What shall we call ‘decentralized social media’? Decentralized finance was easily turned into DeFi, but DeSM or DeSocMed doesn’t have quite the same ring. Still, somebody will come up with a shortened version in time.
One of the proponents of decentralized social media is Stani Kulechov, the founder of the Aave DeFi protocol. He has been tweeting teasers about his support for decentralized SM platforms, pointing out that there is a widespread belief that the current SM platforms generally ‘suck’. Twitter has also been talking about it, which surely points to that’s the way it is considering going.
According to The Defiant, five persons in crypto told the website that Kulechov has sent them a cryptic text asking them to sign up to ‘lens.dev. However, The Defiant was unable to find out from Aave or Kulechov any more information about this site.
The Lens Protocol
Follow the lens.dev link yourself and you’ll find yourself at a simple site that contains a short letter expressing dissatisfaction with Web2.0 social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter. The letter says, “Web3 brings forth a renewed hope for what social media can be. It offers the ability for us to control how our content is used. We can have the power to own and monetize our content and community with no middlemen or centralized data harvesting.”
Should you wish to sign the letter, you do so with a tweet. The tweet includes a cryptographic signature that uses their Ethereum wallet and text that usually reads “I should own this tweet @lensprotocol #digitalroots.”
This is not the first attempt to decentralize social media. Other efforts include STEEM, which emphasized blogging; FEEDWEAVE, which was built on Arweave and Cent is an experiment in selling content. None of them have made much impact on the SM world, but as The Defiant says, “the top minds in the space seem to believe that this is still a crackable use case for one blockchain or another.” Indeed, Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX said, “I think social media on the blockchain — I continue to think this could be absolutely huge. I think it solves a lot of existing pain points, which are really coming to the forefront of society right now.” Of the others who have been talking up the idea, one supporter is Vitalik Buterin, who has proposed an SM platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. However, perhaps Aave will beat him to it, and these cryptic tweets are just the beginning of the platform’s attempt to finally deliver a blockchain-based, decentralized social media platform. Then perhaps we’ll know what to call it!