Over the past few weeks, I have mentioned a couple of blockchain technology based, reward driven platforms that I think will slowly but inevitably change the game in the social media scene. Their major proposition has always being to monetize and create an incentive for increased social interaction. I believe this is a major game changer and probably the future of social platforms. Today is about Sphere, a new decentralized social platform whose primary aim, beside facilitating and incentivizing normal social activities, is also to return the power back to us, the users, whose presence, data and activities drive the value and profitability of social platforms.
GROWING INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
There is a consensus that social media is one of the biggest innovations of the 21st century. It has totally changed the way we do business and interact with one another. It has bridged geographical boundaries, changed the way businesses communicate and also how individuals relate, allowing for instant connection with friends and strangers with common interests (or not) regardless of location.
It’s biggest and most subtle impact however has been on how businesses and corporations reach out to and communicate with prospective markets. Today, almost every business has a social profiles through which they reach out to millions of prospects worldwide at relatively low cost and through a more efficient and persistent medium unlike international TV and radio. In today’s smart phone addicted world where above a billion of the world population uses at least one social media platform or the other, social media is no longer simply a tool to help us maintain connection with friends, family and colleagues, it has also become the most powerful way businesses introduce themselves to the world and ensure they stay on our mind. Advert budget has also grown to billions of dollars in little time. It’s safe to say social media has come a long way from simple internet chatrooms or older platforms like Hi5, Myspace, it is now a multi-billion dollar industry whose value is built on and driven by nothing but users’ attention and their social activities.
SHOULD YOUR ATTENTION AND CONTRIBUTION BE REWARDED?
These days, the attention economy is super tough and everybody’s clamoring for your attention which, to be factual, is relatively scarce and probably expensive. But then, we’ve never really conceived our attention as a commodity which should be priced and maybe we’ve been wrong the whole time. Since we all have an inherent need to connect with other humans from around the world and share information or just entertainment, social media platforms founders have gone out of their way to provide suitable mediums to help. A point to be considered however is that while founders and developers are responsible for creating and designing platforms for people to interact, the real driver of value is the level of social activities users bring to these platforms. Corporations pay the billions of dollars because of the users and nothing more. This seemingly symbiotic relationship however has power tilted to one side only, and that is towards Social Media Companies and founders who own the platform and technically, your data, and then proceed to earn multi-billion dollars in ad revenue at the end of the day.
GETTING YOUR SHARE OF THE BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY
Today, the total worth of the Social Media Networks is estimated in Billions of dollars and a larger percentage is sourced from Social Media Ads budget from Companies ranging from fortune 100s to even mom and pops. Technically, these companies pay social media companies for your data, they pay to advertise to you and they pay billions of dollars yearly. Last year alone, Social media marketing budget was estimated at over $209b, (as noted on recode) a massive amount attracted solely by users’ activities on these platforms, so there is no argument about the worth of users’ attention and activities. But what do users get in return from contributing value to these platforms? practically nothing, and here is where Sphere comes in.
As a decentralized social media platform, Sphere aims to give your personal data and social activities back to you. Privacy and data security is their key proposition. You will own your data and connections and will choose how companies and their advertisements get to you and not just this, you stand to earn a part of the total revenue. Similar to Facebook in operation, Sphere allows you to create connections and interact with others, share pictures, stories and videos and what more. It also has a plan of integrating e-commerce functions powered by its Social Activity Token (SAT) which will serve as the platform’s currency. Considering it has a working product which can easily gain traction and reach a critical usage mass in short time, SAT can be considered superior to a lot of tokens and coins out there with no working platforms or practical use cases. It’s value will remain dependent of the adoption and usage of the platform and not merely market sentiments. Simply, It’s value will rise as the platform grows.
You can simply say Sphere is the people’s media where users will own both their data and a decent share of the revenue. Buying SAT tokens would be comparable to buying shares in the platform and not mere digital assets and as said before, this makes it more superior to most other offerings in the market.
As at January, 31st, 2018, below is the data collected on the platform’s status and it’s simple to see it’s gaining traction;
Number of Users = 45,027
Number Blogs = 1273
Number of Photos = 27,326
Number of Videos = 606
Number of Discussion Topics = 250
Number of Groups = 384
Number of Events = 21
Number of Currently Submitted Stores = 70.
I have registered on both the mobile app which can be found on the Google Playstore and also the Apple AppStore and currently exploring the app and it’s been fun so far. (Please note that a separate registration is required on the web platform which is the portal through which you can purchase the tokens.)
If you wish to participate in the ICO, here is the timeline from their site;
If you’ve heard about Sphere before or bought their token, what do you think about it?