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2023 May Be a Breakout Year for Decentralized Move-to-Earn (M2E) Social Media: Interview

Consumer intelligence researcher Talkwalker recently released its eighth annual Social Media Trends Report for 2023. They overview 10 key trends in social media, and although the report is not Web3-centric, one can see the influence of Web3 directionally on social media overall.

The report predicts that 2023 will be a breakout year in Web3 social media with a greater focus on user autonomy and free speech through decentralization, the growth of social commerce, and the phasing out of cookies used to track user data, which will be replaced by a stronger focus on building brand-to-user communities and greater social listening to track the effectiveness of social media campaigns.

Recently, Benzinga’s Twitter spaces show Crypto Open Mic hosted a panel of social media and Web3 content experts including Page DAO, the Verseverse, and Alexandria Labs which all have a focus on helping to platform and reward content creators in a censorship-resistant decentralized environment.

We interviewed Bradley James Peak, CEO and co-founder of Collective, a blockchain-based social media platform that uses tokenized Move-to-Earn (M2E) rewards to encourage interaction between creators, brands, and audiences.

BZ: Is the matter of decentralization gaining extra emphasis in 2023 because of the recent FTX (CRYPTO: FTT) and related debacles?

Peak: FTX showed the problems of centralized finance. The collapse of FTX has heightened the need for more reliable, regulated crypto players. Centralization is going down, and decentralization is on the rise.

Decentralized social media is an open-source, blockchain-based alternative to traditional social networks. A decentralized system automatically gives authors more control over their creations and allows them to retain full ownership of them. Collective is the first decentralized, content-driven social network where both creators and users can monetize their social media and their self-expression.

BZ: Is freedom of speech a major focus for Collective? How do you balance freedom of speech while preventing a toxic environment on the platform?

Peak: We believe that freedom of speech is important. Collective users are free to post anything without fear of restriction or intervention by third parties. Since data is not centrally held, it is generally considered impossible for governments, authorities, or anyone else to censor or remove any posts.

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any moderation system in place. Using gamification techniques and peer-to-peer moderation, users will be able to moderate what content is put on the platform and get rewarded for such action. Achievement points will be earned by users depending on the number of posts they moderate, as well as users will randomly receive daily tasks with post moderation. Such functionality helps the ecosystem work collectively to achieve a safe place everyone can use and earn from.

BZ: How will you stimulate participation among users who are already using and, in cases like Medium, earning on Web2 platforms?

Peak: Collective is a social network where both creators and users can monetize their social media and their self-expression. The Collective platform has two new types of likes: business likes and collective likes. In both cases, and depending on the subscription, businesses and users receive rewards for each like content received. Each "super like" on the post rewards the author with a certain amount of $COL*. Other ways that users can support their favorite creators are through rating points and a referral system.

*At the time of writing COL tokens are not mentioned on CoinMarketCap and seem to apply to the Collective platform.

BZ: Are daily tasks gamifying the content creation process? Do you have a gamification model?

Peak: All users can participate in receiving awards for achievements on the Collective platform. Achievements are awarded to users collectively for performing significant actions, or for performing one action a large number of times. And they carry great rewards, while daily tasks are updated every day and do not require much effort from users to receive rewards.
Examples of tasks include:

  • Leave comments 
  • Get comments 
  • Send and receive direct messages
  • Content Moderation
  • Subscribe
  • Make posts
  • Views 
  • Likes and SuperLikes.

BZ: Why haven't there been any successful Web3 SM platforms up to this point?

Peak: We believe that the era of Web 3.0 applications (we call the movement "social financing") is at its birth. To be successful, we believe applications need gamification and user incentivization, which we try to implement in Collective. From our internal research, we did not see any Web 3.0 social platforms that implement gamification and user incentivization at the level we do. We constantly work to improve, and right now all our efforts are focused on publishing our iOS and Android applications, likely at the end of February 2023.

Last Word

It seems likely that in a few years, there will be no delineation between Web2 and Web3 social media. If projects like Collective are able to use P2M incenivization mechanics to heighten participation, it seems probable that Web2 platforms will follow their lead in order to compete.

Distrust of big tech and a greater desire for uncensored speech has been a hot topic, especially through 2022 and Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. But clearly, the balance between lack of moderation and creating a positive and advertiser-friendly environment has yet to be found.

It will be interesting to track these consumer trends in 2023 and see what users are willing to do in order to earn a little on their posts, possibly benefit financially from their posts and if they can interact harmoniously in a decentralized environment.

Cover image by Gerd Altmann

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