Why I see Facebook of little threat to Steemit

in philosophy •  last year  (edited)

As an offshoot of the article It's not Them, it's Us which I wrote last night in support of @denmarkguy's post, I will continue another discussion with a friend in chat about Facebook with the highly esteemed musician, @elliotjgardner.

I spend a lot of time thinking about human behaviour both on and off Steemit as it is this that creates culture, society and all of the communities therein. I have mentioned how having currency attached to Steemit makes it much more real than the other social platforms and how those that come in expecting to do what they do there here, will struggle. There are many aspects and complexities but, this is why Facebook will have a very hard time competing.

Again. Us.

A threat?

People seem to think that all Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the other plague-forms need to do is implement their own broad-scale monetization process. Essentially, copy Steemit and do the same. But, this is only going to 'work' if all things remain equal but, it is a fundamental change to their models and, human nature kicks in.

Facebook has 2.1 Billion quarterly users, Instagram 800 million monthly, Twitter 330 million monthly with many overlaps. Introduce cryptocurrencies and broad-spectrum ability to earn and a few critical things take place. We see it here and we are only about 40,000 active users.

People did not sign up to the other platforms with the idea that they can earn from it and we see that when those same people cross over here, they quickly shift their ideas and many feel that they should now be earning for offering the same they do there. These people rarely do well at Steemit. But, what happens when 2.1 Billion users suddenly feel entitled to earnings based on a picture of their lunch or holiday snaps?

Humans and entitlements

In 2017, Facebook revenue was 40 Billion. How massive is that? Well, 20 dollars per user in a year. Pretty insignificant if spread evenly but of course, it won't be spread evenly as the same people who are monetized on Youtube and Instagram will also take the lion's share on Facebook. So now, people will see Kim Kardashian post a picture of her lunch on Facebook and earn 10 million dollars while 100 million others do the same for zero. Want to see some angry people?

Then there are the other behaviours that seem inherent when money is introduced which is all of the negative spam and follow4follow, vote4vote, circle-jerking, scamming, good post, sir! behaviours that take place in a quest for a few cents more. 2.1 billion now expect a return, how do they behave?

Ah, then there is the plagiarism issues, the rights of use issues, the who gets what issues as these platforms are based on cross-pollination where people have been encouraged to share the work of others rather than create their own. Youtube is massive in part because places like Facebook are sharing platforms and in order to 'go viral' one must get shared across many. Who gets paid? The creator or the sharer? Perhaps both? Anyone want to see real spam behaviours in play?

What about when suddenly billions of people now are able to potentially earn something and in many places, that something is significant. How hard would you work for a chance at 10 or 20 percent more per year? What does that do to the economies at a local level? Perhaps it is a good thing in the longrun but, it is going to cause some major headaches for the taxman and the ministries of finance. Not that i am overly sympathetic but, when governments struggle economically, their responses are generally poor and the people suffer.

And then, what about privacy itself? How is it going to work with accounts that are hidden groups of friends. Will everyone open up their accounts to the world in the hope for income? The kids too? Will people create private circles of upvoters in the same way they do here, bid-bots, vote trading?

The wrong shape foundation

My point is that introducing value onto such platforms will fundamentally challenge the way the system has been designed and more importantly, the culture of the users who interact there. This means that the behaviours of billions of people will very quickly shift to incorporate something they haven't seen before which will apply many, many unforeseen pressures and consequent failures along the way. It will bring out the absolute worst in some people and perhaps, the best in a few.

With so many things connected and influenced by these systems, implementation would completely change the way the world operates and, if not thought through and prepared well, it is unlikely to be a smooth transition or, a happy ending.

There is also another core problem with these platforms, centralisation. Because they are centralised, rather than the users being responsible for all of the bad behaviours, it is the platform itself who is wholly unprepared to deal with the litany of lawsuits raised of intellectual property, cyber-bullying, scam activities, branding rights, sharing rights, loss of income claims, human rights and of course, censorship.

The can of worms is too big at this point for them to implement in a similar way as Steemit and there are way, way too many worms inside for them to handle. This means that their foray into this area will be severely limited to limit their own headaches. As i see it, that means very little decentralisation and spread away from the core or, those that they want to support. Essentially, not much will change for most people but those already monetized will have a streamlined process and the centralised companies will make more profit.

Steemit's growth potential

And, this is where communities like Steemit will excel and have the potential to capitalise as it is designed to and continually learning and adjusting to combat these factors from the ground up. Users that come in even from the other platforms quickly learn to adjust or, leave and think that the experiment has failed. It has not, it is evolving organically.

The ripples are spreading out and as we face a challenge, we build upon what we know to learn and grow and further develop a culture of inclusion for those wanting to add value. It is far from ready but, it is always moving generally forward.

Culture of the platform and behaviours of the users matter and for the most part at Steemit, the people are involved are more decentralised orientated than the average. They are also more aware on average of the state of the world's economic and political systems and more likely to surround themselves with alternate views than the mass media offers.

It also makes us blind as we are siloed with similar people who are also more freedom orientated and establishment wary. Most of the world is not and they are much more susceptible to the manipulations of the centralised authorities. It is because of that that whatever Facebook offers, they will likely accept but at a decreasing rate until, they find themselves rejecting what they have been fed.

It will be at this point then that true mass adoption of decentralised platforms and currencies take place as they will have finally awoken to the realisation that, there is another way.

More work, as always

When I talk about building this community a large part of the very long-term view is in preparation of building platforms, cultures and communities that are ready to be that other way. A way where many, many more benefit and suffering and oppression is reduced. Sure, it is idealistic and will face a massive amount of pushback but, that is part of the process to develop, the strength to withstand and grow even under extreme pressures.

The reason for so many of our failures as a species is Us and, the chance at success also lies with Us. We are potentially part of the foundation for a shift in the way the world operates or, a footnote as to how it all went wrong.

[ a Steemit original ]

Once again, there are many sides to this to consider and I hop that some people do take some time to think about these things here at some level. We have possibilities.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

yeah sure!
When my friend was introducing me to steemit, one key statement he made was, "hey courage, its an extra way to make large bucks". and then I rushed all in, and the first set of post i saw was on the "trending" section and I got to see the large amount of $$$ these guys were making and I said to myself that i could do the same or even more. then I started, introductory post made a little sense financially, and thereafter, I couldnt boast of $1 and i felt down. I felt the system isn't working and I felt like leaving.

But then, I had to do a little research and I found out I was missing the INTERACTION AND SOCIAL part of the system.

And for the past few days, I've stooped writing and I intend socializing more, get more acquainted with the system and do more research as well.

Now my point is, I was fed with the wrong mindset and a lot of us are too and in turn, we act wrongly and it affects our environment.

If we can really settle down to think, study and do things rightly, I am sure this community and the world at large would be a better place.

Steemit is still growing, and with the right policies and mindset, we would get to where our contemporaries are. Most times, it's really not about the numbers, I will prefer value to numbers.

Thanks @tarazkp for sharing


I definitely agree with you on this. I can sense that a huge percent of new users here in Steemit becomes inactive as soon as they realize that it's not easy money.

I brought in 10 of my friends here in Steemit, but they seem to find it difficult to progress. With it, I realized that you need to work hard here in Steemit to achieve something. Well, there are those who get lucky, but for most, it's going to be tons of sweat and a couple of disappointment before our posts get noticed.

Anyway, I haven't thought of Facebook being a threat to Steemit. Hence, this post stirred my interest. The conventional view is the other way around wherein Steemit is the threat to Facebook.

But in my opinion they are different -- something very hard to be compared. Each has a particular use. There might be overlaps but I think they serve different purpose.


Now my point is, I was fed with the wrong mindset and a lot of us are too and in turn, we act wrongly and it affects our environment.

It does indeed and if we are not the ones to adjust, the pathway forward is already set. I am sure that as your learn, you will also grow and ear more in time.


Yeah. I've devoted time to learn. And honestly, you have been dishing out great wisdom. Every post from you, I always have something to write down and think about.

Its almost a month now since I joined Steemit precisely on 13th January and I intend doing an "appreciation post" on this platform. And if I have your permission, I would have loved to mention your name and give a "proper thank you". Cuz at your feet, I have learned a lot and my perception about this platform has greatly been redefined


That is the problem with steemit so far. People see the money aspect of it and think to themselves. I spend time on other social media and get nothing in return, I might as well try steemit. They join the platform and form enormous expectations looking at the trending tab. They try to emulate the same results but they are let down by the unrealistic expectations. That is one of the major reasons why people leave the platform. The cycle keeps repeating...I hope steemit is going to hide the amount that a creator is about to receive after beta. It's for the better good of the community!


I hope steemit is going to hide the amount that a creator is about to receive after beta. It's for the better good of the community!


Great article.
I think the other reason FB implementing a SMT-type system wouldn't work is because FB currently relies heavily on the income from advertisers.

Will people pay for FB ads anymore? What would be the point? And would the ads be as effective?

Ever since joining Steemit in September, I have noticed an amazing shift in my feed, because as I have followed more writers who are producing what I consider quality content, and continuing to vote/share it, my feed has none of the spam, memes, and other crap I was getting very disillusioned by.

Someone else wrote something about this recently.... Steem is not slave to the all-powerful algorithm as FB is. My feed is filled with content that I have chosen to see. Not so with FB.

This place is still in its infancy, and I think what is happening that the current community is working out the kinks.

FB is on the way out. People are getting jack of it - at least from my observations in my community.


Someone else wrote something about this recently.... Steem is not slave to the all-powerful algorithm as FB is. My feed is filled with content that I have chosen to see. Not so with FB.

Something that has a lot of power that people do not often consider fully. The algorithms they run at FB etc do a lot more damage than anyone cares to admit.


It's become a little like Pandora's Box though... at first it was annoying. But now more and more people are getting jack of it, and vocalising their discontent. And the more they try to fiddle with it and 'fix' it to please users, the shitter it gets. They're in strife, and Zuckers knows it.

Sincerely speaking, I have never read a better comprehensive analysis of steemit-Facebook clash of interest.

I think this brings out the hidden underlying factors that many of us have failed to reason out.

I mean, come to think of it, Facebook knows about Steemit. They are pretty much aware of the impending danger and harm this platform could cause to their user base as well as their stand in the social media space. They have every opportunity and leverage to knock out steemit by incorporating this kind of curation system on their platform , BUT THEY HAVEN'T!

It means, it's not that straight forward and easy for them. I saw a lot of reason with every point you made.

I still maintain my stand that steemit will be a major competition to Facebook and all centralized social networks out there. Maybe not this year. Maybe not even three years from now....but definitely, eventually it will get there.

There's this natural diffusion that takes place when people start learning they can earn on a platform for doing the same thing they were doing previously on another platform.

I for one, haven't made a single post on Facebook since I joined steemit in December. You can imagine how gravely my attention has shifted.


Maybe not this year. Maybe not even three years from now....but definitely, eventually it will get there.

People are trying to rush it but there is a long way to go before truly mainstreaming it. People forget it is still in Beta and has many issues to iron out. As we grow though, it has a lot of potential along the way.

I for one, haven't made a single post on Facebook since I joined steemit in December. You can imagine how gravely my attention has shifted.

I have been largely MIA there a while too ;)

I actually read it and totally agree with you. Converting fbook users to steemit woul require a shift of consciousness that some how doesn’t fit the criteria of their average user. Yes, some could make the transition, but not without changing expectations. Most IMO would give up before getting started.
Steemit is a unique platform where people do connect. They also learn, about anything they are inclined to be interested in. A great value here is learning how to be charitable to others.
Many thanks. 🐓🐓


They also learn, about anything they are inclined to be interested in. A great value here is learning how to be charitable to others.

There are many values here surrounding this.


To be fair, some people just won't be into Steemit, and that's fine. They want to just be able to post pictures of their cats or their food and post memes and share banal drivel. They just won't earn SBD posting that crap here.

So horses for courses. I don't use Twitter, because its not my thing. Or Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn....

Steemit requires a different mindset - for me I'm spending more time on Steemit and Medium because that's the kind of content I value - and can contribute meaningfully to!!!

I agree with you, Steemit is a paradigm shift. It is a new way of going about things. In Steemit communities come together naturally while Facebook has to force this. Steemit is in another area than Facebook, unless Mark decides to incorporate crypto currency to their site :P

Facebook will have a hard time fitting into the niche steemit has claimed. There are so many aspects of the facebook system of operation that will find difficulty in utilizing the cryptocurrency mode.

For one, will the shareholders be willing to let go off their control of revenue and let the users share of the financial reward? I strongly doubt this.

Facebook has a long way to go before it can be like steemit and even then, they will still fail.

Well, steemit has amazing potential..
And I can safely say that if enough people are informed about steemit, they'll leave facebook without even blinking.
I was very active on Facebook before I joined steemit and now in the past week or so I've only opened facebook because I got a notification of some kind.
Enough people don't know about steemit.
We need to inform more and more people about this

  ·  last year (edited)

Here are steemit meetings and it is unbelievable how fast the community is growing in the Philippines! Steemit should win it of facebook! I hope it will keep going on and people keep sharing their thoughts they would never have shared before on the internet!

First of all I have to say that your language here is much lighter compared to other posts..Thank you for making this in layman language.

Yes..Steemit has the potential to shift the Modus operandi of the entire world if treated nicely.There is no need of monetisation in FB because it won't work as you mentioned and also that platform does it's job pretty very well!

I won't trample FB just because I possess a steem account..I need it as it connects me with thousands of my friends and also it had already become my public diary.The Me here is not just 'Me'!

Facebook is great and all, but it’s dying. People don’t want to be bombarded by ads, groups, etc. They want to communicate with their friends, learn about new things, and actually feel like they’re growing or at least enjoying their time.

Steem might be a bit lacking on the communicate with friends part but it all other areas we have FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc. beat! There’ll never be ads, we support awesome content creators, hopefully pushing them to be better, and we have an open ecosystem allowing for invotions like DTube, SteemChat, DLive, etc. For Steem there’s no where to go but up!

Yeah very good.
My friend had used to steemit from october 2017. And he made good dollar after told me about steemit . After introducing i join this sight but i had no knowledge about the steemit .even how to use this how can make i dollar all problem i had that's why may be 10 days i spend in understand .after using and using i understood every thing also my friend helped me. This was my little story about the steemit.
Very thank you for sharing ..

What would happen to Steemit if a billion users are on board?

Does the platform have the ability and a team size to handle such huge user base? (Assuming a majority of them are spammers and ID thiefs)


from a blockchain perspective, it should scale and the witnesses will be able to add further capabilities. From a speammer/Id thief perspective, it is about educating those who are here for benevolent reasons. if it happened today, it would struggle, if it grows slowly, there are definitely ways to combat it as the steem decentralises giving more weight to more people. The team will of course grow as required also.


Only time will tell. But am loving Steemit for sure.

Although steemit have small amount of active user but it grow slowly slowly and one day it has more active user than any other social media like facebook and insta etc
Steemit i think is only social media which give rewards to their user
Thanks for sharing you views and knowledge
Keep it up
I wish you all the best

I don't think facebook would work if Mark Zuckerberg decided to turn things around and make it like steemit. It's usually disastrous when you want to introduce a new upgrade to lots of people who have been using it for a long time. So many people won't love the idea while some will. Steemit has something better... They started from scratch with people signing up because they love the idea. Lucky for the steemit team, they are the first to roll out something like this. There's always an edge a pioneer has over other newbies.
To me, it's as simple as that
It's just as simple as that.

Have a nice day. Steemit is still growing, and with the right policies and mindset, we would get to where our contemporaries are. Most times, it's really not about the numbers, I will prefer value to numbers.

Thanks @tarazkp for sharing

Nice. I like


Was it the picture? Because, I can't imagine you actually read it.

  ·  last year (edited)

I read somewhere Mark Zuckerberg was going to investigate cryptos. I am curious how that will turn out.

Thanks for sharing great post

i agree with you steemit is best platform in all social media.good work

if you have time, after reading such great review (which is of course good) welcome aboard! my blog about the holidays. I personally get very happy. sorry that today without comment! you can't get through and get close !)))

I expect It all hinges on the price of advertising space as that's how it's funded. Social media in it's own entity is a very profitable business the facebook ad space alone is a diamond mine so Mr Zuckerberg can afford to dish out a few cents a post of that I have no doubt.
Is Steemit trying to attract the general audience of Facebook is another question & the reverse of the same question is even more important, Is Facebook trying to attract the general audience of Steemit?
I don't think it is or it can, Steemit is a site for authors, journalists, Artists & photographers to socialize with each other on the internet. Facebook aren't going to pull us out they aren't of our ilk & eloquence. The average Facebook user wouldn't last 2 weeks on here it's a different ballgame.
We want new users but we want good ones & that's what we will get the bad ones can fall by the wayside & go & spam up twitface.
Comparing facebook to Steemit is like comparing a Ford to a Bentley, they are both cars, they will both get you there, it's just that one is a more refined & pleasurable experience.