If you were Reddit’s Founder, your life would be almost like a fairy tale:
- First, you would have been one of the few innovating and seeing the Internet’s potential in 2005, after the burst of the dot-com bubble.
- Then, you would have raised $100,000 the very next year through Y Combinator, one of the most successful and prestigious startup accelerators.
- The very next year, you would have sold your company for $20 million.
- After that, and after eight years of fun and success, rolling out lots of features and being one of the top 20 most popular sites on the Internet, you would have raised $50 million from the likes of Jared Leto, Snoop Dogg, Peter Thiel, and other celebrities.
- And, right now, your dream would be valued at $3 billion, while about to ride (possibly) the highest innovation wave since the Internet.
Reddit in Blockchain Land
Despite still looking like an early 2000s site, Reddit is surfing the innovation waves like no other.
Two weeks ago, Reddit announced that it would be testing two crypto tokens in their Cryptocurrency and Fortnite (the popular video game) communities. The tokens would be used by users to purchase particular status features within the subreddits while being fully autonomous from Reddit, meaning that users would be able to exchange them or hold them even outside the platform.
We won’t go deep into the technical or specific details about the tokens, since there are already great resources on the Internet for that (such as the one linked above). However, we’d like to tell you why this is a unique move, and how the use of cryptocurrencies can (and most likely will) disrupt social media.
Many players, and Reddit comes ahead.
In reality, there are just a handful of major players in social media and communication apps. And, while some of them are keen to innovate in this respect, none have been able to do so.
- Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook are part of the same company. Mark Zuckerberg and co made a lot of noise last year with their Libra product, but they have failed to develop it further due to regulatory concerns.
- Youtube and all Google applications seem to have no interest in integrating cryptocurrency.
- Twitter intends to build blockchain applications and integrate payments, but has been slow to do so and will likely also fight regulatory concern.
This makes Reddit’s the perfect move: Slight enough not to disturb the legal waters, significant enough to extract some much-needed knowledge about the behaviours of cryptocurrency adoption in massive social platforms. And, since the Fortnite and Cryptocurrency communities are already hard-wired to utilise digital tokens, this creates an unlimited potential for the project.
But, why is cryptocurrency so important to social media?
If so many big players in the industry are lining up to implement cryptocurrency in social media, it is because it would mean a tremendous economic revolution. Again, we won’t stop to discuss the technical details here (but we can do so in another article!), but it’s sufficient to say that, until now, platforms like the ones mentioned above have two declared revenue models: Sales and advertising.
With cryptocurrency and blockchain integrations, however, social platforms can not only generate additional revenue (through their crypto holdings and other projects) but, more importantly, they can distribute these earnings to users. However, while doing this, it doesn’t make sense to distribute gains equally to every user. By prioritising valuable content creators, social media networks like Reddit, Twitter and Facebook, can create the stimulus to create and post content on their platforms, pay creators, and more importantly, allow creators to exchange and pay each other.
Can you imagine a world where you can seamlessly send money overseas, exchange with people from all over the world, and pay others with AND through the money you earned by creating a meme? The value economy of crypto payments can be an endless stream of prosperity and growth.
We hope that this article can help you look forwards to a brighter future, with so many negative news going around these days. As always, remember to visit the Quarantine Shop if you’re interested in improving your life quality while on lockdown!