The blockchain could be used as a platform for a new social media paradigm.
There has been a lot of theoretical discussion around the idea over the years, which has led to a number of experiments. Different approaches and monetization models have been attempted.
Recently, Steemit, not on the Ethereum blockchain, has reinvigorated the idea of blockchain based social media. Steemit is one of the few projects to exit Proof-of-Concept stage and hit production. Further to that, it is already receiving serious attention and overcoming network effects. Similar to Reddit, it aims to combine micro-blogging and content curation with a blockchain-based token reward system.
Then there is the Yours Network founded by Ryan X. Charles, former Crypto-Lead for Reddit. The platform seeks to provide content curation with inbuilt monetization revolving around Bitcoin. This is still at the Proof-of-Concept stage.
Tweether, the brainchild of developer Stefan George, is essentially an attempt at Twitter on the Ethereum blockchain. This project comes from the renowned Consenys studios in New York. Although it is still at the Proof-of-Concept stage, it does work. The project itself holds promise, assuming it can attract the developing talent and resources required to get the product into production.
With the rapid growth of Steemit on the competitor blockchain BitShares, positive proof shows that Consensys needs to devote more resources to the project.
Akasha is the other project in this Ethereum space of note. Mihai Alisie, a former founder of the Ethereum project, is the creator of Akasha. It uses IPFS (Inter-Planetary File System), a common file system on a p2p basis that uses the same technology as Open Bazaar. It is built on top of Ethereum and plans to use the financial paradigm of the blockchain to build out a tipping / micropayment element. This will rely on the network’s native token (ETH). This project is a slightly further along than tweether. Akasha is expected to have its own dedicated team while it is in the process of moving from Proof-of-Concept to Alpha stage.
Even under ideal circumstances a social media network is difficult to bootstrap. To top it off, incorporating such a new and novel technology like the Ethereum blockchain adds an extra layer of complexity.