How blockchain can help content creators on social media
Content creators are facing a problem on social media, as many of them struggle to profit from their work.
For example, WeChat has 3.5 million monthly active official accounts, but not many of them earn from the platform. On Instagram, users complained about the new algorithm that was rolled out in 2016, where the platform scrapped the chronological order of posts. Content creators across the world noticedthat their posts were declining in visibility and engagement.
Other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have similar algorithms as well.
Social media platforms are benefiting at the expense of small content creators. Those who are not big enough like the Kardashians have to struggle to increase their content’s visibility. And top influencers, who often make up a small percentage of active users on most of these platforms, have little to worry about.
There is a clear imbalance within the ecosystem and it needs to change.
I reached out to Dr. Wallace Lynch, founder and CEO of Alpha Token, to discuss this problem and the solutions. Built on blockchain, their product, the Alpha Browser, promises to accurately value digital content.
According to Lynch, content creators are struggling to make money for their work due to the fact that many social media platforms are not rewarding them. He refers to the platforms’ methods as a “fancier form of exploitation,” where content creators have little to no rights over their content.
This was made evident when users of Toutiao and Weibo were majorly affected by the dispute between the two companies’ war over content ownership. Further dissent was caused when Sina Weibo released a notice, prohibitingtheir users from allowing any third party to quote what they post on the platform without the company’s written approval. (Imagine having to seek permission from a third-party platform to share your own content!)
In order to gain followers on WeChat, content creators need to create top-quality content on a regular basis. A content creator needs up to millions of fans before they can become eligible to earn from sponsored posts. They also have no say over what types of ads are used — the platform decides.
Readers are also short-changed, as they have to deal with commercials for which they are not compensated. Most readers think the commercials are annoying because they interfere with their reading experience and serve little to no purpose in their lives.
Advertisers, especially smaller ones, experience a lot of challenges as well. Many of them spend a lot of money only to reap pitiful results. In order to access their target users, advertisers have to go through PR companies and the media. But this is not an option for many who only have limited funds. The slow responsiveness within the process also adds to the frustrations that advertisers have to deal with.
An ideal ecosystem
As it stands, the only party benefiting in the social media ecosystem are the platforms themselves. They make substantial profit from content created by their users, viewership, and advertisements. But they do not compensate their users for their work, and this is a problem.
An ideal ecosystem would be one where all parties are rewarded for their efforts.
Readers should be compensated for the commercials they have to view. After all, it is evident that advertisers are willing to pay for traction. Ultimately, readers should be able to cash out their reading time for money. A system like this would attract more readers and also benefit advertisers who could reach their target audience more effectively in this way.
Advertisers should experience total efficiency with all the money they spend. Removing the slow responsiveness of the system and other red tape would actually benefit the social media platforms too. More advertisers would be encouraged to use their platforms, thus generating more income for both parties.
Lastly, an ideal ecosystem is one where content creators receive more than just “recognition” for the content they produce. Having control over their content should be a reality. A content creator should be able to make executive decisions regarding their content (i.e. pricing decisions, 100 percent ownership and earnings, and the like). This system would also allow content creators to pay readers for viewing their content, making the system mutually beneficial.
Alpha Browser is currently working toward steering social media in this new direction. Focusing on a system that benefits all involved parties, Lynch and his team are ensuring that content creators receive the rewards and control they deserve by using blockchain.
Another company leveling the playing field in the social media ecosystem is Robin8, a leading influencer search engine and market place in China. Powered by artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning, the platform has profiled over 30 million influencers in China and completed over 5,000 influencer, KOL, and micro-influencer campaigns.
Like Alpha Browser, Robin8 has also created a system where every content creator in the social media ecosystem is empowered and rewarded for the work they create. Its CEO, Miranda Tan, strongly believes that the content belongs to the creators and that they should not have that power taken away from them.
Social media was created with the intention of empowering the people. I feel that this is something the platforms have forgotten. Many of them would not be able to boast of the success they have today if it weren’t for the users who are subscribed to their platforms and generate content. It would be tragic to see these platforms forget about their users in order to make more money.
I think we need more companies to shift their focus and level the playing field. The blockchain is offering a way for this to happen. In an ecosystem where everyone prospers, these social media platforms would not have to worry about shifting algorithms in order to grow their businesses. It’s time that users are given the compensation they deserve for their efforts. It is long overdue.
Robin8 is the leading influencer search engine and marketplace. The company’s key technology is profiling, ranking and matching people down to a science and helping brands find the best people based on big data, AI and blockchain. Robin8 has already profiled over 30+ million people.
Robin8 recently launched its Profile Management EcoSystem (PMES) that allows any application to add their profile data on the blockchain.
To learn more, please visit www.robin8.com.