31 Social Networks Utilizing a Blockchain

in #blockchain3 years ago (edited)

In a previous post titled "The Evolution of Social Media," I took a trip through some of the historical highlights of social media beginning in the 1990s and touched on some of the current social media projects involving blockchains. What I didn't do in that post is give a comprehensive list of blockchain-based social media websites that are currently, or soon to be, operating. That's what today's post is.

It's significant to point out that many of these social media projects on the various blockchains are a response to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. If not directly, then indirectly. Even the projects that were kicked off prior to that event, such as Steemit, are a response to the centralized approach to the social media that has dominated online media since Archie Like Indexing gave information seekers the first centralized search engine for the Web. You can get the lowdown on that at Wikipedia.

Screenshot from the Web's Internet Archive

I don't claim the following list to be comprehensive, and certainly not exhaustive. What I have attempted to do is find as many blockchain-based social media projects that are currently operating or soon-to-operating as I could find. Some of these may not have launched yet. They could be in the ICO, pre-ICO, or post-ICO stage, but there are some projects that claim to be social that I'm leaving out.

My intent here is to list the sites whose core function is social. That is, they fall into what is commonly called "social media" or "social networking." In the age of decentralization, you'll find plenty of projects that try to include a social component but where that component is not the central feature of the platform. For instance, the Qbao Network is a cross-chain digital wallet with social features. The Mixin Messenger is a messenger app that exists within the larger framework of a peer-to-peer digital asset transaction platform. I could easily list other decentralized blockchain projects that include a social component but that are not inherently social or where the social component is not central to the business model, but that list is probably longer than the world's longest train track. I'll forego all of that.

At this juncture of blockchain technology development, there are many projects that simply don't have the staying power to survive the next shakeup. I'm not concerned about that here. If I heard about a site and couldn't find a website for it, it's not included in this list. If there is currently a Web home for the project and its core function is social, it's included. What happens after this post is published is beyond me.

Now, without further ado, I give you 31 social networks that utilize a blockchain (or cryptocurrency).

Pure Social Networking

Let's start with pure social networking. This is your ordinary social media website, no specialization, just a catch-all category that most social networks of any stripe can fit into.

1. Steemit - We'll start with the daddy of them. Steemit isn't the first social network to hop on a blockchain, but it is the largest. The blockchain is called Steem and Steemit is the social networking website dapp that sits on top of it. It's pretty basic. Self-defined as like Reddit, you see a white screen with a terrible user interface for posting your blog posts, but since Steemit was one of the first to market, they've got an advantage over everyone else. You can earn author rewards and curation rewards for the content you post, upvote, and resteem, as well as for comments you make on other Steemians' posts. They've been in steady traffic decline for the past year and currently have a global Alexa rank of 4,689.

Steemit Alexa rank
Screenshot of Steemit's Alexa rank

2. Trybe - Still within its first year, Trybe sits on the EOS blockchain. Interestingly, its front end is built on WordPress. That's okay, but WordPress is open source and not altogether secure. I've run my websites on it for over a decade. It is subject to being hacked despite being the leader among content management systems. A couple of weeks ago, I tried to log into my Trybe account and found out the platform had been hacked. The currency portion of the website, however, is on the blockchain and was entirely secure. As far as I know, no one lost any value though I couldn't log into my account for a few hours until they fixed it.

3. Narrative - Narrative is a promising up-and-coming site that sits on the NEO blockchain. Organized around Niches, which Narrators can buy or be nominated to moderate (Niche owners and moderators earn rewards for their roles), content creators choose three of these Niches to post into when they create their personal journal entries. Currently in alpha, I look forward to seeing how Narrative rolls out into beta, scheduled for April 2, 2019. Meanwhile, there has been a few controversies on the platform, all of which are minor against the big picture.

4. Minds - Minds calls itself "The Crypto Social Network." The site launched in 2015, which makes it the first blockchain-based social media site to go live, as far as I know. Minds sits on the Ethereum blockchain and its token is an ERC-20 token. Users can blog, check their newsfeed, participate in groups, chat on a messenger app, post photos and videos, and play in channels. Its global Alexa rank is 11,030. I honestly don't know why it's not more popular than it is.

Screenshot of the Minds home page

5. SoMee - SoMee used to be called onG. Now, the currency is onG and the website is SoMee. It isn't live yet and there's no information on the website. If you click on the Facebook icon, which should take you to a Facebook page, you'll get a message saying the app is still in development mode.

6. HyperSpace - This looks similar to Narrative. Users create spaces and invite others to join those communities, and get paid in the native currency for creating the content around those communities. Global Alexa rank = 396,014.

7. Mastodon - Mastodon promises ad-free content in a feed that is "non-algorithmic." That should sit real well for the anti-Facebook crowd. I haven't used it, but it looks a lot like Hootsuite. Users can post content up to 500 characters. Users can develop apps for the platform, as well, but I see no way to earn rewards for your content. Global Alexa rank = 78,661.

Screenshot of Mastodon

8. Sociall - Sociall's tagline is "We've reimagined social media." They launched in Q1 2018, so they're young compared to Steemit and Minds. With their own token on the Ethereum blockchain, their aim is to decentralize social media and let the community govern the platform. That's a lot like Narrative, but that's where the similarities end. They include instant messaging, a blog for users, crowdfunding, and a "Facebook migration tool." I like the sound of that, but I haven't used the platform so I have no idea how it works. Their Alexa traffic pattern looks like a roller coaster ride.

9. WhaleShares - WhaleShares has its own blockchain and was created by Steemit whale @officialfuzzy, who is also co-founder of BitShares. Regular users of Steemit understand how the platform has been plagued by bidbots since almost from the beginning. Many people have left the platform for that reason. WhaleShares has become popular among many Steemians who want a fairer shake in rewards for authoring and curating content. One of its most unique and interesting features is the ability to buy a whale vote on Steemit or Golos. Its Global Alexa rank is 128,741. It's very popular in Spain, India, the U.S., and Nigeria. This is one to keep an eye on.

Screenshot of the Whaleshares Welcome page

10. Global Social Chain - Calling itself the world's first social chain, they also claim to be the largest social media networking platform in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Their Global Alexa rank has plummeted by nearly 2 million users in the last three months, so that doesn't look so good.

Mobile Messaging Apps

I'm not into mobile messaging, probably because of my age, but my personal preference for sharing content is where I can let my brain fly like an eagle. Mobile and instant messaging doesn't comport well with that goal, so maybe if I was a millennial, I'd still prefer blogging and content curation. Nevertheless, WhatsApp and Snapchat have proven there is a market here. I've found three solid instant and mobile messaging apps on a blockchain.

11. Ono - Calling itself a "decentralized blockchain network," Ono also claims to be the largest decentralized autonomous community. Sitting on the EOS blockchain, the mainnet has yet to launch. Creators and curators earn rewards based on their content, voting, and commenting on other users' content. While there are other components to Ono, the instant messaging component is considered a part of its "fundamental ecosystem." Its Global Alexa rank is 958,076, though it has declined considerably in the last eight months.

12. Obsidian - Currently in alpha, Obsidian is a proof-of-stake blockchain with a messaging app. The app claims to be an "anonymous, encrypted communications application."

13. ADAMANT - Like Obsidian, ADAMANT was developed in 2017. Its blockchain uses a distributed proof-of-state consensus mechanism and thus far has not gained much traction.

Specialized Networking Platforms

These blockchain-based social networking platforms are akin to non-blockchain social media that target a specific specialization--like LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.

14. SocialX - A community for posting photos and video content. I'm not impressed.

15. Sapien - What's not to like about a social media platform that invites you to "take back your social experience?" This social news platform allows users to control their own data, rewards curators, and "fights fake news." Their SPN token sits on Ethereum. They have a nice looking website and their Global Alexa rank is 496,131. Most of that appears to be India.

16. Sola - In beta, Sola claims to be "social media without stress," a place you can "enjoy without getting tired." That sounds like a joke to me, but I'm not sure where the punchline is. The site's fairly attractive, but it looks like a Minds knockoff. Their cryptocurrency, SOL, is an ERC-20 token, and they're proud of their upcoming airdrop. I put Sola in the specialized category because users see content in cards delivered to them through an artificial intelligence algorithm. I haven't used the network, but that sounds interesting. Their Global Alexa rank is 128,277.

Sola.ai Alexa rank
Screenshot of Sola's Alexa rank

17. Indorse - Indorse is a LinkedIn-like social platform that allows users to validate each other's skills. That's an interesting concept, for sure, and I'm tempted to try it out. The Global Alexa rank is 455,730.

18. PROPS Project - A video sharing platform, plain and simple. I think it needs a better name, but it's endorsed by YouTube sensation Phil DeFranco, so what do I know? I do like some of the features. Props includes a downloadable mobile app and a game show app. Content creators and curators earn rewards without intrusive advertisers getting a share. I hope this one succeeds, however, current traffic numbers don't look too good.

19. LBRY - LBRY calls itself a "media network." I was intrigued enough to download this desktop app, but I haven't done anything with it. Still, the idea is there, and they appear to be quite popular. Their Global Alexa rank is 55,560. Most of it appears to be in the U.S. Creators can participate in a YouTube Partner Program and a 3D printing program.

Screenshot of LBRY's "Learn" page

20. DelegateCall - A question-and-answer website that pays tokens for asking and answering questions. That's pretty straightforward. Don't leave Quora yet, but this one has promise. It operates on Ethereum and Loom Network. Their Global Alexa rank is 449,950.

21. Smoke Network - Cannabis lovers now have their own social network on a blockchain. They use the delegated proof-of-stake mechanism on the Steem blockchain. Attractive site, get lit. Okay, bad joke. Their Global Alexa rank is 405,267.

Steemit Knockoffs

When you're the front runner in any contest, you'll undoubtedly have copycats. That's a compliment. In this case, since Steemit is open source, anyone can take the Steemit code and create their own knockoff, and many have. These are not the only sites that are based on Steemit, but these are the ones I find most interesting and/or that show a little promise--besides Smoke Network.

22. Bearshares - I'm not sure where this name came from (why not Bullshares?). You land on the site and it looks very much like Steemit. Nearly identical, but more attractive. Same concept as Steemit. Why would I use it? Most of their user base is in Nigeria.

23. Golos - Here's another obvious Steemit knockoff. Based in Russia, most of their user base is in Russia, but they are also popular in Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. Their Global Alexa rank is 53,866.

24. Serey - Based in Cambodia, they seem to be more popular in Bangladesh.

Steem-Based Dapps and Platforms

25. Dtube - Dtube is a video sharing platform based on the Steem blockchain. Users earn rewards for posting and sharing their videos and upvoting and commenting on others' videos.

26. DLive - DLive is a video live streaming platform that started on the Steem blockchain but has since jumped off chain and onto the Lino blockchain. Their Global Alexa rank is 21,145. In Turkey, they're ranked 536, well above the U.S. where they are ranked 10,297.

DLive Alexa rank
Screenshot of DLive's Alexa rank

27. WeKu - WeKu is another Steemit alternative with its own blockchain. Based on the Steemit and Graphene frameworks, it utilizes the blockchain, artificial intelligence, and InterPlanetary File System to create a truly decentralized content network. They call themselves a "blockchain-based SaaS community platform with rewards." WeKu has some unique features including a way for content creators to sell their works and license their works to others, and users can create and manage groups. On Steemit, many of these types of social features take place in Discord. On WeKu, they are baked into the platform. I've been resistant to trying WeKu even though it is popular among Steemians, but I may have to give it a try. As I get more familiar with it, I like what I see. Their Global Alexa rank is 187,404. They are most popular in the U.S., but they have respectable user bases in Nigeria, Colombia, India, and Canada. They launched last summer.

Social 'Communities'

These two platforms are Chinese-based platforms where the language is a bit confusing. I can clearly see that social networking is a primary component of the platforms, but I'm not sure what to make of them. That could be a translation issue, or it could just be a difference in how the Chinese view their media.

28. TTC Protocol - The TTC Protocol isn't so much a social network as it is a protocol for connecting various other social networks. It includes a blockchain and a token, and users are able to build dapps. That's about all I can understand from this, but it looks interesting.

29. QunQun - QunQun describes itself as a blockchain-based social community platform. That simply means users can create Twitter-like communities that are independent of each other and are incentivized to interact with each other. It's an interesting concept, but I'm not sure how well it flies. It doesn't seem to be popular anywhere.

Legacy Social Media

When legacy players begin adopting new technologies, you know that startups are onto something. However, they don't usually do as well as the startups who use the technology natively. Nevertheless, it's worth noting that two non-blockchain-based social media sites are now using cryptocurrency within their frameworks.

30. Kin - Social media app Kik launched its own cryptocurrency in 2017. Named Kin, the token can be used for payments and transfers between a variety of apps and sits on the Ethereum blockchain. Ranked 165 on CoinMarketCap, its market cap is a little over 17.5 million.

Source: CoinMarketCap

31. Facebook - Facebook sparked some interest last month when they announced they were buying a blockchain startup. Now they're talking about their own cryptocurrency. It looks like they're planning to use it with WhatsApp, the messaging app they paid big money for in 2014, for money transfers in India. This might seem innocuous, but if this experiment works for Facebook, I would not be surprised to see them incorporate their cryptocurrency into their advertising model on the Facebook platform. And who knows where else they could go with it?

Not only is it big news that Facebook is looking at its own cryptocurrency, but this is a big step for the Internet. Since Facebook competes with Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft on several levels, this should ramp up the competition among the Internet's largest companies and move cryptocurrencies closer to being widely accepted as a secure and trusted payment method. But that's a huge digression from the purpose of this blog post. With 31 social networks currently or soon-to-be operating on blockchains, and many of them in growth mode, I think we have a lot to look forward to with this new technology.

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Great article. This is very useful for me for the Class Action Lawsuit against Facebook & Google's Crypto Ad Ban.

Man, you gave us so much info I am going to have to come back to this to make sure I check them all out a bit. I see once again why you are a standout here for what you can do in a post.

Thanks, man. I really appreciate it.

Which one will take you to the moon or is that one not out there yet

I think that really depends. They all have something different to offer. You have to pick what works for you. That might be different for everyone.

Not when it come to profit and investing. One will do better then the others
As a blog platform I agree, what workers for you.

Yeah, at this time, STEEM is the frontrunner, but I'd say that has more to do with the blockchain than with Steemit. Steemit Inc. was smart to pivot toward a focus on Dapps. That will keep the value coming to the blockchain and allow developers to build something that will do better than Steemit. Currently, Steemit is in decline, but it's still in the lead. That could change at any time.

any new app that comes along takes the people from steemit mostly. so the decline is expected. steemit has not had an update in a long time making the platform easier to use.

the RC is a major factor for Steem . and a good development.

STEEM is the most important item no matter the platform.

Yeah, STEEM ties it all together. I hope we see a lot of new dapps roll of the blockchain. That will increase the value of STEEM. There's no reason STEEM's value should be derived solely from Steemit.

STEEM's value should be derived solely from Steemit

Totally agree and the more dapps the more demand on steem.

Interesting review and tips on platforms out there currently, need to test and look at a few when I have a few free minutes in a day, thanks @blockurator

Yeah, the free is the key word. I'd love to try some of these out, but there are only so many hours in a day.

What a brilliant article! 31 sites... jeez, you've really dived in and thanks for providing some more information on all the options. I've heard of probably 7 or 8 on that list, using 3. I was on Minds and Sola but I couldn't manage all the platforms and had next to nothing in those wallets so ditched them.

Just wish steem would sort its bidbot problems out because it could be so much better - the first mover advantage could be lost and seems like the user base numbers dwindling reflects that. It leaves people with no choice sometimes and don't blame them looking elsewhere.

Trybe, Whaleshares, Narrative and Steem are probably what I'll be "keeping an eye on". If only they all had an auto post feature from a WordPress site so there wasn't so much manual effort needed haha!

All of these sites will get better with more development. Some will fall away as the market won't support them all. But of those that survive, they'll get better. The more options people have, the less inclined they'll stick with Steemit, especially if they're churning out their best content and it's not getting seen because the bots are squeezing them out. Competition breeds excellence. If one platform doesn't excel, others will.

Yea I think there have been vast improvements already to some platforms and it can only get better for the serious ones. I agree with what you say, it's why I'm diversifying what I can now, which is a bit more work in the first instance but if one of them collapses, there's still a fall back option.

As for the bid bots, I read in another article on steemit that they account for around 1/3 of all post payouts! That's ridiculous! Like you say, you can spend hours writing your finest work and it may not even get a fraction of what it's true value is.

So what are your top 5 from your list?

@blockurator Thanks for being so detailed and informative, as usual! (:

I'm still awaiting the Narrative launch next month and hoping to see how that unfurls!

Just a curious thought I had (thinking out loud here): How would we know which will rise to be the dominant player in blockchain social media in the next few years? Eventually it will be very apparent, but is there any way to know slightly ahead of time so we have early adopter status?

If you have a crystal ball, you can see which blockchain will be the most valuable in terms of monetary investment as well as human practicality, and you'll be able to tell which blockchain-based social media website you can invest in today to maximize your investment. Crystal balls are excellent tools. I wish I had one. ;-)

I'm going to bookmark this article and read it like 5 more times just to make sure I get all the information you've put in here haha. Really well-written and educational!

Also, is Allen Taylor your real name? I read it in the article you posted on Trybe.

Yes, that is my real name. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the great compliment. I spread things like this around so they get more eyes on. Hacker Noon picked up on Friday.

Wow @blokurator, this is quite an impressive list and I very much appreciate the amount of time and effort you put into this.

I'm already on MINDS and Whaleshares but plan to look at Trybe because I'm curious, and maybe a couple of others on your list that I haven't already got accounts with.

Two other social apps built around blockchain are Peepeth and Bizz. Peepeth, would love to compete with the Twitter space. It requires metamask to sign transactions but it also allows tipping using ETH. There is also an option to cross post your peeps directly to Twitter.

Another messaging app is Bizz. They are building on their own SPS token and blockchain to compete with Whatsapp and Skype. They've got public and private groups, and should be rolling out livestreaming capability soon. You may want to look at these two 😊

Posted using Partiko Android

Awesome. Thanks for the heads up on Peepeth and Bizz. I'll check them out for sure. Thanks for reading.

31?!? That is legit! Great report on all of them and it is nice to see the number increasing as social media begins to embrace crypto/blockchain

Posted using Partiko iOS

Yes, that's a great number. I think there are probably more. I just didn't find them all. But I don't expect all of them to stick around. We'll have to wait and see which ones survive. The ones that do will be the Facebooks and Twitters of tomorrow.


Excellent article. I've been looking for exactly this kind of list for a long time.

BTW, very well written and edited. Excellent flow.


Thanks. This IS the most comprehensive list anywhere on this topic.

Great review of all these block chain social media alternatives. It will be interesting to see which ones actually take hold and take off.

Yes, I agree. I can't wait to see who becomes the leader in a few years.

Thanks for the info. There were some social media names which I never heard of. But now, I bet all are waiting Facebooks next news on their own blockchain.

Posted using Partiko Android

Yeah, I think there are some interesting projects. I'm anxious to see where Facebook goes, and who follows them.

@blockcurator Wow! This list certainly make one's head spin. So many and I am sure that the future holds many more. I am one of those "one horse" guys and if I keep flagging a dead horse, only then will I move on to another normally at the advice of those in the know!

And it seems that you are one of those, as this is indeed a very detailed post my friend. Well done!

Thanks a lot, good fellow. Glad you liked it. :-)

Thanks for the list and descriptions.

I'm currently trying out Publish0X. It seems OK so far.

Namaste, JaiChai

WoW so many .... never knew

I didn't either until I looked into this.

I have my hands full withthis,i want to haveloze time to spend in discord, online in comments and blogs, but gotta work and be a member of the family.
But your blog was very interesting

Thank you for reading. Glad you liked it.

I did , it was a long one , but ok

I am on some of them.

I knew facebook couldn't resist to join in the blockchain. It was just a matter of time. From banning crypto currency ads to reversing the ban. Another way to increase their already enormous assets.

If you don't see the writing on the wall, you'll eventually have your name written on it. At that point, you'll be a blip in history.

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What a wonderful analysis @blockurator! You’ll get a Resteem and a bookmark from me so I can revisit this great post while researching these other blockchain based social platforms. Well done

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