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Centralized social media has been in existence for quite some time. Facebook made headlines in 2004, then along came Twitter and Instagram. All these social media platforms are loved equally for reasons such as connecting people and keeping up with global happenings. Following their popularity, centralized social media has been commercialized, making the channels an advertising hub.
Centralized social media users must keep up with sponsored posts as they scroll up and down their favorite social media platforms. Since social media channels are centralized, users have little power over the kind of content to feed. Enter the decentralization of social media, where through an NFT development company, you can incorporate tokens for rewards or use for P2P transactions. Decentralized media came to correct all the wrongs of centralized social media.
Decentralized Social Media: What is it?
The word decentralized is often associated with blockchain technology. It serves the same purpose in social media by allowing all participants to exercise authority and independence when communicating and sharing content. The communication is direct and does not rely on an intermediary or a central server.
Decentralized social media operates with transparency which facilitates the protection of user data from violation. Participants own their data, allowing them to choose the networks they want to join, share and curate their content.
Some decentralized social networks include Publish0X, Peepeth, Mastodon, Cent, Minds, Ignite, Steemit, etc. Upon joining these social apps, you get are passwords or keys they will use to login into their accounts. Failure to protect the keys may lead to account and digital assets loss. Each channel uses unique tokens that users earn for posting content or commenting, among other activities.
Benefits of Decentralized Social Media
Decentralized social media has proven that it is a force to reckon with because apps like Mastodon and Steemit command an impressive audience. The following are the benefits that decentralized social media users enjoy over those using centralized platforms:
It is not easy to compromise the security of a decentralized social media because no central authority is involved. Communication in decentralized apps is encrypted to prevent data breaches. Traditional social media cannot guarantee security because platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp, whose network is centralized, have been rendered unresponsive on several occasions.
A central network is easy to attack and neutralize, but a shared ownership network decreases attack chances by using several servers to run the system. The level of privacy in decentralized social media also facilitates security because users do not reveal their real identities but operate with avatar profiles and pseudonyms. A user’s account might only get attacked in a decentralized platform if they share their key or password with another individual.
It Upholds User Data Integrity
Centralized social media owners make fortunes by capitalizing on user data and sharing it for monetization purposes with third parties. Users have little power over how they would want their data used, but decentralized social media upholds integrity by not giving or selling out user data for financial gain. Data privacy has never been a topic of debate in decentralized social media because it relies on cryptography to safeguard clients’ private information.
Decentralized social media keeps moving because its users receive compensation in terms of tokens for being active. Users get rewards for actively participating in these forums through content publishing. Quality content gets high rewards which some platforms allow users to redeem in cash or purchase crypto coins like bitcoin and Ethereum.
The tokens can be exchanged or used to pay for a service within the app. Some decentralized social media apps also reward users for bringing in new participants. Centralized social media, on the hand, keeps taking away from its audience and hardly gives back or appreciates its users for keeping them in business.
Decentralization ensures that the platforms do not hold users captive but allows them to choose who to interact with. The interactions can be through videos, audio, or content posts. Participants can also vote on issues they would like prioritized on the platforms.
Disadvantages of Decentralized Social Media
Decentralized social media may have all the good qualities of online socialization, but it has a fair share of drawbacks too, which are:
What happens when a social media platform authorizes users to post or share all content without a moderation mechanism? Illegal and explicit content is shared, tainting the moral standards of social media. The platforms may promote hate speech, and false information, hurl racist slurs, or publish adult content. This downside makes centralized social media the most preferred because censorship is taken seriously, and accounts are suspended for violating content-sharing policies.
Still in Works
Decentralized social media has a long way to go before making significant strides like centralized platforms. It may take more years and convincing to garner the popularity of centralized social media because many people are skeptical about decentralized networks. Awareness creation may go a long way in popularizing decentralized social media.
Favors the Majority
When it comes to advocating for specific issues that need coverage on the networks, users may unite to support issues that do not sit well with others. That means a section of the user’s needs will not be represented because the system favors the majority.
Risk of Attacks
Decentralized social media is not immune to attacks because of the involvement of third parties like service providers. We have seen even the most established blockchain technologies suffer attacks leading to the loss of digital assets, and decentralized social media is no exception.
Centralized social media is an integral part of our lives, and so can the decentralized option. As a business owner, there is no harm in experimenting with decentralized social media because it may prove helpful in increasing your brand’s awareness. You can also operate the two worlds of centralized and decentralized social media. If you don’t like the available options, you can build your decentralized social media for purposes such as blogging. Building a decentralized social media is a technical process requiring hiring experts.