Just as social media revolutionized the internet, blockchain will transform data security.
Social media has completely changed the way people use the internet. Before the internet became a Web 2.0 experience, it was all a one-sided story of just website content being read by audiences. Now it's all about engagement, leaving blog comments and sharing content on social media. However, even with the massive growth that social media has seen over the past several years, it, too, will see a demise or at least a redirection of focus at some point.
For many, this redirection of focus is actually happening much faster than anticipated. With over 2 billion users now on Facebook and another several hundred million on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, it's apparent that audiences want their social media, but content creators might feel differently. As more social networks are filling up with fake accounts, fake news and even limiting the amount of ownership and reach of such content, a new alternative must arise.
The rise of blockchain and what it means for social media
You've probably heard of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, but you may not have heard about the blockchain. It's the underlying technology that makes the previous two possible. In short, blockchain is a global network of computers that jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. With such a method and formula in place, Bitcoin (and all of its transactions) are managed and tracked by a complete network and not any single authority. This is where the value and potential of blockchain and Bitcoin stand out from every other type of currency or transaction type we've seen.
While that may seem confusing to the average internet user, the important thing to note here is that times are changing and blockchain could be the driving force behind not just digital currency, but also how social media content is created, distributed and validated. The demand for such services will only continue to rise, as more social networks are allowing governments open access to user data and privacy policies dwindle in protecting the end user.
With more B2B companies on edge about their customer data and keeping transactions safe and legitimate, blockchain is potentially the answer to not only safeguarding customer and sales data but eliminating middleman and third-party transaction fees.
A more secure, rewarding social media experience
Just as blockchain is being used to validate cryptocurrencies, it can be used in the same way for social media. Instead of simply allowing content and random information to flow across all digital platforms, if a blockchain effect was in place, it would all need to be validated in one form or another. At the same time, with such validation and manual processes in place, there is room for incentives and monetary compensation as well.
While the concept might be new, it's already something that is in the works for a few social media-driven companies. A perfect example of this is OngSocial, which is focused on building a platform for social media users to access all of their information and content under one platform – all while privatizing the experience and giving the user the ability to choose what information or transactions they want to be private or public.
OngSocial has released news on an upcoming ICO (initial coin offering), which is sure to revolutionize how businesses are valued and funded in coming years. It's no longer just a focus on the business model and business as a social platform for an audience, it's about user engagement and participation as well. The incentive to drive new users to platforms like OngSocial is through original cryptocurrencies that can be created by each platform, then redeemable for monetary value or other rewards.
This is something that was recently discussed in a Forbes article by Steve Olenski and how blockchain may very well reinvent social media and how it's being used in the world today. Whenever any type of security or protection solution comes into play, this is often a clear winner for not just audiences around the world but also businesses and entrepreneurs who buy, sell and rely on such data.
Social media today vs. social media tomorrow
There is no doubt that big changes lie ahead – not just for social media but for digital currencies as well. Just take a look at the drastic rise in bitcoin recently. While the majority of people sit on the sidelines, unaware of the massive changes taking place, the same will likely come true for social media as well.
Just as fast as Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized the internet and made it a multi-conversation environment, blockchain can do the same for the security and sharing of such data, while also making business transactions safer for companies around the world. The internal drive and success that bitcoin has seen recently is a mere sample of what can happen when people start to take control and want more transparency and privacy over their content and personal data. It will be interesting to see how the same is done with social media in the coming months as blockchain becomes common practice online.
It's no longer just a question of if you will invest in bitcoin or use it as a way to buy and sell things in everyday life – now it's a matter of figuring out how it will play into your business and the customers waiting to buy from you.