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While it’s true that blockchain is still a relatively young concept in the grand scheme of modern technology, it’s implications are already massive – and far-reaching – being felt in nearly every corner of the Internet that you can think of. Case in point: blockchain technology isn’t just changing the way that money is traded over the Web, it is also poised to impact how people create and share content on social media on a mass scale moving forward.
What is Blockchain, Anyway?
But before you can get a better understanding of how blockchain is affecting content creators on social media, you need to learn a little bit more about what it actually is to begin with.
At its core, blockchain is a type of digital ledger system in which transactions made in various cryptocurrency forms (with Bitcoin being perhaps the most famous example) are recorded both chronologically and publicly.
To break things down a bit, a typical transaction goes a little something like this:
- Party A requests a transaction from Party B. Money, and specifically, cryptocurrency is about to change hands.
- That requested transaction is then broadcast to a peer-to-peer network of computers, also commonly referred to as “nodes.”
- Those nodes then validate the transaction, along with the user’s status, using a series of sophisticated, known algorithms.
- After the validation is complete, the transaction is then combined with other transactions to create an entirely new block of data for a ledger.
- That new block is then added to all existing blocks (hence the name “blockchain’) in a way that is both A) permanent, and B) totally unalterable.
- After all of this has occurred, the transaction is now complete.
There are a few additional things that you need to know how all this works. For starters, like cryptocurrency itself, blockchain is designed to essentially “de-emphasize” the role of a traditional financial institution in financial transactions. You’re essentially removing the need for a major bank or other entity to be involved at all, bringing the power of financial transactions right to the people – similar to P2P file sharing, albeit on a larger scale.
Secondly, because the blockchain isn’t actually stored in any single location, the records it keeps are available to the public and are easily verifiable. Instead of being hosted by one computer in a bank server room software, it’s literally hosted by millions – and the data contained on it is accessible to anyone with an active Internet connection as a result.
But the real benefit here is one of security. Because there is no “centralized” version of the blockchain, there is no way for a hacker to corrupt it. It’s a truly distributed database in every sense of the term.
Now that all this is out of the way, we arrive at the original question: “how, exactly, is blockchain affecting content creators on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more?” The answer, to put it mildly, is “quite a lot.”
Blockchain and Content Creation: What You Need to Know
According to a number of experts, much of the current growth that cryptocurrency is experiencing – and indeed, the continued use of the blockchain – can be attributed directly to social media. In fact, social media and blockchain have had a very close relationship for almost the entire lifespan of both concepts.
In the early days of social media and content creation, it was possible to make a lot of money in a relatively short amount of time just by being savvy about what you were created, how often you were creating it and who, specifically, you were targeting. Sadly, those days seem to be over – at least from a conventional perspective. Forbes agrees that currently, content on social media really benefits the platform itself more than the people actually creating it, at least as far as money is concerned.
A number of companies, however, have begun using blockchain to develop solutions designed to address this issue head-on. WildSpark is just one example, which uses blockchain technology to allow content creators to get paid for their efforts from their users directly. So when you sit down to create a scatter plot or a survey with a tool like Visme (which I’m the founder of) and then publish it on social media, you don’t have to worry about the platform you’re using making all of the money. You get to enjoy the increased level of brand awareness and engagement that content brings with it – along with the revenue it directly generates – all at the same time.
Essentially, a solution like WildSpark is to social media sites like YouTube as cryptocurrency itself is to a centralized bank. Instead of having the social network make all the money and then pass along a far smaller share to content creators, that middleman has been eliminated entirely. But even more than that, blockchain is literally being used to give content creators better control over how their content is shared, distributed and even consumed by their target audiences.
At the end of the day, blockchain is helping content creators all over the Internet by making sure that they receive more than just “recognition” for all of the hard work that they’re doing on a daily basis. Not only is it a way to guarantee them 100% ownership (and all earnings that occur as a result), but it also gives them better input over pricing decisions and other distribution elements at the exact same time.
Social media was created with the intention of empowering people and from a certain perspective, blockchain is only taking those concepts one step further. If anything, it represents a major shift in the playing field in terms of who holds all the power on the Internet – one that will absolutely continue to disrupt content creators and consumers alike moving forward.
About the Author:
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.