Social media technology has taken over the world for the past decade and in Nigeria, it has become the current phenomenon; these social networking apps are the preferred source of information, content, and engagement. A study published by socialmediatoday shows that teenagers spend up to 9 hours online every day online, while 30% of that time is allocated to social media.
The fantastic thing about social networking platforms is that they are free, apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all give you unrestricted access to their platform and features. But with this free access comes a dip into your private information, these platforms collect information about your location, demographics, behavioral patterns, interests and so much more.
Although the content is produced by its users, the actual control of the platform is left to the platform owner.
As long as data is available there’s always going to be room for a breach, the most notable example of this being Cambridge Analytica. There needs to be a more secure way of preserving this data while avoiding leakages as much as possible.
Blockchain technology has some unique features that could tackle this problem and also disrupt the industry of social media and how social commerce is done in the near future.
Blockchain technology is popularly known as the technology that powers bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment. But it has gone beyond crypto-investments to prove itself in various industries, Ethereum and NEO smart contracts. It has shown itself to be a secure way of exchanging and recording transactions.
Here are 5 ways Blockchain technology can influence the future of social media marketing
Verification of Information
Fake news has been spreading all across social media, Facebook has spent a lot of money digging into false information, trying to weed out false accounts that post fake news and it has been a long dreadful journey for the team.
But Blockchain technology and its distributed ledger control system can eliminate this problem. Verification of identities and information are tasks that will be performed by Blockchain technology in the near future.
Advertisers also have a terrible time with false identity and bots that masquerade as humans, leading to false impressions and clicks. But once the identity of a user is identified and confirmed through smart contracts and Blockchain technology then advertisers can have a better ROI for their ad spend.
Social Media Crowdfunding and Peer to Peer
Lots of startups have taken off today as a result of crowdfunding, some of the benefits of incorporating Blockchain technology into crowdfunding include privacy, authenticity, and transparency.
Creating this kind of technology in the social media space is very feasible especially when you consider that Blockchain technology already has the right infrastructure for making payments, creating contracts, user verification and concluding transactions.
There would be no need for a third party to get involved or a payment gateway, it would facilitate buying and selling on social platforms, purchasing units of advertising space and contributions will be made to crowdfunding campaigns that users are interested in.
Social commerce is another avenue for Blockchain to influence social media; we’ve seen messaging apps like blackberry go beyond messaging to attempt peer-to-peer commerce. Facebook is also working on a collaboration with banks and financial institutions to incorporate a payment solution on the Messenger App.
This is an industry where Blockchain technology can have massive influence; users can trade their tokens or coins on the social network they are on while trading in cryptocurrencies. The credibility of these deals can be sealed using smart contracts making social networks a more trusted partner. Industries and companies will have no problem integrating their businesses on social for different kinds of transactions.
Blockchain has the potential to decentralize content across social platforms, rather than leaving control to the platform owners to monitor and control user-generated content. It also ensures that no one can block access to valid content.
In countries like Syria, China and North Korea, the citizens are restricted from accessing social media sites and internet censorship is high.
Blockchain technology can battle internet censorship and ensure no one can block access to valid content. People can purchase tokens which they use to pay for content from other users or to publish their own content.
This could create a problem because people are already used to accessing information on social media freely, but if the price of the token was small, then people would pay for consistent access, especially in countries where restrictions persist.
More User control Over Content
Social media platforms collect a lot of data about its users, and what they do with this data most times is a mystery. This data can be manipulated and sold t third parties as an income generating asset for the platform. If such information falls into the wrong hands it could lead to invasion of personal and financial data of the user.
With Blockchain technology, users can be given control over their information and how it is used. Third parties will not have access to it except through permission was given; users can deal directly with advertisers and choose to share their information privately for a fee.
Rewarding Value Created on Social Media
There is a lot of great content being produced on social media on a daily basis, some of these posts even go viral, but the producers get no compensation or attribution for their creativity, Barack Obama produced the most liked tweet on twitter and has received no compensation for doing so, This can all change with the entrance of Blockchain into social media.
Blockchain technology makes it easier to track user interaction with content, a user that’s producing more valuable content over the network would receive better compensation for their activity.
This will pave the way for future social networking sites where users will be more attracted to platforms where their contributions get rewarded the most. According to socialmediatoday, the average person spends at least 2 hours a day on social media, imagine earning a small amount of bitcoin for your activity.
Some of the solutions that Blockchain can proffer to social media may not be in the best interests of the platform owners, implementing these solutions might result in losing control over the information, data and the potential revenue that this control brings, decentralization comes at a cost.
Social media will go through a series of changes in the near future, users are wiser and have learned from recent, how popular platforms have taken advantage of the information they “freely” provide. More users are craving for more control and security, and social media has to provide answers to these demands.
Does this bring imminent danger for the likes of Facebook and Twitter? No, but there is no doubt that Blockchain brings a unique solution to some of the core problems within the social media space, by integrating Blockchain technology users can have a more trustworthy, secure and rewarding experience.