The Battle For Social Media: Profit vs. Web3
There is a growing trend of social media platforms integrating crypto and Web3 support, but there is divided opinion on whether these platforms are motivated by profit or by the ethos of the technology.
The emergence of Web3 technologies has led many Web2-based companies to consider amendments to their current products and services. The adoption of these technologies by leading brands can help promote their brand and show their affiliation with emerging tech. The use of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) is one way that companies are utilizing Web3 technologies to achieve these goals. Ultimately, the emergence of Web3 is having a positive impact on the business world by helping companies stay relevant and promoting innovation.
It's clear that Web3 is having a big impact on social media. Facebook has rebranded to Meta and is now focused on becoming the gateway to the metaverse. Instagram has announced that it will add NFT minting and trading services to the app. And Reddit has become a hub for NFT trading, with 3 million wallet holders on the platform. This shift could have a huge impact on the way we interact with social media platforms, and could lead to more widespread adoption of NFTs.
In the near future, it is likely that more social media platforms will add support for cryptocurrency tipping. This will provide a more convenient way for users to show their appreciation for content creators, and will also help to further mainstream the use of cryptocurrency.
Twitter's plans to develop its own cryptocurrency wallet appear to have been put on hold, at least for the time being. This comes after reports that Twitter CEO Elon Musk had halted the project due to concerns about the regulatory environment. It's not clear if or when Twitter might revisit its crypto wallet plans, but for now, it seems that the social media giant will be staying out of the cryptocurrency space.
It is clear that Twitter is interested in supporting cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. This move would allow the social media platform to tap into a new market and provide its users with more options and flexibility. We can expect to see more Web3-focused services on Twitter in the near future.
“Many in the crypto space are bracing themselves for how Elon Musk will impact the industry, and the response has been surprisingly optimistic. It’s clear Musk will drive the digital asset integration with the platform along. For instance, many platforms will offer their own crypto wallets in order to keep transactions close to their ecosystem. Twitter doing this is a logical step for a social network that already enables users to send tips in crypto.”
As Twitter moves to become a private company under the ownership of Elon Musk, many believe that this will open up new opportunities for the social media platform to become more involved with cryptocurrency and Web3-related services. With Musk having a greater say in the decision-making process, it is hoped that Twitter will be able to capitalise on the growing interest in digital currencies and blockchain technology. This could help to position the platform as a leader in the space, and attract new users and developers to the ecosystem.
As more and more Web2 platforms move towards Web3 support, it's exciting to see that Twitter may be next in line. With Jack Jia at the helm, we can expect great things from the fintech firm Unlimint. Hopefully Twitter will move in a similar direction, integrating Web3 support to make the platform even more user-friendly and efficient.
“You can connect noncustodial wallets like MetaMask to your Instagram or Twitter and display your NFT as a profile picture. Google launched a fully managed Ethereum node service much like Infura and Alchemy. Then Coinbase and Revolut look more similar today than different in terms of crypto features and functionality. So, Musk’s Twitter will have a great impact on crypto, probably by launching something similar to Aave’s Lens Protocol, decentralizing Twitter to make it more censorship-resistant.”
There's no doubt that Web3 needs to be made more user-friendly and accessible if it wants to reach the mainstream. Social media platforms could be key in this regard, as they have the potential to onboard billions of people to Web3 practically overnight. The success of Reddit's NFT experiment is a perfect example of this.
Max Kordek, CEO of blockchain infrastructure platform Lisk, told Cointelegraph that Web3 is not an independent internet ecosystem but rather a transition. He believes that these platforms are best suited for onboarding new users to the blockchain space. Kordek went on to say that Lisk is well-positioned to help with this transition, due to its easy-to-use platform that allows for the development of custom blockchain applications.
I think people often misunderstand that Web3 is not an exclusive new internet. Inside Web3, we also find Web2, the same way we found the former World Wide Web within Web2. In the case of social media integrating crypto, we are talking about a merge of Web2 and Web3. At the end of the day, a social media platform is just a distribution channel; Web3 doesn’t make them irrelevant. They will be ever more important in a more connected future.
Social media's past hinders crypto and Web3 aspirations.
With social media platforms increasingly becoming data-rich environments, it is important for companies and brands to consider how they can best leverage this data to their advantage. By understanding the social media landscape and the data that is available, businesses can more effectively target their advertising and reach a larger audience. In the future, social media platforms may become even more important for companies and brands as they look to connect with more consumers and gather more data.
I believe that social media companies' crypto aspirations can damage the industry in the long term. These companies have been found to be selling users' sensitive data to advertisers, and poor security measures have also led to data leaks and violations of privacy rights. Decentralized publishing protocols like Koii Network provide a better solution, as they are not reliant on advertisers and provide better security for users' data.
I think that the recent controversy around Elon Musk's plans to introduce an $8-per-month fee for the "blue tick" on Twitter is a perfect example of how out of touch the wealthy are with the reality of most people's lives.
“While any major mainstream technology platform’s integration of cryptocurrency may be seen as a positive step for adoption, the deep-rooted capitalistic tendencies of social media companies indicate that it would damage the industry in the long term. If mishandled, these integrations will push millions of potential users away. One recent example of this is Twitter’s controversial move towards requiring verified members to pay $8+ monthly for Twitter Blue.”
The cryptocurrency community values data autonomy and user privacy highly, and any move to integrate cryptocurrency into networks that violate these core beliefs will be seen as a cash grab. This could damage the perception of cryptocurrency among the larger population.
As the world moves increasingly towards a decentralized, Web3-based ecosystem, it is becoming clear that firms which do not align with the ethos of the crypto community will be left behind. Meta is a prime example of this, as the firm is struggling to transition from its Web2-based origins into a fully decentralized model. Crypto integrations that are driven by profit and that don’t align with the ethos of the crypto community will not only alienate crypto-native users but could add fuel to the anti-crypto fire. At its core, blockchain technology promotes distributed governance and ownership for users, but the larger social media platforms are still very centralized, actively exploiting their users’ content for traffic and revenue. In order to stay relevant and competitive in the new era of blockchain, social media platforms must decentralize their governance structures and give users more control over their content and data.
It's unfortunate that traditional social media platforms are benefiting from the hard work of creators, rather than the creators themselves. However, it's encouraging to see that many platforms are beginning to integrate cryptocurrency in order to create a more equitable system. Hopefully this trend will continue and eventually lead to a completely decentralized social media landscape.
Tom McArdle, chief operating officer of decentralized messaging services Satellite.im, called Twitter's Web3 aspirations a "classic wolf-in-sheep's-clothing moment for Web3." McArdle went on to say that while Twitter may claim to be championing the cause of decentralization, its actions suggest otherwise. "Twitter is trying to co-opt the decentralized Web3 movement for its own centralizing
In my opinion, the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk's company is not a good move for the advancement of the crypto industry. Twitter will likely integrate crypto into its platform, but it will operate in a centralized manner and aggressively monetize its users. This is not a step forward for the Web3 movement, which is all about decentralization and giving users more control over their data.
“The integration of crypto payments is just another revenue stream and has nothing to do with the social and ethical priorities that come with the Web3 frontier — transparency, user privacy and data ownership.”
It is encouraging to see that social media platforms are taking an interest in integrating Web3 technologies. However, some experts believe that these platforms are only riding the wave of popularity and are not truly committed to the ethos of Web3. This could eventually lead to a decline in true crypto adoption. For example, Meta's recent failed attempt to rebrand itself as a Web3 company is a cautionary tale.