'Facebook killers': Top five web3 challengers ready to disrupt social media

Web3 Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Web3 block-chain based alternatives are threatening the hold of social media giants such as Facebook. Photo: Erin Scott/Reuters

Social media giants such as Facebook (META) and Twitter (TWTR) are facing the disruptive force of block-chain based alternatives.

New web3 contenders promise to give users ownership of their content, end de-platforming, increase data privacy and even incentivise usage via crypto payments for each post or comment.

Yahoo Finance UK takes a look at five upcoming rivals to centralised social media platforms.

1. Niche

Niche labels itself as a newly launched, ad-free, decentralised Web3 social media platform. It consists of user-owned communities where members can own and sell their own content, including NFTs.

The blockchain was co-founded by Zaven Nahapetyan, a former senior engineering manager at Facebook. Niche’s other cofounder is Christopher Gulczynski, the co-creator of dating app Bumble (BMBL).

One of the unique aspects of Niche, in comparison to legacy web2 social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, is that users sign up for a "club membership", in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT).

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Co-founder Nahapetyan told Yahoo Finance UK: "Niche reorganises social networks into interest-based clubs that are owned by its members. Unlike almost all other social platforms, Niche neither harvests data nor sells advertising for its revenue."

Because Niche is built on the NEAR blockchain platform, it does not own any of the content.

By contrast, Facebook, Instagram, and other web2 social platforms own and monetise user content, resulting in billions of dollars of advertising revenue.

"Creators work hard to generate unique content, grow a following, and generate engagement," Nahapetyan said.

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"But the more engagement they have, the more advertisements Facebook/Instagram sell.

"They’re turning creators’ value into profit.

"But, with Niche, members will be able to finally stop giving their revenue to big tech companies and start adding the profits to their pockets."

Hand using smart phone with Social media concept
Some new social media challengers incentivise usage via crypto payments for each post or comment. Photo: Getty

2. Authencity

Authencity is a new web3 social media platform founded by Somnium Space (CUBE-USD) creator Artur Sychov.

Sychov describes the project as "a censorship-free on-chain social media platform."

The newly launched web3 platform as been active for over one week. So far, nearly 3,000 messages have been posted.

These messages have been minted forever on the blockchain. This means that they are beyond any single entity's control and cannot be changed, or deleted.

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Users of the new Authencity social media platform can gain AUTH cryptocurrency tokens for messages they post. The AUTH token is "mined" by people when they post messages, and for each letter they post in a message they get rewarded.

Sychov said: "Users mine Authencity’s utility token called AUTH by posting messages, which are minted directly onto the Ethereum blockchain. Via a unique ‘backing mechanism’ readers can support their favourite profiles with AUTH and get AUTH themselves if the profiles they support are active and post great content.

"It is time to get rid of all gatekeepers and allow people to freely express themselves and at the same time to be able fairly and transparently monetize your own activity online."

LED Display - Social Media signage
Facebook, Instagram, and other web2 social platforms own and monetise user content, resulting in billions of dollars of advertising revenue. Photo: Getty

3. Peepeth

Peepeth is a free blockchain-powered social media site that is powered by the Ethereum blockchain (ETH-USD), founded by full-stack developer Bevan Barton in November 2017.

Unlike Twitter, which is centralised and is fast gaining a reputation for controversially filtering and censoring accounts, Peepeth is a decentralised alternative, meaning that no company or government controls user's data.

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That does not mean it is an "anything goes" platform as users still do need to adhere to their code of conduct.

Users can earn bitcoin (BTC-USD) by creating useful content. This is done by other users upvoting content in a similar way to Reddit.

4. Steemit

Steemit works in much the same way as Peepeth. It is also a free blockchain-based blogging and social media site.

It was founded in March 2016 by Ned Scott and Daniel Larimer. In 2020, the site was purchased by the Chinese-based multi-millionaire founder of TRON (TRX-USD) foundation Justin Sun.

The site has over 1 million registered users.

It is a decentralised app and also has opportunities for monetisation of usage. This means that users can gain cryptocurrency for publishing and curating content known as "curation rewards". This app also has an upvoting of content facility, like Reddit.

Businesswoman using mobile smartphone online to social network with connect to global cyber net.
Social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter are about to face the disruptive force of block-chain based alternatives. Photo: Getty

5. Hive Blog

Hive Blog was launched in March 2020 on the Hive blockchain along with Peakd and Ecency.

It uses HIVE (HIVE-USD) and the Hive Dollars (HBD-USD) stablecoin as its base currencies.

It allows users to publish and monetise their original content as well as join communities, post comments, and manage their wallets all in a decentralised and trustless manner.

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Hive Blog content creator Qasim said: "I am a social creature and have a need to express myself. Hive Blog gave me an opportunity to express myself by monetizing my every post, comment and upvote. I feel empowered and free with my voting rights in governance. Hive Blog is not a web3 social media, it's a virtual home for me."

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