The Future of Social Media is Decentralized


Privacy is an important quality social media users are now conscious of and they are increasingly looking out for it in the applications that they use. This is one of the main highlights taken from the European Blockchain Convention session with distrikt‘s Co-founder, Andra Georgescu.

“Privacy is an important quality social media users are now conscious of and they are increasingly looking out for it in the applications that they use”

Andra, joined the European Blockchain Convention (EBC) to discuss why the next generation of social media networks will be decentralized and the role of distrikt at the forefront of this push for decentralization. distrikt is supported and maintained by the Open Internet Foundation, a Swiss non-profit organisation with a mission to promote the expansion of an open Internet through the development of digital products and services that empower the users.

 

“You no longer need to be the product, to enjoy the product”

Visual of Andra Georgescu at the 6th EBC

Andra was of the opinion that the existing social media applications are far from ideal when it comes to decentralization and privacy maintenance but she believes the next generation of social media networks will be more inclined towards decentralization and most of them completely decentralized.

 

“Existing social media applications are far from ideal when it comes to decentralization”

While decentralization in social media apps might sound novel, the idea of it isn’t, according to Andra. She said, “The idea of a decentralized social media network is not necessarily a new one. People have been experimenting with alternatives to traditional social media networks. These alternatives have featured varying degrees of decentralization and some have been around for quite some time like Mastodon.”

She continued, “What is new about distrikt is the execution and the technology because the platform lives 100% on the blockchain. Because of the unique capabilities of the Internet Computer, it relies on absolutely no centralized infrastructure like AWS. The entirety of the platform including the backend and all the assets uploaded by the users of distrikt are stored directly on the Internet Computer. This offers distrikt a lot of autonomy and frees it from platform risks. For instance, during the latest AWS outage, distrikt worked without any issues whatsoever.”

There’s a new generation of social media networks that are being developed now and they take decentralization and especially the issue of privacy very seriously. The issue of privacy is a big one because it is also deeply linked with the user’s data, who owns it and how it’s being handled.

Keynote Visual elaborated by EBC team

With traditional social networks, Data is given out to big tech companies like it has nothing of value when in fact the Data Brokerage industry makes over $250 billion yearly. The social media industry has grown big and powerful enough for users to just simply brush outside these issues of privacy, data leaks and censorships and according to Andra, this is why decentralized networks are “deeply needed” and why for distrikt it is a big deal that technology like the Internet computer is allowed to exist autonomously so the users do not need to be the product in order to enjoy the product.

When asked by Daniel Salmeron, Co-founder of EBC, what the monetisation model for a decentralized social network would look like, Andra said, “The goal is to make distrikt sustainable, not to necessarily make it profitable. And we can do that through a lot of different means. For instance, the Open Internet Foundation that’s in charge of supporting and maintaining projects like distrikt has staked 40,000 ICP tokens for eight years which in turn generates rewards that are used to pay for everything needed so that distrikt can stay live and especially free for its users”.

“The goal is to make distrikt sustainable, not to necessarily make it profitable”

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Published December 14,  2021, Barcelona

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