Short About: Subsocial Network.
Subcocial is a social networking protocol on Polkadot & IPFS. For the moment it is similar to constructor of social spaces with the built-in native token. In 2021 the team is planning to implement monetization features.
Subsocial is a Web3 Foundation Grant receiver and one of the first members of the Substrate Builders Program by Parity Technologies. In August 2020 Subsocial beta testnet was launched.
Subsocial has a structure that is similar to traditional social media:
- Spaces — as blogs (or groups in FB, or channels in YouTube,or publications in Medium);
- Posts — as articles (like posts on FB or tweets on Twitter),
- Comments, likes, and follows.
Subsocial is a user-owned platform. SMN token holders can participate in the Subsocial governance. Later the platform will implement governance features to spaces, making each space a kind of DAO. Space governance will be optional and it will be able to adopt this feature only if needed.
As soon as spaces are decentralized and community-governed, no one except content owners can change and delete information placed there; also members can not be blocked by platform owners (remember Facebook or Twitter). With a voting power the community is responsible for moderation of content.
Moderation per space means “your space, your rules.” These rules are handled by the chain. In addition, it is possible to modify the UI to allow for greater control over the content displayed.
Traditional social media provide us with user-friendly and convenient interfaces, but in return they collect users’ private data and use it as they wish (If You’re Not Paying for It; You’re the Product). Utilizing decentralized social media users store their login credentials locally on their devices rather than in a centralized database.
Subsocial also supports different ways of monetization: some of them are already implemented in various Web 2.0 social media and some are brand new.
With all the advantages listed above there are still several disadvantages that slow down adoption of decentralized social media in common and Subsocial in particular.
- It is rather hard to get used to paying for every action on the platform — should you want to edit or submit the post you’ve just written. Thanks to Polkadot base — costs of transactions will be low (unlike the Ethereum-based platform that suffers from extremely high gas price), but it is still annoying, especially in comparison with usual Web 2.0 platforms.
- Absence of Subsocial mobile application makes it difficult and inconvenient to interact with the platform. The team is planning to launch it later, but in 2021 we can not expect mass adoption of the social network without the most popular formats.
- Low activity to engage a wider audience; Subsocial needs more incentives for early adopters, more influencers should be involved; only true believers now ready to use decentralized social media while traditional ones spend huge amounts to raise hype and thus attract the audience (recent launch of Clubhouse is a best example).
- SMN token is a significant part of the platform (transactional fees, rewarding validators and monetization of the content) but there is still no clear tokenomics. Find token details we have below.
- The disadvantage that most likely will be fixed soon is inconvenient text editing (especially inserting of links; f.e. in Polkadot News weekly digest there are tons of links to external sources that makes text editing quite irritating process).
- Roadmap is unclear: there are no even approximate dates when all planned features will be implemented.
Should be said that it is a subjective opinion of Polkadot News. Try to post something, follow several spaces, write comments and thus make your own opinion and share it with the community.
Subsocial offers its users a wide range of approaches to monetization: some of them are built-in and some can be created by users on their own.
Tips are the simplest way for an author to get paid by community: tips can be paid per post, per comment, or per space, etc.
Another way is subscriptions: in that case the author offers private content to different types of subscribers. The platform’s team says that “the technical part of adding subscriptions to the Subsocial chain is easy; however, there is still some research to be done with how to handle hosting for private content in a decentralized way while preserving creator privacy”.
To earn some money the content can be sold or rented: SubSocial makes it possible to sell content as well as rent out posts or spaces. Author retains the ownership and receives income, while the renter receives traffic from all the users who visit.
Space-owners can bring their custom algorithms of monetization — and they are only limited by their creativity. As an example Subsocial gives the following cases:
A post could be owned by multiple authors and the payouts could be modified to factor in ownership shares, as well as the number of likes or replies.
A space could create unique weekly contests that would reward authors of the three most popular posts based on the number of likes and shares.
One of the most interesting features is a splitted reputation per space and per tag: in traditional platforms, like Reddit there is only a common reputation score with no difference where it was earnt.
Experts in financial markets are unlikely to be experts in, say, football and surgery.
What we are planning is more like the split reputation on Stack Overflow (Stack Exchange). Taking this approach allows for advanced features using your specific reputation:
When casting a vote on a poll post, your per space reputation can be used to weight your vote.
When participating in a challenge or contest with incentivisation, reputation in a particular space can be used as a coefficient to determine a share in reward. Fair rewards require a specific reputation.
The Subsocial Token
There is no final tokenomics, information below can be changed.
Token utility: it allows users to pay for actions, participate in governance and reward validators.
Token distribution in genesis block:
- 20% Team & advisors.
- 10–20% Private sale.
- 20–30% Public sale.
- 20% Dev grants, marketing, early adopters.
- 20% Kusama PLO (parachain lease offering).
Token is not transferable now. After connecting to Kusama/Polkadot as a parachain, other projects’ token will also be utilized on Subsocial platforms.
Subsocial has launched the Token Faucet where users can receive $SMN. The tokens are utility and have no price. They can be used for creation of spaces, writing posts, following others on the Subsocial platform.
The idea of decentralized, community-governed, community-owned and censorship-resistant social networks is great and necessary in the Web 3.0 future. But with all of these extra advantages they shouldn’t lose traditional, convenient and user-friendly features of traditional social networks. We see that DeFi projects are incredibly popular now, because they have indisputable advantages in comparison with traditional financial instruments.
Subsocial is a very ambitious project that has all chances to become a big story, but only if it manages to fix the obvious problems it has now, and do it as soon as possible.