaviour? And what unites us all for a couple of hours now and when do we already do that?

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Maria Lobanova

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Social media was a great invention but the innovative wheel got a bit stuck with Instagram and TikTok. With social media platforms getting a whopping amount of $153 billion last year and scandals like the 6th Facebook breach affecting 533 million users, every user now and then asks hard questions. 

The answer to the question “what do I actually get from it?” might be here this year. But let’s start from the beginning: how did we end up here, why blockchain on its own did not just save us all, and what it has to do with your attention.

The History of Social Media 

Human impulses to communicate were strong even in the Pre-Internet Era. After all, “man is by nature a social animal”, Aristotle said. Yet, the internet gave it a whole new meaning.

As with any invention, the first audience was geeks like on the first network CBBS in 1978. 

With the modem's speed peaking up, the first messenger IRC Client was able to achieve massive adoption.

In 1992, wide-known celebrities like Michael Jackson already answered their fans in AMA (Ask Me Anything) Sessions on the AOL network.

One component was missing to proceed to the Facebook-it-all era – the arrival of a true creator economy.

In the 90s, Andrew Weinreich, the “father of social networking”, solved it all by patenting “a networking database containing a plurality of records for different individuals in which individuals are connected to one another in the database by defined relationship” and presenting the world with Six Degrees. Pandora's box was opened.

In the late 90s, we kept our diaries (OpenDiary, LiveJournal) and the rest was offline. Now, we find jobs and mentors (LinkedIn, 2003), seek investors and co-founders (AngelList, 2015), follow and share life events (Facebook, 2004), photos (Flickr, 2004, Pinterest, 2009, Instagram, 2010), videos (YouTube, 2005, Snapchat, 2011, TikTok, 2017), and gaming endeavors (Discord, 2015).

We invite messengers to our daily lives (Telegram, 2013) and use apps for dating (Tinder, 2013).

All in one, we do it all on social media. On average, a user spends over 2 hours on social media worldwide, with the Philippines being at the top with over 3 hours. And it keeps rising year by year.

Yet, it seems that most inventions happened before 2015 while the problems just keep snowballing.

A Snowball of Modern Social Media

All popular social networks are centralized and it comes at a cost to society. Having a single point of failure, it is prone to hacker attacks and data breaches.

This year, more than 69% of users in the US thought about deleting or already have deleted their social media accounts because of the recent privacy data breaches. 

Another problem of centralization is the lack of freedom of speech. The borderless nature of the internet is no longer true because tech corporations and governments can block entire countries’ populations.

But most importantly, profits come to tech giants themselves that sell personal data to who knows who with a small portion distributed among successful bloggers.

A regular user at best gets none and at worst spends not only time but money. And in 2021, there were over 4.26 billion social media users worldwide. That is approximately 54% of the world population of 7.83 billion.

The Blockchain World Responded

The invention of the blockchain paved the way for decentralization. Now, we can enjoy blockchain-based search engines instead of Google, decentralized music platforms instead of Spotify, and much more. 

The first attempts to bring blockchain to social media were also centered around counterweighting the notorious Facebook-like giants. In 2016, Steemit started to directly reward content creators, without taking its lion’s share.

In 2017, the Sapien network aimed “to champion users and truth”. Sola introduced internal currency, and there are many other examples of projects that are still not yet there.

The intention was good but the paradigm has not fully shifted.

The first paradigm shift signs started to appear in the GameFi sector with the growing popularity of the Play-to-Earn model in games like Axie Infinity.

It brought the sector over £4.1 billion in investments in just the first half of 2022. The movement started the gamification of other areas, like physical activities. For example, STEPN helps runners to get their piece of the pie.

But do we actually need to reinvent the wheel and change users' behavior? What unites us all? And what do we already do for a couple of hours now and when? Wait…

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Attention as a Scarce Resource

The decentralization of social media is a big step towards a more sustainable future. Yet, the first blockchain-based social media platform still operated in the paradigm of the creator’s economy where creators monetize their content and users consume it at best for free.

What was essential for a real breakthrough was the ideas of Herbert A. Simon, the Nobel Prize Laureate.

He treats human attention as a scarce commodity that has value of its own and coined the term “attention economy”. This is the economy where a social media user can finally get a portion of profits.

The team of over 150 developers who already created the NUTSon app with over 1.5 million user base was the first to solve this puzzle.

This winter, they are launching the first GameFi platform Cheelee for short videos where users can earn money by scrolling. This can put TikTok in the back seat. 

Unlike Play-to-Earn games, Cheelee requires no investment. Starting NFT glasses are free. So no, there is no catch. Creators and bloggers will also find new ways to earn money for their content.

The economic model behind the social network is sustained by the stability fund, limited LEE emission, and by balancing NFT-based profits with advertisement-based profits, which looks like a happy marriage between the legacy of Web2 and new opportunities of Web3.

if crypto needs no mass adoption since social media has already achieved it?

While the new breakthrough is yet to take its chances to gain momentum, Cheelee is giving $50,000 to lucky early birds that wish to start monetizing their time.

Subscribing and following simple tasks is all it takes to start being rewarded for watching your favorite content.

TL;DR

2022 finally brought the social media field a long-awaited injection of innovative spirit beyond simple decentralization.

The shift towards the attention economy has the potential to help users not only to regain control over their data but also to take back their time and money.

After all, who would not want to get paid for watching TikTok-like videos?

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