Why You’re the New Influencer

[With a Little Help from the Blockchain]

I remember watching an episode of American Horror Story where a 20-something influencer couple checks into a hotel like they’re Will and Kate, expecting the red carpet, free champers and a grass-fed steak waiting on a silver platter by their bedside. Needless to say, they were killed off in the first few minutes of being in their free room.

Influencers today are like skyscrapers and banner ads on an MSN page. There are just so many of them that you don’t even notice them anymore. Their photos of cheddar-cheese-oozing burgers and rainbow-unicorn desserts are now a dime a dozen. The influencer market, complete with influencer agencies, influencer data platforms and influencers to influencers, has become so saturated that photos of even the most decadent brownies do nothing for us. We’ve even reached a point where seeing yet another picture of Jen Selter’s ass is like watching another Vacation sequel. You know you’ll like it, but the first one was way better.

Which is precisely why you’re the next influencer.

With Mark Zuckerberg’s recent appearances before Congress, what’s become clear, is that social media platforms have been earning billions of dollars because of your presence. Imagine an Instagram with no users. A Pinterest with no pinners. A Snapchat with no snappers. (Not so snappy.) There’d be no advertising. No revenue. There’d be no $41 billion earned in 2017 for FB alone. And of course, there’d be no selling off your data (and 80+ million other users) to companies like Cambridge Analytica. Where’s your check?

Exactly.

If you’re not familiar with the blockchain or cryptocurrency yet, you will be soon enough. In fact, you should want to learn about it as soon as humanly possible. Because there’s a whole world of decentralized social media platforms popping up where everyday users (like you) participate on the platforms and earn based off of their level of contribution and engagement. No need to be an influencer with millions of followers.

Take all of the obvious platforms that are included in your everyday vernacular (Facebook, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Huffington Post, even Uber), and you’ll find newer, better, blockchain versions of them sprouting or already operating in the world of crypto.

Which makes you the influencer. How? Decentralization enables you to contribute real content, share it with other users and earn without having to hashtag your free slice of pizza. This isn’t really a new concept in the grand scheme of the blockchain anymore, as there are several platforms that already have reward-based models (Steemit, Revain, etc). What you wind up with is a highly-concentrated group of users who are directly related to the success of the platform and earn as a result. Not 1 billion users. Not even 500 million users. More like 1 million users (at most) using platforms whose market caps exceed $1+ billion depending on what the SEC has decided to announce that day. It’s a whole new paradigm.

Now let’s take that idea one step further. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the risk of pointing to Blinked, a new social media platform that I’m a part of, it’s time to enable users to share in the success of a platform on multiple fronts. Not just for contributing valuable content. But also every time an ad appears for say, Delta Airlines or Stranger Things, Season Three. That’s right, you earn a percentage of the ad revenue, too. Say what? Kind of like sitting on your couch and watching Super Bowl commercials because you’re already watching the Super Bowl and then getting paid for them straight from the advertiser? No middle man.

Now we’re talking.

The idea is pretty simple. You’re the reason a social media platform is successful and you should be able to earn from its success, based on your level of engagement. The more active and engaged, the more you earn. (Consider gaming the system a technological non-option.) Plus, it makes you really want to see the platform succeed. Don’t get me wrong. There are so many influencers we love to love. You just don’t need to be one anymore in a world of decentralization on the ‘chain.

You could of course, take some more pictures of your free droopy eight-scoop, corn-flake-flavored ice cream cone and post it with the hashtag “#stopshowingmepicsoffreeshit.”

Before it melts.

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Julie Benlevi-Little is the CEO and Co-Founder of Blinked, a new blockchain-based social media platform for recommendations that enables users to share in up to 90 percent of advertising revenue. She’s been featured in The New York Times, Crains New York, The Wall Street Journal and has been a guest speaker at Google, E-Bay, Microsoft and NYU’s Stern School of Business.