What are SocialFi projects?
SocialFi projects represent a fusion of social networks and decentralized finance (DeFi), enabling content creators to generate income through various activities like content creation, advertising, NFT minting, and engagement. Unlike traditional social media platforms, SocialFi focuses on decentralizing payments and financial management within a social ecosystem.
Distinguishing SocialFi from Decentralized Social Media, the latter emphasizes decentralization at the server level, often involving multiple servers on the blockchain, while SocialFi primarily concentrates on the financial aspect. It reimagines how individuals are compensated and handle their finances within a decentralized social media.
SocialFi, projects aim to decentralize payments, introducing faster and more efficient compensation mechanisms.
Here is a list of some projects falling under the SocialFi umbrella:
1. Hyprr: www.hyprr.com
Hyprr holds a special place in my heart, as I've been closely involved with the project since 2018, witnessing its development journey through various shifts and challenges. It's worth noting that Hyprr faced its fair share of setbacks and even experienced a period of failure along the way. However, during my time with the project, I've had the privilege of forming meaningful connections and friendships within the community. While I'm not an official team member, I've taken on the role of an unofficial ambassador, driven by a deep-seated desire to discover an alternative to the current social media landscape.
My quest for an alternative platform stemmed from the belief that we needed a platform capable of replacing our existing ones, granting users greater control over their data and offering a transparent approach to content moderation. I've always maintained that some level of censorship remains necessary for commercial products. During a critical juncture, when the project was on the verge of being extinguished, a friend I met in the space, Jason Siebly, stepped in to breathe new life into Hyprr. Jason not only revitalized the project but also charted a more promising path by actively listening to user feedback and aligning the platform with their needs. He currently serves as the CEO of Hyprr, although the identity of the project's owner remains a mystery.
In early 2024, Hyprr has ambitious plans to introduce a Visa charge card, an unprecedented feature that will empower creators and users on the platform. This card will enable instant purchases and serve as an ATM with a direct on/off ramp linked to Hyprr's social platform, specifically through the decentralized web wallet. This groundbreaking innovation is set to redefine the creator economy.
Hyprr, to me, is the embodiment of what SocialFi should represent—an idea that had long been brewing in my mind before the buzzword even emerged. I often found myself wondering why platforms like YouTube or Instagram had never ventured into this territory. The concept initially crossed my mind while using Venmo, contemplating why such a seamless and convenient feature wasn't integrated into one of the major social platforms. Hyprr, with its forward-thinking approach and innovative features, hopes to fulfill this vision of a social network intertwined with financial capabilities, setting a new standard for what's possible on a social media platform.
Hyprr is a frequent topic of discussion on this site, where I explore the evolving concepts of the Future of the Creator Economy based on years of accumulated ideas. My commitment lies in nurturing this project and witnessing its success. I welcome you to join me on Hyprr's Discord, where your ideas can play a pivotal role in shaping the perfect platform tailored to your needs.
2. Vero: www.vero.co
Vero stands as one of Instagram's closest rivals, having emerged several years ago with an impressively designed interface—arguably the best among all social apps in terms of features and user experience. What sets Vero apart is its dedicated desktop app, a rarity in the social media ecosystem. Although Vero isn't inherently a blockchain project, its integration of a blockchain wallet aligns it with the SocialFi space.
However, Vero has grappled with discoverability issues for years. As a long-time user and one of the early adopters on the platform, I've seen how accounts, unless they are already online famous, struggle to gain visibility. It's heartening to see that Vero is now addressing this challenge by planning significant updates. These updates include the introduction of monetization options through subscriptions, premium services, and other digital assets.
If Vero can execute these enhancements in their roadmap effectively and at the right time, it stands a strong chance of becoming a leader in the SocialFi space.
3. Minds: www.minds.com
Minds, a longstanding platform predating Hyprr, caters to a different audience. It's a community-owned social network emphasizing free speech, audience expansion, private chats, and diverse opinions. Users can earn crypto rewards, as it's open source and decentralized. At first glance, Minds appears akin to Twitter, focusing on an open network for text messaging.
While Minds champions free speech, it lacks broad commercial appeal, making it less lucrative for creators. SocialFi features primarily benefit those interested in cryptocurrency, posing a hurdle for casual users uninterested in decentralization. Its commitment to free speech, while commendable, has limited its widespread success, as not everyone desires such unfiltered expression.
Is Minds the future of social media? It has potential, particularly in countering Big Tech's censorship practices. Federated and distributed services like Mastodon, with their autonomy and absence of algorithms and invasive ads, offer viable alternatives. However, Minds isn't a true SocialFi project yet, as it relies heavily on cryptocurrency, which may not be practical for everyone at the moment.
5. UHive: Uhive.com
Uhive, founded in January 2016 by Shehadeh, a visionary originally from Jordan but based in London, has made remarkable progress since its inception. The platform has embraced modern technology while maintaining its relevance. With over 3 million active users, Uhive stands out as a decentralized social media app achieving substantial engagement, an unusual feat in this domain.
Notably, some of their content garners over 3,000 likes and significant engagement, a rarity in platforms beyond TikTok or Instagram. This is a testament to Uhive's potential to bring SocialFi to the mass market, especially with their project called the Oasis, a VR metaverse integrated into their social app.
One unique aspect of Uhive is its token design, engineered to empower the social network with tangible utility and sustainable growth. Unlike many cryptocurrencies lacking a real product, Uhive's token plays a pivotal role within the platform, facilitating the purchase of Spaces, access to premium features, and exclusive content. The platform seamlessly integrates tokens into the user experience, encouraging active engagement.
While Uhive's success in attracting a crypto-focused audience is notable, it is also intriguing as it evolves and captures a broader user base.
4. Friend Tech: www.friend.tech
Friend.Tech offers an interesting concept where users can buy and sell shares of people they admire, similar to trading social tokens. This allows for potential profits from these share transactions.
Furthermore, content creators with profiles on the platform benefit from a 50 percent fee share with the platform. When the app charges a 5 percent fee, half of this fee goes directly to the content creator. One distinctive aspect of Friend.Tech is its concept of a marketplace for friends. Owning shares grants users access to private chats with the individuals whose shares they own. However, direct access to influencers may not be the primary goal for all users, especially those who are more focused on generating income as creators.
Although the concept is intriguing, some users may prefer to invest in promising projects rather than contributing to influencer profits. This concept echoes the early days of NFT exploration when people were buying NFTs at high prices without fully understanding their value. While Friend.Tech currently lacks a dedicated content creation platform or brand-building tools, the concept is interesting and aligns with the practical use case for crowdfunding implemented on Hyprr. On Hyprr, users can invest in creators and projects through NFT shares, allowing them to earn royalties based on income.
5. Theta: www.theta.tv
Twitch has faced criticism for its handling of users, including uneven bans and perceived biases, leading to recent controversies. Newcomers seeking to establish themselves as streamers on the platform often find it challenging to gain visibility, with success sometimes feeling dependent on luck. Additionally, the platform's Terms of Service (TOS) can be seen as vague and inconsistently enforced, potentially jeopardizing users' careers. Twitch, originally focused on gaming, has evolved to be seen by some as an adult live streaming platform, which has raised ethical concerns.
In contrast, Theta.tv is positioning itself to compete with Twitch and offers various opportunities for content creators to generate income. These opportunities include donations, subscriptions, and other methods that allow creators to earn from their content and engagement with their audience.
Theta.tv presents an alternative that seeks to address some of the issues that have arisen on Twitch, providing creators with a potentially more equitable platform for content monetization. This makes it a SocialFi project, as it blends social media with decentralized finance elements, enabling content creators to monetize their work in a more transparent and decentralized manner.
6. Deso: www.deso.com
DeSo is a SocialFi project that transcends the boundaries of traditional social media platforms. Unlike many other so-called "decentralized" platforms that remain centralized in practice, DeSo redefines decentralization by placing the protocol, text, images, and more from social platforms onto the blockchain. This revolutionary approach ensures that data remains secure and immutable, free from the vulnerabilities of centralized hosting services like Amazon Web Services.
DeSo's prowess in handling storage-heavy applications sets it apart. Social media platforms generate vast amounts of data, and DeSo's blockchain infrastructure is purpose-built to store and index this data efficiently. It provides a scalable solution to the challenges faced by social media blockchains. Importantly, DeSo operates on an open-source and on-chain permissionless data model, making all code and data completely open and transparent.
What truly sets DeSo apart as a SocialFi pioneer is its commitment to empowering creators and users. The platform introduces innovative features like Creator Coins, allowing users to invest in their favorite influencers. A portion of these investments flows back to the creators, fostering a symbiotic relationship. Additionally, DeSo simplifies NFT creation and sales through apps like Diamond and Polygram, enabling creators to earn perpetual royalties on resales. These royalties also benefit the coin-holders of creators, creating a dynamic ecosystem where value circulates within the DeSo community.
7. Qrolli: www.qrolli.com
Qrolli is a new social platform that aims to change the way people interact and create content online. Qrolli combines the features of blockchain technology and gamification to offer a user-owned, decentralized, and rewarding social network. Users can create and join quizzes, polls, and surveys, and earn Qrolli tokens (QR) for their participation and contribution. Users can also trade, stake, or donate their QR tokens to support their favorite causes or communities. Qrolli is more than just a social media platform; it is a social impact platform that empowers users to have fun.
What is DeFi in simple terms?
Current Social Media is Trash
Decentralized finance (DeFi), a disruptive concept in traditional finance, replaces intermediaries with blockchain-based smart contracts. SocialFi takes this idea further by integrating financial tools into the social media experience. Users can invest, stake, lend, borrow, and earn while scrolling through their favorite feeds.
What does SocialFi Do?
SocialFi represents more than just a way to connect with friends; it's a means to earn, invest, and manage finances. It seamlessly merges the social and financial space, enabling users to monetize their interactions, content, and online presence. Every like, comment, and share can translate into tangible rewards.
SocialFi onboards users onto DeFi platforms through their social media accounts, ensuring secure interconnection of social and financial activities. Actions such as engaging with posts generate tokens with real value. These tokens can be staked for a steady income stream or invested in various DeFi projects to grow wealth, democratizing finance and making investment opportunities more accessible.
SocialFi fosters a sense of community as users collaborate for mutual financial gains, turning passive scrolling into active financial engagement. Nevertheless, it faces challenges such as security concerns, regulatory hurdles, and fair distribution. Despite these challenges, SocialFi's potential to reshape both social media and finance is substantial as blockchain technology continues to evolve, making it a pivotal bridge between social networking and decentralized finance.
In life, there are moments when we glance at something and underestimate its potential, only to witness it flourish into something extraordinary years later. It's a common occurrence, where we find ourselves wishing we had been there from the beginning to reap the rewards. Right now, many of these new SocialFi projects appear to be in that nascent stage, poised to potentially follow a similar trajectory. The question we face is whether we'll embrace these opportunities, nurturing them as they grow, or whether, in a decade's time, we'll look back with regret, repeating the same refrain of "I wish I had done that." The future holds endless possibilities, and it's up to us to seize them, recognizing that today's overlooked innovations might become tomorrow's game-changers.