There is no point arguing when one says the last decade of social media had been dominated by Facebook. Out of the 3.4 billion social media users in 2019, 2.2 of them are active on Facebook. It has helped bring about changes in society by connecting people together and helps in the propagation of information among these people.
However, while it has succeeded in connecting people together, the way it treats user generated contents and make money out of them without compensation for the owners of the contents had become a major concern. Daily, users of Facebook have their wall pasted with advertisements they are not interested in. Sadly, this had remained unchanged as its business model is centered on revenue from advertisers. Who will come in and be the game changer?
Foresting is a new social media based on the blockchain technology that had come to change the way people use and see social media. Basically, Foresting decentralizes the system, allowing content creators to actually own their contents and monetize them without the fear of security breach or the system making the large chunk of the money out of their content. Will Foresting be the new Facebook? Only time will tell. In this article, we intend to review this new social media based on the blockchain technology.
We live in a world that has been transformed by social media and the internet at large. It has been estimated that the human population in 2019 is 7.6 billion out of which 4.3 billion are internet users. Out of the 7.6 billion people on earth, 3.4 billion are active social media users. That is a staggering 44 percent of the world population active on social networks. The number of people active on social media had made the network so strong that happenings on the social media sites had greatly affected the society we live in.
The importance of social media as a tool for societal change cannot be overemphasized. Take, for instance, the Occupy Wall Street in the United States, the Arab Spring in Tunisia, the Egyptian Revolution and the recent 2019 Algerian Protests all used the social media as a tool for sharing information and even coordinate protests.
In the case of Barrack Obama’s Twitter post “Four More Years”, social media had proven to be more effective than any advertisement. The post had been liked by 3.3 million people on Facebook, retweeted by 680,000 twitter users and shared on Facebook more than 400,000 times. With this, there is no doubt how great, social media can help bring about the much-required changes in society.
Traditional Social Media – How Foresting Differs?
The traditional social media is said to be stable with the top social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and WhatsApp, WeChat and Instagram) dominating the field yearly. These dominant social media sites have something in common that has come to be the tradition of social media. What do those giants share?
The social media sites are centralized in their approach. They lure social media users with enticing features and these users get attracted, generating contents for the social networks. The user-generated content becomes a pool of wealth for the social media company who does not regard the users and does not care about their privacy. All that matters to them is how to use these pools of user-generated content to make money as they have positioned themselves as advertising companies.
Foresting, on the other hand, is not centralized. It is decentralized with no single authority watching over the user-generated content for the sole sake of monetizing it. It creates a kind of economic freedom for a content creator who creates and earns from his/her contents unlike in traditional social media where the social media earns the money while the users generate the monetized contents.
This makes Foresting a reward based social network where users truly own the content they generate. They are also at liberty to monetize the content with the large chunk of the money being theirs.
Excessive Reliance on Revenue from Advertisement
Most of the current social media sites build their monetizing model on advertising. To many of the advertisers on these social media sites, they see the reward in the amount of traffic they can drive rather than the quality of the contents. These had led to them paying the platform providers money in other to advertise on the platform regardless of if it appeals to the social media users or not.
In the case of Foresting, emphasizes is not placed on traffic but the quality of content where users vote for content they want to see. This will lead to a better content creation culture among advertisers who want to generate lead.
Rather than supporting active click baiting of users into faik content and into violent and sexual content (which is often baned after while, but not before it has done its damage) Foresting prefers to use one of its voting features to “upvote” an article. They do not specify how exactly the mechanism will work, aside of basic description of their “BEAT” system, but it has great potential on reducing violent topics, often displaying brutal scenes, towards the audience.
Furthermore, it has a chance to reduce faik news, which is becoming a big thing of the present.
Information Leakage and Theft
As a result of social media centralized systems, user data and other generated user contents are susceptible to theft. Data are then often abused or directly sold at black market sites, from the deep internet, such as Silk Road. And nobody wants that. Virtually all major social networking sites have experienced some forms of a data breach in the past. Facebook, for example, had been hit by the leakage of user information of over 87 million people. And that is a population of the UK, Czechia and Slovakia combined. Leaked personal data can lead to spamming, privacy invasion and identity theft among other related issues.
As a cryptocurrency platform, information leakage and theft in Foresting is made extremely difficult as the information is secured using blockchain technology. This technology stores data using the most sophisticated software and math we have invented so far which makes it difficult for an attacker or eavesdropper to manipulate.
For new readers, just briefly. Blockchain technology works in a way that all the data, every bit of information is stored simultaneously on every storage unit connected. To be able to hack the system and misuse it, one would have to hack all the points simultaneously, instantaneously, as hacking just a single point would result in the rest of the blockchain to ”disagreeing”.
This technology was popularized by Satoshi Nakamoto, Japanese inventor, in 2008.
In other words, in a blockchain, a transaction is saved as a block after it had been encrypted. The blocks contain information regarding the transaction and details of the previous transaction. A blockchain contains up-to-date information of all transactions and blocks. When a particular part of the system is affected, the whole system is affected, making them more secured.
The Unfair Value of Distribution
The social media landscape is laced with an unfair distribution of work and reward between the social media providers and the content creators. Some of these includes:
- Unfair Distribution of reward: The main drivers of social media are users. They generate the contents, contribute to the key performance indicators like the Monthly Active Users and are advertised to. However, they are not being rewarded. For the platforms that rewards, only 20 percent of the reward is shared with its creator and a large chunk of other users of the sites are not even rewarded.
- Irrational Value Distribution: Users on the site create contents. Instead of the social networking company to return the favor by either rewarding them with better content or money, they are rewarded with ads.
Foresting had come to solve the issues.
But will they? We all remember even Facebook started with the purest intentions of connecting people over the small university campus.
The Foresting Platform had come to do what similar blockchain based social media sites have not been able to – to replace the centralized social media system with a decentralized one. One, where content owners truly own their content and make money from them. It seeks to follow the theory of distribution and justice that had been in existence since the days of Plato.
Will they succeed? Well, other blockchain sites that have been in existence before them have not been able to do so. However, they are determined and have incorporated some features into their platform to enable them to beat the current traditionalists.
While the concept and implementation of blockchain are quite technical, Foresting managed to simplify UI for the mobile app just like the traditional media sites. From the UX/UI point of view, there are no major differences between the Foresting Platform and traditional social media, aside from a few cool features one wouldn’t really expect at the social platform.
Among those interesting features, Foresting provides real-time measurement of content value and their transactions.
Major Categories for Social Media
Most of the existing blockchain based social media are niched. That is, they have a category of interest they focus on, limiting the number of their users. This had made them be seen as online communities rather than full-fledged social media. Foresting had come with numerous categories so that it can appeal to plenty of users. Through these, they might get the chance to disrupt the status quo and bring the needed change.
Security Through Blockchain Technology
Foresting as a cryptocurrency platform is built on the blockchain technology to provide security and privacy for its users and their content by encrypting the data using hard to manipulate methods.
The Foresting Platform seeks to attract users to itself by using some competitive advantages it has over the traditional media sites. Some of these competitive advantages include:
- Layered compensation system: Foresting has special features meant for users of certain ranks and other features for ranks above them. Since some features are locked until one reaches a certain rank, this could lead to increased interaction on the platform – if done right. The gaming world now massively struggles against AAA gaming corporations and their “grinding” practices to drive gameplay, resulting only in a massive drop in engagement, share value and angry shareholders and players alike. Companies as EA, Blizzard Entertainment have lost some 60% of share value during pat 6 months. It is expected it will take them years to recover – if ever.
- Tradable Contents: Users can sell their contents such as video or photo on the platform and buyers can pay for it using PTON token. A PTON token cryptocurrency that can be exchanged with PTON credit, rewarding point Foresting users receive. This feature we perceive especially positively as platforms like UpWork will have a reason to reconsider their enormous fees for both freelancers and companies.
- Shooting: Content creators can be rewarded by others by liking their content and shooting them (donating PTON).
- Open Market for advertisers: Unlike in traditional media sites, advertisers deal with content creators directly by writing proposals in the advertising pool category. This gives the users power unlike in the traditional social platforms. How this will work is in stars.
- Handy Foresting Wallet: This feature shows how much reward a user has received.
Components of the Foresting Ecosystem
The major components of the Foresting Platform are PTON Token, PTON Credit, Level System, and Commercial Revenue Share.
These are cryptocurrency ERC-20 token used in Foresting. For new readers, ERC20 is blockchain standard of technology used. They are used as a reward and are created by users of the platform when contributing and interacting with the platform.
This cryptocurrency is both on the platform and outside the platform. Internally, users use it to pay for services or buy emojis. It is also being used outside the platform. Foresting has contracted some established mobile commercial infrastructures to enable it to become accepted as a means of exchange.
The token is given based on the activities of a user on the platform and its value is determined by the current market price on trading platforms.
PTON CREDIT is an internal reputation point assigned to a user according to the interaction of such user on the platform. This credit is earned by users of the platform depending on the content generated and how other users react to them. Credits are earned through likes known as BEAT and can be reduced by DOWNBEAT.
The system, however, had devised means to filter low quality DOWNBEATS to prevent the malicious acts of others from causing users damage. How, and how accurately, remains a mystery.
The Foresting platform uses a ranking system which offers some special features to users based on rank, as mentioned above. The rank is based on the Foresting Interaction algorithm, which is an index calculated based on the user’s interaction and how people react to their contents. Generally, the higher the index, the higher the reward received from activities on the platform.
Commercial Revenue Share
Unlike on the traditional social media platforms where the platform providers earn money from user-generated, Foresting is not advertisement focused. It is focused on the creation of contents, leading to a side-effect generating direct revenue for their creators.
This new Korean platform wishes to disturb the social media industry with its product, trying to attract many by multi categorizing their platform. They blend in the fine art of non-annoying social media and delicacy of blockchain technology with inherited market volatility. The platform posses strong positive elements, like safety. Furthermore, it has a darker side, like right away creating social media with revenue in mind. And then there is shade. Trying to attract all haven’t worked quite well in the past with many companies, and most of them went bankrupt.
Does Foresting have enough power to cause winds of change? We shall stick around and see for ourselves.
Did you find this new crypto interesting? Join Foresting airdrop here!