Wednesday, February 1

Building a Social Media Platform on the Blockchain Has Become a Race

It’s easy to doubt the big social media companies. They usually sell information about their users to advertisers and have been in trouble for how they handle content moderation. People who support Web3 think they can build a whole new system that doesn’t rely on the centralized power of platforms. They want to create a decentralized social media (DeSo) ecosystem where users have more control over the content they make.

DSCVR is a blockchain-based social network built on Dfinity’s Internet Computer protocol. With $9 million in seed funding led by Polychain Capital, it has joined the race to build a scalable DeSo platform. The company says that Upfront Ventures, Tomahawk VC, Fyrfly Venture Partners, Shima Capital, and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) are among the other companies that took part in the round.

There are a lot of small businesses and big companies racing to build a network that users will find useful. This month, Dan Romero, a former Coinbase employee, got $30 million from a16z to build Farcaster, a DeSo protocol that lets users move their social identities between apps. DSCVR, on the other hand, runs communities called “portals” that can only be accessed by people who own a certain NFT.

“People’s NFTs need distribution. They want their NFTs to be able to be traded, so they need real people, not bots, to own them and possibly hold on to them. So we become a way for NFTs to get to their top users. “People who want to sell their NFTs might have a list of 10,000 entities, but they might only give 1,000 to our top users,” Porter said.

A picture of DSCVR’s home feed Image Sources: DSCVR

Porter says that DSCVR has signed up more than 100,000 users and has given those users “millions of dollars” in NFT rewards through the airdrop reward mechanism. Porter said that it is different from other DeSo platforms because it wants to connect Web 2.0 and Web3.

“How do we bring a typical Web 2.0 user, who may not be used to Web 3, up to speed on Web 3 technology and give them a completely real and native Web 3 experience without making a lot of sacrifices? “That’s one of the differences we’re looking at: we’re trying to increase the amount of perspective or fidelity that a web3 experience might give,” Porter said.

Porter pointed out that linking an external wallet through MetaMask or another service to a social profile can be hard, especially for people who don’t know much about web3 social media app development technology. Porter says that users on the platform can access DSCVR’s native wallet, which doesn’t require them to give up control of their own keys.

He also said that DSCVR is trying to figure out how to give users a decentralized, web3-native experience with “little to no sacrifice.” It’s interesting that the company chose to build on the Internet Computer protocol instead of Ethereum, which is the most popular smart-contract chain. Porter said he made this decision after meeting Dominic Williams, who is the president and chief scientist of Dfinity. Porter met Williams while he was working as a consultant at BCG on a blockchain-based smart contract project.

Porter got involved with Dfinity when the protocol was being made, and after a few years, he decided to quit his job at BCG and work full-time for Dfinity. His first project was to build a message board on the protocol. This, he said, showed him the need for web3 communities and made him decide to build a social network.

The ecosystem of computers and the Internet has also had its share of arguments. Dfinity is being sued by a group of people who say it sold its tokens as unregistered securities, which is against the law. Polychain and a16z were also named as defendants in the lawsuit because they had helped Dfinity in the beginning. Last month, Dfinity found itself on the other side of the situation. It sued two New York Times reporters, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Ephrat Livni, for allegedly slandering Dfinity.

When asked why he thought the Internet Computer was the best place to build his social platform, Porter said, “It feels like I’m developing on something like AWS, but it’s completely decentralised, right? I have smart contracts that can be updated, so I can make changes and gradually improve my app. Everything is still verified, on-chain, and trackable.”

Porter said that when building a DeSo platform, it is still important to talk directly with customers.

“The hard part about Web3 is that you don’t get much data about the user. You have to talk to your users to really know what problems they’re having. And where do things go wrong? “If some users run into trouble, we don’t know about it,” Porter said. “We have to hope that they either post on our site or have a friend post on our site to tell us about the problems they are having. Then we can usually jump on it and fix it.”