WOM Ecosystem Participants Explained
At WOM Protocol we’re building the future of marketing. The WOM Protocol is far more than just an ad platform — it’s an entire ecosystem of creators, authenticators, platforms, consumers, and brands that rewards contributors and benefits all participants.
Rather than the traditional one-way, push-advertising process in which a brand creates an ad and then pushes it on Google or Facebook Ads and then consumers ignore it, the WOM Protocol removes ads completely and instead enables creators to make word-of-mouth recommendations, platforms to take a user-first approach in displaying the recommendations, authenticators to ensure the content is honest and trustworthy and therefore beneficial to consumers, and everyone to be rewarded in the process. In this way, the WOM Protocol enables all participants to interact with each other and add value to the Ecosystem.
Each participant plays a unique and valuable role in the WOM Ecosystem. Let’s dive a bit more in-depth into each participant and explore what they do and why they are important!
Content creators make word-of-mouth recommendations for any product, service, event, or place they love. These recommendations come in many forms. In the YEAY app, for example, these recommendations are short, mobile-first videos. On other platforms these recommendations may only be images or simply text.
Content creators are not just established influencers, although there are many big influencers in the WOM Ecosystem. With the WOM Protocol and thanks to blockchain-enabled micropayments, anyone can be a content creator, recommend what they love, and be rewarded for it.
Creators earn WOM Tokens based on the engagement a recommendation receives on any given platform (e.g. likes, shares, comments, and views). These WOM Tokens can be traded or exchanged similar to any other crypto-token. Additionally, some platforms, like the YEAY app and the BULLZ app, offer gift cards to popular retailers in exchange for WOM Tokens.
In order to incentivize honest behavior and discourage scams, creators must stake WOM Tokens for each recommendation they share. This stake acts as a deposit or collateral that sends the recommendation through the WOM authentication process and enables creators to earn WOM Tokens. If a recommendation passes authentication, the creator can start earning WOM Tokens. If a recommendation does not pass authentication, the creator loses their stake. Creators also lose their stake if they cheat the system through fake accounts, click farms, collusion, etc.
WOM authenticators validate and authenticate the word-of-mouth recommendations from creators. They use the WOM Authenticator app to rate each recommendation on a 0–10 scale according to the following criteria:
- Authenticity: Is the recommendation honest, reliable, and trustworthy?
- Creativity: Did the creator put effort and creativity into a unique recommendation?
- Positivity: Does the recommendation show the product in a positive light and create desire?
A recommendation passes or fails authentication based on the consensus of the authenticators. If the overall average rating in each category is at least 6, the recommendation passes and the creator retains their stake and can begin to earn WOM Tokens. If the overall average rating in each category is below 6, the recommendation does not pass and the creator loses their stake.
Authenticators earn WOM Tokens for rating recommendations. They must stake WOM Tokens for each recommendation they rate in order to incentivize honest behavior and disincentivize bad behavior. If an authenticator is in consensus — i.e. within two of the average rating — they retain their stake and they earn WOM Tokens. If an authenticator is outside consensus, they lose their stake and do not earn anything for the rating. And, similar to creators, if authenticators are found colluding or otherwise cheating the system, they likewise lose their stake. See the WOM Economy Paper for a more detailed description of the authenticator reward mechanism.
Platforms are any entity that collects, hosts, displays, or is otherwise involved in enabling creators and consumers to participate in the WOM Ecosystem and create and view word-of-mouth recommendations.
These types of platforms include:
- Facilitators which facilitate the recommendation creation
- Publishers which host the recommendations on their servers
- Display Networks which display recommendations for consumers to view and interact with.
A platform can be one or all of these types together. For example, a Shopify store that uses the WOM Shopify app to show recommendations for its products in its ecommerce store is a Display Network only. The YEAY app (along with most traditional social media platforms) is all three: it facilitates the content creation, stores the content, and displays the content for its users.
Platforms earn WOM Tokens for their participation in the WOM Protocol. Each type of platform earns based on the engagement with the recommendations they facilitate, publish, and/or display. These rewards enable platforms to take a user-first approach to designing their user experiences since they can use the WOM Protocol as a new revenue stream to replace ad revenue or supplement their current revenue models.
Consumers benefit from WOM-authenticated content as they make educated purchase decisions through the honest recommendations created and authenticated by their peers. They can have full confidence in the recommendations and not worry about or be annoyed with ads or insincere sponsored influencer posts.
As consumers view and interact with the recommendations on various platforms, the engagement metrics dictate which creators and platforms receive rewards and how much they will receive. The more useful the recommendation is to consumers, the higher the engagement is and the more useful it is to brands and advertisers. This means higher rewards for all involved in its creation and display.
Brands include any entity interested in gaining access to user-generated WOM content. This includes marketers, advertisers, retailers, and any other company or organization that wants to leverage word-of-mouth recommendations and create a connection to new consumers through their fans.
Brands use the WOM Campaign Manager to pay to use and benefit from WOM content in various ways. Through the WOM Campaign Manager, they can increase the reach of specific recommendations on partner platforms, add an affiliate link to recommendations to increase and track sales, and pull content to display on their own ecommerce websites. Brands benefit from the increased visibility of these honest recommendations about their companies and products and can reward their fans for being loyal advocates.
To leverage word-of-mouth recommendations for your brand, you can sign up for the WOM Campaign Manager here.
The WOM Ecosystem is a community of participants who build, operate, and interact with content creation and distribution services, incentivized by the emittance and fair distribution of WOM Tokens.
The WOM Protocol enables each participant to interact transparently with each other and build a better world for marketers and consumers.