Social media has become a powerful force across the globe. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are go-to destinations for news and information. Very little oversight exists for companies that have become a vital part of information distribution around the world. In addition to the ethical issues that arise from these platforms, there are still many gray areas where blockchain could help how content is monetized.
A platform like Facebook or Snapchat is basically a way for people to easily share content. The platform does little to create anything, but they are able to realize substantial gains from their users. People that post their photos, videos and other media are creating marketable entertainment for the platforms. However the content creators aren’t given much in the way of compensation for their efforts.
Even a platform like YouTube that allows content creators to realize some amount of profit from their work has the ability to ‘demonetize’ content at will. The platform still gains from the content, because they show ads during a demonetized video. Users and content creators are at the mercy of the platforms, but blockchain could be a part of finding a solution to this problem.
Content Sharing, Free From Policy
Alex Jones has gone on the record with some wild statements. Whatever a person might feel about the positions that Alex Jones has taken, it would be wise to pay attention to what could be a terrifying precedence. Within a week, the outspoken Texan was banned from every major content platform. There is little he can do to regain use of the world’s largest media distribution systems.
It all comes down to corporate policy, not law. Alex Jones did nothing illegal, and yet, he can’t post videos to sites that he helped generate countless dollars in ad revenue for over many years. Not only is he banned from continued use, but his entire oeuvre has been chucked into the ‘memory hole’. Needless to say, this isn’t good for content creators.
There should be no argument that a platform like Facebook realizes massive profits from its infrastructure. Regardless of the costs involved, it is clear that content distribution platforms create value. The issue now is how that profit is shared, and blockchain can put the power of profit back in the hands of the creatives.
The Alex Jones affair shines a light on a much larger problem that creatives face today. While accessing content has never been easier, getting paid to create isn’t straightforward. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook have become rich from freely offered content, but blockchain could the technology that allows creatives to cut out the middleman.
Blockchain-based record keeping systems allow huge amounts of data to be recorded with no intermediaries. In the realm of social media and content sharing, this means platforms like YouTube could easily be replaced by cloud-computing nodes. There are also new advertising platforms that use blockchain to record where adverts are shown, and who is paying attention to them.
New Ideas Could Change the Market
Contentos is marketing their COS token, which they designed to create a scalable marketplace for online content distribution. The idea is more or less to connect content producers with media consumers directly, though they don’t have a platform that could challenge YouTube or Facebook. They have created the ability for other companies to participate in their ecosystem, so if a tokenized content distribution model becomes popular, they could be worth watching.
Snapparazzi is taking a different approach, and uses blockchain to help creatives that want to sell pictures of newsworthy events. Their platform will allow creatives to upload their pictures and videos, and news platforms can bid on them. The buyers will pay in fiat, and the creatives will receive SnapCoin tokens, which may dissuade established journalists from using the new platform.
Regardless of the financials, Snapparazzi does seem to be a step in the right direction for creatives. Although blockchain hasn’t been used to create a rival to Facebook or YouTube yet, there are platforms that are going in that direction. When people realize the benefits that blockchain creates in terms of safety for personal information and oversight, it is likely they will prefer blockchain-based social media.