By KJ Kingsley, Analyst
Before I begin, please check out these news outlets for the past weekly updates and announcements in the EOS and EOSIO space: EOS Nation's Hot Sauce, EOSWriter's Twitter Week in Review, Crypto Peter's Moran Post, and EOS Go's What Happened This Week on EOSIO.
Thoughts on Voice and Other EOS Social Media Platforms
This past week saw a hack of Twitter where the accounts of top celebrities, politicians, crypto influencers, and blockchain companies were taken over. The hacker(s) tweeted a bitcoin scam through these highly followed accounts, which amounted to about $180,000 USD being transferred into the hacker(s)'s account.
Many users in Crypto Twitter surmised that blockchain social media platforms would have been immune to the hack. With Block.one CTO Daniel Larimer tweeting: "The recent twitter hack of Apple, Musk, and Gates is straight out of every blockchain talk I have given about the value of blockchain and hardware keys. It's time for twitter to adopt blockchain, in the mean time Voice already uses blockchain tech."
EOS and EOSIO supporters were quick to point out that Voice would be a great alternative to centralized social media platforms. Voice is a social media news platform powered by EOSIO software where users are paid in Voice tokens for posting blog-like posts, re-posting other's content, and claiming a daily reward.
In response to hacks, bots, anonymous trolls, and fake accounts, Voice offers a space where accounts are verified by a KYC, a formal verification that for now requires a government-issued ID. Block.one. The leadership behind Voice has indicated that in August with the worldwide-open registration, KYC may not require a government-issued ID, following an upheaval in the community that did not want to provide that kind of identification.
"Voice isn't Designed for You," Voice is After Traditional Media Publications
Even with continued support for the Voice social media platform, there have been criticisms and concerns about Voice. Users have pointed out, in addition to the KYC-issue, that they would not want to use Voice because it doesn't provide the privacy they have come to expect in major cryptocurrencies. However, Voice is "not" for the average users per se.
Jacques of Discussions.app brought up a provocative insight about 6 months ago that Voice is for citizen journalists. Jacques wrote: "Voice is designed for those who have potential valuable information in the public interests, but whose information might have a vary degree of truth. A system like Voice could, if need be, remove those who have consistently showed to be spreading false information, and reward those who contribute but might not have received a financial reward due to the information unfavorable to advertisers...Voice will reduce the chances of this happening [read: false information] since each users is publicly verified and can be held accountable for fraud or other misdemeanors."
Yes, Voice will be for the masses around the globe. But, Voice is really for journalists, local newspapers, and local media outlets who provide objective journalism but are closing up shop due to the hostile environment for them that privileges larger social media platforms like Facebook or Google. Advertisers are incentivized to pour their resources into these digital platforms rather than local newspapers and publication companies that pay local journalists to report on the news.
Voice will compensate journalists, reporters, and writers. Rather than relying on traditional media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, to name a few, Voice will privilege the "voices" and insights of particular, specific journalists. With the recent concerns and criticisms about the major news outlets, Voice will provide a platform for and compensate fairly individuals who report news that is objective and truthful through the "Voicing" option on Voice (ie re-tweeting or re-posting).
The recent hires of Voice have pointed to this pattern of Voice going after traditional media outlets rather than Facebook or Twitter, per se. Voice CEO Salah Zalatimo formerly worked at Forbes where, according to Block.one, he "led a successful digital transformation yielding a completely re-engineered product organization which rebuilt the Forbes platform from the ground up...[and] nearly doubled its audience to over 110 million monthly users, making it a global top 100 website by traffic."
Several weeks ago, it was announced that Emily Drewry was the new Director of Content Strategy. Drewry formerly worked for Nasdaq and Forbes, and she tweeted that "I believe in media as an information source that society can use to be better, smarter, more unified. Right now, traditional media is being used to divide us. Voice is a platform architecture for integrity, where real people can publish real content."
So, Voice is coming for the traditional media outlets. It may not feel like Voice is for the average user, unless that average user is a citizen journalist that reports on the news, provides sound analysis of the news, and/or curates for others the best news headlines. It seems like Voice is not really for users to post their life stories, similar to a Facebook or Instagram. Voice is for users to go to when they need to read about the news, for reporters and journalists who want to be paid fairly (taking out the journalistic middlemen like traditional news publishers), and a place that minimizes fake news.
Other EOS Social Medias: Everipedia, Discussions.app, Sense Chat, and Chirp
This is how I see the other EOS-based social media platforms interacting and co-existing with Voice. Of the remaining platforms, there are Everipedia (Facebook and Instagram), Discussions.app (Medium), Sense Chat (WhatsApp), and Chirp (Twitter).
Everipedia, which is a dApp on the EOS mainnet, is a blockchain-version of Wikipedia where post writers are paid in Everipedia's IQ token. Wikipedia currently does not compensate their writers for writing posts or editing posts. Everipedia does the opposite and everyone in the writing/editing process is compensated for their work and time.
A valuable trend of Everipedia is that the platform posts individual profiles, which could rival Facebook or Instagram. Wikipedia does not always allow the individual profiles of average users; however, on Everipedia, everyone can have a profile. In this sense, if Everipedia was willing to further this venture into hosting individual profiles, they could expand into allowing that individual to broadcast their life stories, pictures, and personal thoughts. Similarly to customizing a personal LinkedIn page, a user could use Everipedia to customize how others view their biography or life narrative.
Discussions.app, which is hosted on the EOS mainnet, is growing to become a great place for users to upload blog-like posts and could compete with popular blog-platform Medium. With their recent update to the Discussion.app website, it is easier for users to write their blog posts and to get compensated in ATMOS tokens. If interested in posting blogs, check out Discussions.app.
Sense Chat, which is updating their platform to be blockchain agnostic, is shaping to be a WhatsApp messenger platform. While having the Sense token on the EOS mainnet, Sense Chat will allow users to send encrypted messages to their family and friends. In addition, users will be given the opportunity to send and receive cryptocurrencies not only based within the EOSIO ecosystem, like Bitcoin.
Lastly, Chirp, which is poised to launch soon, seems to be a Twitter-like platform for the blockchain space. After moving from Lynx to the EOS mainnet, Chirp will be a platform for users to post short comments and thoughts while getting paid in Chirp tokens. After the release of Chirp in the near future, we can better get a sense of how Chirp will interact with other EOS-mainnet social media dApps.
Conclusion: Voice and EOS Social Media
With the need for instant transactions, inexpensive transaction costs, and scalability, EOSIO and EOS-based social media platforms are poised for great growth and exposure that can rival and compete with traditional media platforms. In comparison, other leading smart contract platforms are too slow (Ethereum), have no large applications (Tezos), or have not fully launched (Cardano). We at CoolWave Capital feel confident in the short-term in seeing a more robust build out of the social media sector in the EOS and EOSIO ecosystem.
Disclaimer: KJ Kingsley is not a financial advisor and holds the digital tokens or cryptocurrencies represented in the content above. This content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained in this post constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by myself to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments in this or in any other jurisdiction in which such solicitation or offer would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the author’s employers.