Benefits of Decentralized Social Media
There are many benefits to using web 3 and decentralization for social media platforms
Web 3 brings a more decentralized and permissionless way for people and machines to transact and share between one another. Web 1.0 ‘the static web’ was a stepping stone in the right direction as it allowed for us to ‘read’ the web. Web 2.0 brought us another step closer with the ability to ‘read and write’ to the web - making it more of a social web. Web 3 is where we are heading and it allows for us to ‘read, write, OWN and govern' the web.
Social platforms built using blockchains and decentralized protocols are more resistant to censorship and undue control. Smart contracts act as a secure back end and are transparent allowing all participants to have the same information at the same time. Transparent and open source code allows for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to thrive.
Blockchains run on peer-to-peer networks that are made up of thousands of nodes around the planet. In the case that some nodes fail, the network will still run uninterrupted, making social applications resistant to server outages.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and IPFS are just a few of the promising web 3 tools and protocols that have been made in recent years that help to give ownership back to the end user. Using a decentralized structure removes the central point of control and creates a redundant, immutable, and more tamper-proof ecosystem. Only recently have individuals and organizations begun to have the choice to use decentralized, permissionless, open source, and community governed applications.
New blockchains are being released on a monthly basis. As such, new entrants may find it confusing on where to start. This may seem pretty messy now, but as technology moves forward the decentralization and interconnectivity between blockchains is a good thing. Bridges are being made and the interoperability between chains is becoming a seamless process.
A multi-chain metaverse is being created that will be even more resilient and secure than having just a few dominant and siloed blockchains and web 3 protocols.
Thanks to blockchains, smart contracts and other decentralized protocols content creators have direct ownership over their content. Content creators have a direct connection with their followers, and customers without the need for middleware.
A feature enabled by web 3 is that a users' social graph and conversational data, along with their accounts and files themselves; can live independently on web 3 with no middleman or 3rd party needing to store or grant permission for the user to use or access it. A user's web 3 identity and data can be tied to themselves through the pairing of a non custodial web 3 wallet and decentralized access control integrations.
Having data that is owned and controlled by the end user allows for people to bring their data along with them wherever they choose to go on web 3. Users have full control over permissioning what private data is shared with 3rd party apps.
User owned and controlled digital identities removes the need to create and remember new usernames and passwords for new apps. Users can simply connect their web 3 wallet to verify and integrate their data into new apps and ecosystems.
Decentralized ID’s (DIDs) give users of a social platform a high level of privacy and anonymity. Users no longer have to share their personally identifiable information, such as their name, phone number, or email address to sign up and login to their account.
Without the key which only you have no one can view your content or files as they are encrypted. In order to access an account's content in a way that the files are ‘unscrambled’ the key needs to be used. This allows users files and data to stay secure and private. A suite of new ZK technology is emerging that gives end users privacy and security.
Apps can have built in features where users are required to reach or maintain a certain quality of participation level or may be required to uphold a certain community score that can be used to limit or give access to people, for example; voluntary kyc, and user to user performance measures. This allows ZK to be used for individual privacy while allowing a community to thrive at the same time.
Decentralized Access Control
Some web 3 protocols such as Lit Protocol allow for a set of on-chain conditions like "user must hold an NFT" 'and/or' have 'x amount' of ETH in a specific wallet and then the network will provide signatures and decryption keys accordingly.
Multi-signature key is a security measure that can help smart contracts, wallets, and users digital assets and data stay safe. Multiple people need to send in a vote/transaction in order for a decision or action to take place. This could be to govern a smart contract, a treasury wallet, or to initiate a new master private key in a social app.
Unified Access Control Conditions
Similar to a multi-signature key in a way is 'unified access control' where conditions need to be met and can encompass multi-chain conditions in the same array. This is made possible using decentralized technology such as Lit Protocol.
For those who do not want the responsibility of holding their own keys, there is an easy solution - Apps can give the option for account creation through custodial services or users can give their key to a 3rd party trust provider who offers ‘private key security’ as a service. The important thing is that users have a choice between being their own custodian or putting their trust in another.
Decentralized data storage means stronger security and privacy. It is more difficult to attack than traditional centralized data. On a decentralized file storage network, files are split up into pieces and spread across multiple nodes. Decentralized storage is better than centralized databases for safeguarding users data.
IPFS, Filecoin, Crust Network, Aleph, Arweave, and Storj are examples of successful decentralized data storage systems being built with web 3 technologies. Costs to use these services are highly competitive as many operate in a way that storage providers compete for the end users business.
Perhaps one of the most centralized services that we use today is that of internet service providers. Even with web 3 evolving there is still no widespread way to access the internet without going through a centralized internet bandwidth service provider. For a decentralized platform to flourish, it should run its operations fully on decentralized services and encourage its users to do the same in how they access it.
Community governance is something that is made possible with web 3. Decentralized community run applications can use features such as community governed improvement proposals, decentralized court systems, community approved 3rd party moderators, or built in mod tasks which can help to build, operate and keep an app clean and safe for its users.