Decentralized Social Media is social networking that is powered by open blockchain technology. It is free of any central authority. Therefore, no one, in particular, is controlling social media. It, in turn, gives power to its users. Before understanding how decentralized social media works, it is essential to figure out the functioning of the current social media platforms.
Most of the current social media network is powered by Web2. Companies like Facebook and Twitter are run and operated by a central authority. As a result, the company owners are the one who owns the data stored on their server. Additionally, they are free to use the data available to them as they see fit. Also, the system is not very transparent, so many legalities are associated with it.
The Problem With Centralized Social Media Network
In centralized social media networks, the owners are free to use the content available on the platform. They use most of the data available to them to advertise it to the users again. You can experiment by searching for the term Lotto Result on any social media platform. Soon after the search, unsurprisingly, you might see sponsored ads for other associated words like 3D Lotto. It is how the centralized social media network uses the data to advertise more content.
Therefore, even though it might look like you do not need to pay anything to create and then further use a social media account, it really is not the case. According to FEE Stories, you are paying the social media platforms for your data which they conveniently store on their database and use. For personalization, social media platforms run a positive feedback loop to keep you hooked to social media platforms. As a result, it is very natural for the user to engage in mindless and infinite scrolling.
Another issue with social media platforms running on Web2 is that the data that you share on a platform stays locked in it. Your content and followers are limited to a single platform. There is no way to transfer the followers or posts between two social media platforms. For instance, if you share a post on Twitter, and you want to share the same post on Instagram, you will have to upload it again. Different social media platforms keep you locked within a system through this feature. However, this is not the case with a decentralized social media network.
Decentralized Social Media Network
All these problems are addressed by decentralized social media networks that bring back the power to the users. It is the users who are creating the content for a platform, and a decentralized social media network understands the significance. The decentralized social networks are blockchain-based platforms. It empowers the users by allowing them to not only publish and distribute the content to the viewers but also exchange the information.
Most centralized social media networks store the data on their server. The impact of it was visible when the different products and services of the Meta company became inaccessible when the company went offline. On the other hand, decentralized social networks run on a peer-to-peer network. Many nodes across the globe support it. As a result, even if one node fails, the other node will ensure that the network keeps running. Therefore, the service provided by it is uninterrupted.
Also, a decentralized social media network stores information on a decentralized storage system. They do not sell the information of the users to any advertisers. Furthermore, it provides better security compared to centralized social media networks. Even though decentralized social media sounds great, WIRED pointed out that it might never work.
Benefits Of Decentralized Social Media Networks
Firstly, decentralized social media networks provide freedom of expression as it is censorship-resistant. It can be both good and bad and mainly depends upon the platform users. Secondly, a decentralized social media network is based on open source. The availability of the codes for public inspection ensures better security for the users. It empowers its users by giving them direct ownership of the content. Hence, no middleman is benefitting from the user-based content. Also, as discussed above, they are less susceptible to outages and server downtime.
Lastly, in decentralized social networks, there is an element of portability. The followers and the audiences of a content creator move with them. Therefore, the users are present in a way to interact with their friends and fans in a multi-faceted way. To sum it up, decentralized social network users are indeed kings of the platform.