Decentralized Social Networks Software Trends
Nowadays, social media has a massive impact on people’s lives. But unfortunately, many of us are entirely unaware of the magnitude. After all, social networking sites are already the most popular and widely used online activity.
One of the most common online activities is the use of social media. In 2020, the number of social media users was reported as over 3.6 billion individuals; a figure predicted to rise to about 4.41 billion by 2025.
However, social media platforms are all centralized, meaning they are controlled (or owned) by a single entity. User information is stored on servers they own, and by analyzing this data, they can serve their customers with personalized adverts, which is how these platforms that are otherwise free, generate money. Centralized networks are also prone to data and security breaches such as the 2018 hack on Facebook. Finally, growing concerns about the power these platforms wield to censor, delete and even shape public perception to suit their agenda have led to more calls for decentralization of social media.
Decentralized social networks pique the interests of people for different reasons. For one, you can decide what to do with your data. You have full control over your interactions with others on the network. There is no centralized authority keeping an eye on you, or recording your data. But are decentralized social networks worth it? Read on to find out.
Why use decentralized social networks?
A few characteristics differentiate decentralized social networks from traditional media sites. Most users migrate to decentralized social networks due to these differences.
The first is that it is not a single website you can visit; instead, it is a network of hundreds of communities. Each community possesses a copy of the code.
Second, you may make your instance as public or private as you choose, and you can connect with users from other cases and even across platforms.
Like with other social media platforms, decentralized social networks let you post content comments, use hashtags, share them with others, and so on. The only downside is that their user interface is not as appealing as Centralized social media Networks. But what it lacks in looks, it makes up for freedom, privacy, and decentralization.
People also use decentralized social networks because it allows creators to earn token equivalents of significant cryptocurrencies. As a result, you can sell products in exchange for cryptos on some decentralized social networks.
Who uses decentralized social networks?
Decentralized social networks are open to anyone who wants total control over their privacy, security, and data. For now, decentralized social networks appeal most to people looking to stay anonymous on the internet. Users looking to own and monetize their content without some corporation benefiting from their efforts are also heavy supporters of decentralized social platforms.
Since traditional social platforms prioritize income creation, they control what users post and view. As a result, they present users with attention-grabbing advertising content, which entertains rather than informs them.
Users on decentralized social media networks, on the other hand, have the freedom to interact as they wish without fear of censorship because the developers often simply give guiding rules, leaving the rest to a distributed community of users.
Decentralized social networks offer users censorship resistance, free speech, and total control. Corporate entities control the major centralized social media networks, and a small group of persons within these corporations determines the rules of engagement. Over the years, users have expressed concerns about free speech and censorship.
Last year, Facebook imposed high-profile bans on people on both sides of the political aisle, from Louis Farrakhan to Alex Jones. While banning violent, hateful, and harmful messaging helps safeguard social media users from malicious online activities, some argue that the restrictions violate free speech principles.
In a decentralized social network, users have more control. Unlike centralized social networking platforms, decentralized networks promote independence without a central power. Censorship resistance, data ownership, and improved control over user-generated content are just some of the benefits.
Consumers, in other words, refuse to be filtered and demand ultimate control over their data. No one else, even an organization or a site administrator, can alter the content created by users. Nobody has the power to take user-generated content down. No group can impose its rules on other groups in a decentralized network.
However, hate groups can create their own social media platforms. Individuals can ban them from connecting with them. However, they can’t stop them from using the network.
Users have more control over their privacy, security, and personal data in a decentralized social network. Due to user concerns about controlling their data, European countries established the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR defines users as data controllers, meaning they own their own data. Companies, at least those operating in Europe, are required by law to provide users more control over their data. If companies do not adhere to the GDPR laws, they pay a fine.
Users do not have to worry about security or data privacy with decentralization. Unlike centralized social media platforms, users can create accounts unrelated to real-world identities, such as phone numbers or email addresses.
Moreover, decentralized social relies on public-key cryptography to secure user accounts. While this has particular benefits in data security, it also has some drawbacks. For example, bootstrapped decentralized social networks may shut down due to a lack of finances, causing users to lose their data and connections.
Since decentralized networks do not store recordings of personal data on servers, users have no easy means to reconnect with others on the network in this case. Furthermore, these platforms do not always encrypt data, which means that administrators may see private messages.
Decentralized social networks are economically and politically neutral. Economic neutrality is a priority for many people who use decentralized social networks. They want to be free of intrusive advertising and its risk to their privacy. In addition, decentral networks are looking for new ways to increase their income and stay afloat.
So how do they stay afloat and keep operations running? By using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Some decentralized socia rewards users for creating or curating exciting content, incentivizing content creators to put quality first.
Decentralized social networks run a reward-based system. Most centralized social networks are billion-dollar companies. These companies earn money thanks to users who create content on the platform. After profiting from users, they keep everything and share none of the profits with their users. But why should others become millionaires and not the users that put effort into generating the content?
Decentralized social networks employ a different structure. Audiences can monetize and enjoy benefits from every view, like, comment, and other activity. The network can also allow adverts that benefit users rather than a company.
There are more secure opportunities for crowdfunding on decentralized social networks. Users can use tokens to support crowdfunding initiatives with more precise control. On blockchain social networks, peer-to-peer fund transfers are also available. Users will feel secure using these platforms for payments and transfers due to the high level of security provided.
ICOs, STOs, and token distribution through liquidity mining have all raised millions of dollars thanks to blockchain-powered crowdfunding. In addition, investors frequently receive special incentives in exchange for their investment, such as the opportunity to participate in governance or profit from each user transaction.
Decentralized social networks run an Open Source Code. The open-source code nature of decentralized social networks lets you analyze how the algorithm works and why certain items appear on your feed.
With centralized social networks, you may have a basic idea of how the content ends on your feed through interests, user interaction, and relevancy. However, decentralized social networks take it further and allow you to see exactly how the developers created the code.
Q: How do decentralized social networks work?
A: Instead of a centralized server owned by a company, decentralized social networks are on independently run servers. One example of a decentralized social network is Mastodon. Mastodon is an open-source technology that works like Twitter.
Data entries can be kept in servers worldwide thanks to blockchain technology. Moreover, it promotes transparency by allowing anybody on a network to access data in real-time.
Users have more autonomy and control on decentralized social networks. Individuals can set up their social network and determine how it operates and what users can say. For example, instead of having content monitored by a corporation, the founder of a decentralized social network can set out the terms for acceptable behavior for everyone to see.
Q: What are the obstacles in decentralized social networking?
A: Because decentralized social networks are still in their infancy, they face several obstacles. Conflicts of interest with ad models are one such difficulty. In addition, there are considerably fewer advertisers interested in hosting their campaigns on a site where they cannot predict the ad viewership.
The next problem is to persuade people to leave their present social media/profile homes (in the case of Twitter) and join a site with a drastically different user experience and architecture (in the case of Google+) and a significantly smaller number of their contacts.
Profile consistency. In theory, joining a decentralized networking site for almost every primary interest in your life sounds like the ideal plan. Everything, including movies, music, and sports, is vying for a small piece of the pie. But what most decentralized social network developers forget is that there are only so many hours in a day. So it’s easier to keep up with one Facebook group that houses all your interests than to join multiple sites.
The last issue is the features. If you are creating a decentralized social network, you have a few choices to make. Are you going to be the next Facebook and try to provide retention-oriented features on-site? Wouldn’t that be contradictory to being a decentralized network?
Q: How to build a decentralized social network?
A: Start by coming up with a unique idea that you can implement with your current capabilities when developing a decentralized network. Your concept should appeal to many people while encouraging them to communicate or engage in other contact forms, such as viewing videos, reading texts, leaving comments, and liking things.
After you’ve come up with a name for your social network, you can start thinking about a domain name. A domain name should ideally be a combination of two words that clearly express your enterprise’s concept and are simple to pronounce and remember. iPhone, YouTube, Twitter, and Google are just a few examples.
Defining the site’s requirements is the next step in establishing a decentralized social network. The majority of them will be generic (features, security, design, and code quality), but others will be unique:
Then you need to decide what should be decentralized. Who determines the direction of the platform, the type of advertising, and the level of censorship? Will it be open to voting, or will there be a different method of making this decision?
Next, choose how to store and manage user data. For example, you could create a decentralized social network in which the role of collecting personal data is not implemented at the technology level, but rather the user selects whether or not he wants to collect this data and how he wants to use it: give, sell, change, delete.
Finally, you’ll decide how to distribute the profits generated. For example, will the site combine all income and then distribute them to users in proportion to their contributions? Conversely, users can place ads on their page and earn money without an intermediary.
Q: What is a decentralized social protocol?
A: It’s a protocol for distributing information in a social network. In layman’s terms, a decentralized social protocol can is comparable to the entire internet. Decentralized social protocols are open-source technologies that allow for private communication networks.
Users have more control and freedom over their material with these DSNs. Every person has authority over their network, how it operates and what its users say. In contrast, corporations run and regulate the content on traditional social media. The founders of federated social networks can set the site’s rules for acceptable activity.
Q: What is decentralized social crypto?
A: Decentralized Social Network (DeSo) is a blockchain project that aims to provide a specific chain for hosting decentralized applications and social media platforms. DESO currency, the DeSo blockchain native asset, is critical to the DeSo ecosystem’s security and operations. Furthermore, the project provides content creators with unique opportunities to generate revenue and communicate with their viewers. Users of the decentralized social blockchain also have complete control over their data and the information they see.
Q: What is a decentralized social coin?
A: Decentralized social (DeSo) coin is a new type of blockchain designed to support decentralized social networks in Web 3.0. DeSo was formed in 2019 to resolve issues caused by social media centralization.
DeSo is based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and uses a token-based structure. DeSo tokens can be traded between peers and used to pay for network microservices like content creation, tagging other users, commenting, and liking.
DeSo tokens can also incentivize user behavior that benefits the network or access exclusive DeSo Network features. For example, after different network users have posted a particular amount of comments, they can spend these DeSo Tokens to unlock the ability to create polls on their posts.
Q: What is a Decentralized network in blockchain?
A: Decentralization in blockchain refers to the transfer of decision-making and control from a centralized entity to a dispersed network. Decentralized networks aim to eliminate the distrust that users have the level of trust that users must place in one another and prevent them from exercising authority or control over one another in ways that harm the network’s performance.
The concept of decentralization is not new. When developing technology solutions, developers often examine three basic network designs: centralized, distributed, and decentralized. While decentralized networks are widely employed in blockchain technology, a blockchain application cannot be categorized as either decentralized or not.
Instead, decentralization should be considered a sliding scale that applies to all aspects of a blockchain application. By decentralizing the management of and access to resources in an application, the application can deliver more excellent and fairer service. Of course, decentralization typically has some tradeoffs, such as lower transaction throughput, but ideally, the tradeoffs are worth the improved stability and service levels they produce.
How does DeSo Work?
A. DeSo stands for "decentralized social," It is the first and only blockchain designed from the ground up to power and expand a new category of decentralized social apps to one billion users.
Traditional blockchains, such as Ethereum, are great for developing open financial ecosystems but not building and managing the storage and indexing demands of running competitive social networking apps.
DeFi applications, for example, often require in-place updates to balance data rather than creating a new "state," yet every post on a social platform creates a new state that must be saved and indexed in a specific way. So many challenges like these make social media a unique use case that, to be adequately served, we feel it has to be unbundled and given its own dedicated architecture..
DeSo is not a general-purpose blockchain which is a significant benefit. Instead, it supports a limited set of social-oriented features implemented on bare metal. It also utilizes unique indexes that each node creates during consensus when it syncs with its peers. On the other hand, general-purpose blockchains run all functions through a virtual machine, often orders of magnitude slower than running on bare hardware, and they can't even create bespoke indexes for querying while they sync.
The level of technology available today makes it hard to predict the success of decentralized social networks. Therefore, the projects active today have a lot of uncertainty surrounding them, especially regarding adoption rate, ownership-accountability model, and their ability to compete with big tech.
However, what is certain is the need for an alternative ecosystem capable of putting the users’ needs above the business.
Bitcoin’s exponential growth and the increased adoption rate of cryptocurrency guarantees that decentralized social is here to stay. In 2021, Bitcoin’s value appreciated by more than 4x.
The problems facing big-tech are well-known (privacy, control, censorship), and the solution isn’t easy. However, while big tech legislation is still catching up, technology provides a method to tackle this problem on its own: the decentralization of social media.
Embracing decentralization might mean giving up the power big tech currently enjoys — and they may not be willing to share this with anyone, least of all its users.
We all deserve total control over our data and what happens to it. Businesses establishing or simply using dApps will reclaim much of their power when using centralized infrastructure by switching to decentralized social media.