“Unfriend bots. Unlike shady algorithms. Unfollow being followed.” With big words and promises, the blockchain company block.one, which stands behind EOS, announced a new social media platform at its annual conference. Voice (and certainly the expensive URL voice.com) is designed to provide technology that doesn’t allow users to be easily exposed to fake news and the sale of their data to advertisers.
“We use the EOS Blockchain to build a more transparent social media platform,” said Brendan Blumer, CEO of block.one, in front of about 300 guests at the event. Voice will run on the EOS Blockchain – an Ethereum competitor that developers can use to build decentralized apps (dApps). In essence, there are two key pillars of the new platform: the users should be clearly identified as real people via blockchain in order to solve the bot problem.
Voice tokens as a reward for likes
Facebook, for example, has a real problem with fake accounts and had to delete more than three billion fake profiles in the last six months. Whether users can also use voice anonymously or with a pseudonym is not clear yet. On the first screenshots, that block.one showed that users seem to post with real names.
The second big thing about Voice is the business model. Block.one does not want to just sell its audience to advertisers and provide the highest reach to the highest bidder, but to regulate attention with tokens. Every user should be able to earn voice tokens for each like their own content receives. These tokens should then be spent on further boosting the reach of the content. Own comments among the posts of others should also be able to provide more visibility with voice tokens.
Block.one wants to ensure transparency by making it possible to view the rules of the planned social network for everyone in the blockchain. Transparency is a major topic in this space. For instance, Facebook is often accused of not making its algorithm transparent enough.
Whether Voice and its associated token will be accepted by users is more than questionable. Interested parties can currently register for the beta phase. From today’s perspective, it could reward, in particular those users who are the loudest and most polarizing, twice as much. Because they get tokens for Likes, which they can spend again to get more reach.
Many other players
Block.one has several reasons to want to put a social media platform on the EOS Blockchain. The blockchain technology is still hardly used apart from cryptocurrencies and needs both users and application examples. On the other hand, there are many players in the area experimenting on the intersection between crypto and social media.
- Facebook wants to enable transactions between users with its own cryptocurrency GlobalCoin. In 2020, users should be able to send tokens to friends via WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.
- Last year, the messaging service Telegram received $1.7B from investors in order to build its Telegram Open Network (TON) around the own token GRAM.
- The Austrian entrepreneur Marcel Füssinger also shared his plans, to build a blockchain-based social network called SocialX. Within this network, users should be able to earn the so-called SOCX tokens for their content.