Web3’s Missing Killer Social Media App

True Impact

Let’s take a look at some of the concepts within the blockchain ecosystem that have been uniquely disruptive:

  • Crowdfunding and capital formation
  • Permissionless access to global, digital first, financial services
  • Digital ownership and verifiability
  • Collective global coordination

Building the Killer App

Some of the best disruptive social experiences have emerged from a “come for the tool, stay for the network” type of approach. Instagram initially let users apply filters to their mobile photos and made them look great, so this alone was useful whether you had any followers or not. But it also let you follow your friends and morphed into one of the world’s largest social networks. Musically let you record and share clips of you singing or lip syncing to popular short audio clips, and eventually became TikTok after layering in a social network and recommendation algorithm.

  1. DAOs need a trustworthy home to organize and distribute their content in alignment with their web3 values.
  2. Content curation and moderation services within web3 social are missing, and haven’t been well incentivized.
  3. Discovery for high quality web3-centric content is still highly fragmented.
  • Token gated access controls determine who can access content based on on chain logic such as what NFT or tokens a user holds in their wallet. This is far more accessible and permissionless than proprietary CRM technology licensed from big-tech and built into browsers that determines whether a license was granted via a single issuer, limited to specific regions, payment mechanisms, and browsers.
  • Crypto-native payments enable open monetization for users around the world instantly, rather than requiring complex banking and credit relationship through limited payments vendors and banks. (Ask anyone who has had their Paypal account frozen or been rejected from opening a bank account after a months long process).
  • ENS and other on-chain identity support lets users take their identity and reputation with them beyond the walls of this application, as well as import existing identity characteristics into this application, in a way that they control — rather than using Facebook based login or worse.
  • Decentralized storage, streaming, and playback mechanisms lend an independent infrastructure to these applications guaranteeing persistence and access to the content, rather than subjecting the content to the whims of Amazon and Google who run the largest cloud platforms.
  1. Start with the tool. Build a web3-native video content management system for DAOs and convince them to use a Huddle01-type application to host their calls, record, and distribute their content. Each DAO that uses this gets a really nice page that organizes all their historical videos, makes them easily navigable, discoverable, searchable, and contains the right web3-native access controls (or possibly monetization mechanisms if creator-oriented). This is useful to a single DAO or project in isolation, and doesn’t require any network effect to find its fit.
  2. Enable some value-add curation across the universe of content created across users of this tool. Web3 content is typically public by default — stored on decentralized storage networks and distributed widely. Employ the Curation DAO above to begin to curate a content homepage for the highest quality web3 information, both archived and upcoming live, across the ecosystem, and as warranted category-by-category — DeFi, NFTs, token analysis, and more. Your model here is a video-specific reddit — the web3 homepage of the internet. While leveraging a growing universe of cross-network content, you still are providing a valuable single-player mode for any user arriving at this content homepage.
  3. Layer in the web3-social network effects around this content — wallet based login and identity, soulbound NFTs as reputation in commenting, curating, and playing roles in the interaction with this content. Users engage with content across DAOs and communities, so having their reputation be portable and visible is a sticky feature that builds a network effect around this particular application.
  4. Expand to the long tail of creators, who now actually care about distribution via this platform because of the audience and network effects built up on the back of the popular curated content. For the first time, there would be a compelling reason for a creator to choose this app rather than the web2 alternative — the distribution to its target audience (the growing web3 echo chamber) is more valuable than the uncontrollable distribution within generic web2 social, not to mention all the additional monetization and control benefits that are enabled by web3. Bonus points if you can make all the contributing users owners in the application platform itself, and layer in bootstrapping incentives.

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Doug Petkanics

Doug Petkanics

1.97K Followers

Building live streaming on the blockchain at Livepeer. Previously Founder, VP Eng at Wildcard and Hyperpublic (acquired by Groupon).