It’s been forecasted that by 2021, there will be over 3 billion worldwide registered social media accounts and with blockchain-based businesses aiming to disrupt many industries, one has to ask if established and emerging social media apps on the blockchain can supplant the incumbent centralized social platforms?
For blockchain to fully become mainstream, it is essential for it to illustrate an increased real-world use. There has to be real businesses with real communities, usable and live products, and a strong, active business development aimed at growth, user-base, AND revenues. Regardless of the technological and financial benefits, at the heart of achieving mass adoption of blockchain is the user experience and a community excited to use the platform.
One area that has the potential to go mainstream is Social Media with Steemit and Mithril paving the way for others. While these platforms have been relatively successful in attracting users from the cryptocurrency community, they have arguably been unable to offer a significant challenge to the current centralized platforms.
Unique Social Experience
With increasing disquiet and distrust over the use, sale and loss of personal data, the intrusion of unwanted advertising, diminishing rewards for content creators and a changing landscape, the time is now right for blockchain-based social apps to challenge centralized social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.
Content creators generally do not share in the profits from advertising sales, except on YouTube and Twitch, where creators can have a limited share in the profits, but only above certain thresholds. Even then, YouTube and Twitch take 25-45% of advertising revenues while YouTube recently changed its rules on profit sharing. Creators must comply or look for somewhere else to share their content.
This has led to over 100,000 content creators registering with Patreon in a bid to connect more with their fans and benefit from their patronage and tips. However, many patrons are unhappy with the financial burden being placed upon them.
With newcomer Howdoo about to launch, we might be about to see an exciting challenge to traditional social apps and also to Patreon.
I have been following the development of Howdoo over the last few months. It has not courted huge publicity, but it has been quietly executing its goal of delivering a unique social experience that combines the best of social media and blockchain without compromising on the user experience. For Howdoo or any other blockchain social platform to take advantage of the current climate, it needs to scale fast and provide a unique user experience while appealing to the ever-changing demands of social media users.
Before it can challenge the incumbent centralised platforms’ comparison, Howdoo first needs to be benchmarked against its main blockchain competitors Mithril and Steemit:
|All time high||N/A||$350Mn||$1.8Bn|
|Launched||December 2018||July 2018||March 2016|
Like Mithril and Steemit, creators and anyone that engages with content on Howdoo will be able to earn udoos (the Howdoo token) for liking and sharing content while there will be a unique gamification layer that rewards users for regular usage and adds additional value to the platform
Furthermore, other unique features missing from both Steemit and Mithril are live streaming, tipping, and paywalls. A user can tip or donate with a click of a button, with the content creator receiving 100% against 90% on Patreon. With Howdoo there are no service or processing fees.
Udoo is listed on several exchanges as well as Blockfolio, with the most volume being on Coinbene. With a current market cap of $6m and an improved platform and user experience, it can easily match and surpass Mithril. Since Howdoo offers something even more unique, it is not unrealistic to expect Howdoo to corner a large stake in a market currently being dominated by centralized social platforms.
Advertising is a key component of any social media platform with Facebook generating $6.18 to $26.76 per user each quarter. With $50 billion annually spent on digital, in-game goods, it is essential to have thriving, engaging and supportive communities that will attract advertisers.
While some have argued that “social apps on the blockchain cannot compete for contented subscribers and advertisers on incumbent centralized platforms”, I have noticed that respected Musicians, Gamers and other high profile content creators across beauty, fitness, and lifestyle are signing up as supporters of Howdoo.
Last month, Howdoo announced that it was accepting username reservations. Over 25,000 users have already signed up for their usernames with more being added every day.
Content creators who act early should be able to register the usernames they desire before the platform’s public launch this December. Quickly following its December release, Howdoo will be launching its paywall, where content creators can start to sell premium content or monthly subscriptions.
Exponents of the blockchain believe that it will be “more important than the Internet and it’s going to be massively disruptive for every sector.” Can Howdoo become the poster child of the Social Media industry and compete with every other platform? Time will tell. If it can launch swiftly and smoothly, continue to attract the best influencers and micro-influencers and deliver on its promise to provide an improved user experience, it has a very good chance of being a real contender.
Disclaimer by the author: This is not a sponsored post. These are my own observations on the direction social media is moving in. I also do not own any token from any of the companies listed above. About the Author: Karnika E. Yashwant (KEY) is a multi-awarded CEO of a dozen brands. He has been advising blockchain projects since 2013.