There’s no denying the fact that blockchain is the future. Afterall, it has dominated headlines for a number of years, and continues to feature in mainstream conversation. But how does it relate to the agency space?
With the life-changing reality of Web 3.0 just around the corner, it’s important to consider the reported challenges experienced by social media users. Considering a large portion of what agencies do sits within the social media space, we can’t ignore the concerns over censorship and data privacy. Enter blockchain technology – a tool that can be employed on ad networks to combat wasteful clicks, or on social media platforms where you can own and monetize your own content.
At Rolling Thunder Digital, we’re taking a dive into the vast ocean that is blockchain in order to understand how it will impact a Marketing Manager’s needs, and their decision making processes. First up, we’re shining our spotlight on Twetch.
Twitter is a bastion of holy terror. Any avid user of the platform can confirm the less than savory experience of being on Twitter on a regular basis: relentless trolling, pedantic arguments, overused jokes and general cruelty that pervades the platform. There is also the fact of Twitter’s ongoing issues with bot accounts and content moderation to add to the mix. Twitter’s stringent moderation policy has led to accusations of censorship and anti-free-speech behavior – issues that exist alongside larger concerns of data privacy and ownership. Regardless, Twitter remains among the most popular platforms globally.
Irrespective of the numbers, Twitter’s glaring issues have presented an opportunity for competitors. One notable example in recent news is Truth Social, the social media platform created by Donald Trump following his permanent Twitter ban in 2021. The platform borrows heavily from Twitter, fashioning itself as a Conservative alternative to Big Tech. However, Truth Social is not without its issues and ultimately fails as a copycat.
Essentially, an alternative to Twitter would need to address the pervasive concerns of data privacy and content ownership among others, in addition to a sufficient incentive to draw users in. Without the appropriate incentive, these alternatives would only bolster the standing of Twitter since, let’s face it, Twitter is easier and more convenient to use.
Enter Twetch. Not to be confused with the live-streaming app Twitch, Twetch is comparable to Twitter on the blockchain. Twetch fashions itself as a model for social networking in Web-3.0 – or the internet of the future. The platform aims to address some of the current issues with current social media models, such as deplatforming, centralisation, rights management, misinformation, censorship, and cyberbullying.
Twetch operates on a pay-to-earn basis using Bitcoin SV. That is, each engagement on the platform amounts to a microtransaction. Think of a Twitter where each tweet, like, retweet, and quote tweet is monetizable. You post and pay, and every subsequent engagement with your post earns you money. Every Twetch account can also be thought of as a crypto wallet – in order to use the platform, you’ll need to deposit Bitcoin SV into your Twetch wallet.
This capacity for monetisation could appeal to creators aiming to capitalize their content. Where each tweet earns you nothing, every post on Twetch translates to a financial undertaking.
Twetch also emphasizes data ownership and self-sovereignty. On Twetch, each post is your own. Uploading something to Twetch gives the platform permission to host the information on the blockchain. However, that permission can be revoked at any time. Because the information is on-chain, there is no risk of losing content in the unlikely event of deplatforming (unlike Twitter and other platforms which erase your account’s contents).
However, Twetch still faces some challenges. The platform is rather small, numbering at less than 80,000 users at the time of writing. Meaning that it fails in terms of diversity, and you’re likely to encounter only the most hardcore crypto enthusiasts and creators. The audience frankly isn’t that big at the moment. The need for Bitcoin SV might also serve as a barrier to entry since most casual users looking for an alternative to Twitter might not be ready to spend money just to post something on social media. Furthermore, the potential to earn isn’t as guaranteed as it seems.
Yet as a proof-of-concept, Twetch functions quite well. Provided it manages to overcome its issues, it presents a model for a social media of the future: censorship resistant, autonomous and decentralized