Proof of View — What’s the Value of a View?
Fake views, fake news, fake bots OH MY!
Unless you live in isolation, chances are you have been, are being, and will continue to be influenced by the swarm of “fake” that exists in the digital world today.
Most people don’t realise that what they’re presented with online through search results and recommendations is being manipulated behind the scenes. Articles and videos are being presented to you to read and watch with individuals, groups and businesses paying to drive their own agenda, make money, or simply give themselves visibility at the expense of others. The people pulling the strings have infiltrated and influenced the algorithms.
The Age of Algorithms
We’re in the social age of the internet and there’s never been more content. Whether it’s status updates, news articles or videos, there’s more content produced every second than anyone could realistically consume.
If we hone in just on video there are over 300 hours of content uploaded every minute to the largest video sharing platform. It’s hard to even imagine that amount of content, let along engage with it in any meaningful way!
In order to make sense of the sheer amount of content being uploaded every minute we rely on advanced algorithms to show us what we want to see and filter out everything, we don’t. The status updates you see in your feeds are prioritised by algorithms. Recommendations you see at the end of a video are also decided by algorithms. Even the advertisements across the web are prioritised based on algorithms.
Thankfully we’re not in a dystopian future yet where our lives are ruled by machines. We do still have some choice and those choices should be how the value of online content is ultimately derived. Likewise what you click on in-turn influences the algorithms which go on to help you make further decisions.
How Is Content Valued?
Different algorithms have different goals. For example, e-commerce algorithms are there to surface products you’re more likely to buy. Video platform algorithms are there to surface content which you’ll enjoy and want to engage with.
Algorithms collect all sorts of data to make these decisions based on your past behaviour on these sites.
Most video-sharing platform algorithms are there to make sure that platforms can bring in enough advertising revenue to pay their partners and creators. The more videos you watch, the more money can be made, because more advertisements can be shown. Whilst it’s still important that you enjoy what you’re watching, it’s just not always the primary goal. There is a business to run behind the scenes.
Social proof is becoming more and more important. Content that’s viewed more, liked more and shared more forms a feedback loop which means it’s given higher weighting by the algorithm. For example, if you “like” a video about a new smartphone you’ll quickly start to see more videos about that phone or tech videos in general. User engagement has become the key to getting content seen.
In an ideal world, algorithms would always show you the most relevant content. Yet an algorithm is only as good as the rules it’s programmed with and the data it receives. And we’ve already explained how the corporations skew those rules towards what makes them the most money. Now we’ll show you how the data is being manipulated.
The Age of Fake
In an ideal world, a great piece of content would be shared organically and grow in value as more and more people enjoyed it. But with more and more content being produced every day it’s getting harder and harder to get noticed. The biggest barrier to getting eyes on your content is gaining favour with the algorithms which decide what is surfaced or buried.
One way of gaining favour with an algorithm is to fake the social proof which the algorithms prioritise by buying fake video views and engagement on your videos. The views generated by bots, malware, and other techniques trick the algorithms into showing these videos to more people. The real people who see these videos are then more likely to click on them due to the invented social proof.
Unfortunately for viewers, videos inflated with fake views are often disappointing and of poor quality. Likewise, the advertisers who are paying to put their adverts against these “popular” videos are simply showing their ads to bots and they’re unfortunately also paying for it. It is an insanely inefficient return on investment, and ripe for disruption.
The creators who buy these fake views often get stuck in a cycle where they have to keep paying to maintain their advertising revenue whilst living in fear of their channel’s being banned if the platforms catch them doing it. On the other hand, legitimate creators who don’t buy views are always at a disadvantage as their videos don’t get the same prominence in the algorithms. It is ugly and slightly poisons the soul, but this is the business as it operates today.
It’s easy to understand why some creators use fake views. There’s a lot of money to be made. Manipulating these algorithms damages the ecosystem for viewers, creators, brands and advertisers. Viewers are given a false impression of content, advertisers and sponsors are misled, and creators that spend time making fantastic content but who don’t buy fake views are at a disadvantage.
Some platforms ban creators for buying fake views. However it is not unheard of for people to use this as a weapon and send fake views to a competitor’s channel to try and get them banned.
It is also in existing video platforms best interests to “turn a blind eye” to this practice as fake views make their platform look wildly more popular. The quick views they generate can make the company more money than cracking down on the problem.
Likewise, even if they did want to fix this, no-one would know how good a job they were doing as there’s literally no transparency or accountability.
Slowly but surely, the combination of advertising-funded content and fake video views is causing the value of content to be distorted.
We want to change all this madness.
Welcome to Proof of View (PoV™) by Verasity
Verasity’s proprietary blockchain technology, Proof-of-View, ensures that video’s (Content and Advertisements) viewed on the platform are real bona fide views that are verified by the community, and recorded as immutable public records. Our patent-pending technology ensures that all views and associated audience metrics on Verasity are accurate, secure, real, and transparent. No more fake views!
Proof of View unlocks the ability to derive the true value of content. We don’t stop there.
On the Verasity video sharing service, we’ve restructured how people get paid. Instead of Creators getting paid by Advertisers, Viewers reward Creators. This removes the influence that advertisers and other third-parties have on how content is ranked or surfaced. Content is now surfaced based on its value to the audience.
All video views are then assessed by our Proof-of-View technology to ensure that they’re real and the video has been seen by a real person who is actually watching the content. You can find out exactly how PoV takes down fake views in our whitepaper. Once a view has been confirmed as legitimate it is anonymized and then added to the Verasity Blockchain for 100% transparency.
By eliminating fake views, the Verasity ecosystem is able to fairly value content regardless of content type, audience demographic or a third party’s monetization strategy. For all our users, this means a better, more fair and valuable platform.
For Advertisers and Sponsors:
These benefits don’t stop with the Verasity video sharing service, we want to expose the entire world of Online video to this level of transparency. That’s why we created vDaf (Verasity Decentralized Application Framework). vDaf will allow any Online video application to integrate our enhanced blockchain components to bring Truth and Transparency to the global online video ecosystem. We are on a mission and look forward to bring transparency to the world of online video.
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