Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have found real good use cases in a variety of industries including fintech, automotive, cloud computing, finances, IT and data.
Social media industry, now a 200 billion dollar industry, is another area where blockchain is being applied successfully. So lets face it: modern or even future social networks will never be without their weaknesses, challenges and problems. We all know that. Can blockchain-based social media offer solutions to the current problems with modern centralized social networks including information privacy and security?
For instance ease of accessibility of information by third parties on any centralized social media network is nothing unknown at least by now. Whether you are talking about the user information being sold to marketers and advertisers or the direct/illegal access by other agencies -- for no direct benefit at all to user; this can happen easily without user consent and has been demonstrated in the past. Some of the areas of criticism in the past included content monetization, authenticity of content, access to content, and privacy data security. Others problems include unfair censorship, removal of account and demonetization of even popular channels. Also, as it is now very clear, fake news on social media are driving paid ad campaigns on a massive scale.
Of course there are many challenges of decentralized social media as we may call it, but without having to repeat all the benefits of decentralization, it can help bring transparency and immutability of information and data.
Decentralization also allows for programming of smart contracts to suit a variety of scenarios where the action is executed when conditions agreed upon parties are met, all without having one party tailor the conditions later to suit them. This has been applied for payment and transfer of ownership, for instance. For advertisers and marketers, centralized platforms are advantageous with their vast amount of audience but usually it is not possible to track and verify or properly quantify audience: it is difficult to interact directly with audience and also establish real value for what is paid.
Blockchain is also being explored to help in reducing fake information and posts by way of incentivizing authentication of content, feeds creation, user and content ranking as well as leaderboards.
What comes around is WhatsAround
So meet WhatsAround app, which is powered by a cryptocurrency known as ShotCoin and which was introduced with a goal to encourage outdoor lovers, adventures people who are interested in sharing quality videos and amazing photos from around places. It is your blockchain-based equivalent of Instagram, which lets you tell your story through posting images, videos, photos, pictures and memes or other content. This app is more than just letting you connect through social media: it rewards users for sharing their content.
It suits both individuals and brands or organizations hoping to promote their products and services to audience. If you love outdoor activity, this is a good app to have on your smartphone. Not only will it help you stay social and connect with friends and audience, it also helps you keep a track of all the places you have traveled while making money on the side. You will actually earn money by discovering new places and helping the community to find places they can tour and make the most out of their travel, gain new travel experiences etc. So decentralized social media channels like this could have real good use cases in itself if all goes well.
For instance, by sharing photos and videos of places, you can assist people interested in discovering those places -- for instance, your audience can ask for directions to places they want to go for fishing tours, discover hidden trails, or may be places they would want to host their events such as weddings and meetups.
So cryptocurrency doesn't have to be boring.
In addition to posting your content via this platform, you can also share, and comment and like the photos of your friends and family. Besides, if you are a lover of your career or job etc, this app brings together an entire community with a mix of talents -- travelers, photographers, outdoor lovers, and other creative people. You can share your photos with them or can check out for their to discover new places as may be of interest to you.
Of course, centralized social media like YouTube offers immense opportunities to let you earn income but that will depend on the number of followers you have, your social exposure and strategy. There is a long learning curve before you can start profiting.
WhatsAround is a great deal because it lets you earn regardless of the number of followers -- just based on your social activities. You do not need to be a celeb who has to garner lots of audience to monetize. But of course it will require putting some efforts in order to earn considerable income like anywhere else. It is an example of many other developing social media platforms/app based on the blockchain.
How it works is by a user downloading the app and registering and verifying. You then start sharing content and it will be awarding users Shot points for every share, and comment and like and other activities.
These points are accumulated and exchanged into ShotCoin (ShotCoin is the native cryptocurrency for the platform or app) that you can later exchange them for different gift card (for instance Starbucks gift card, Amazon Gift Card), other cryptocurrencies such as Eth or even for PayPal cash. You can also exchange or cash these points at different app stores including PlayStore or use those coins earned across supported shops.
Basically, you are able to earn points when someone upvotes on your shots, when a person bookmarks your picture, when you vote on other shots and on your bookmarks. You also get rewarded with points when you comment, when you are the first to take a shot in specific locations and post them, and when you invite friends and they join the program. Your account will also move up levels as you proceed, which will earn you some points. You also earn points by completing weekly and daily photo challenges and initially after you upload your profile picture, update your bio, and when friends move up levels.
Just like the Kik chat app which encourages developers, influencers, and other contributors to create valuable content, develop applications and offer services on the network and rewards them with cryptocurrency that can be spent on services and products within and outside of the network, WhatsAround will introduce a marketplace where marketers and brands can directly advertise their services to audience. Users will also be able to offer services to other users.
The app currently has around 10,000 installs and works for Android and iOS devices.