Hello Steemit and fellow steemians! It’s about time and we are very excited to introduce the Steem project we’ve been working on for a year now, Deegram!
We’re a startup company based in Norway, and we’re developing Deegram, the decentralized telegram, built on the Steem blockchain. It’s a mobile application for Android and iOS to share content and showing the real you. Share a picture, a song close to your heart, or an article that you found interesting, let people know what matters to you.
We want to be part of building the next generation of social media, and we firmly believe that the Steem network is the place to be in the years to come. Steem has seen healthy growth since the beginning, and we now have over one million users, and there’s been over $40M distributed in rewards.
We started working on the concept of Deegram about a year ago before we discovered Steemit and the Steem blockchain. One of the team members had a summer internship at the Norwegian tax administration, working with a proof-of-concept blockchain application on the Ethereum blockchain.
During the spring and summer we kept tuning the concept and doing further research, and the more effort we put into it, the more we realized how much this generation change of social media and content creation is needed.
We produce the real value and all the fascinating content in social media, we are the reason social media is so great. Facebook and Instagram is a comprehensive source of information and entertainment, however, the big corporations own our data and make all the profits. Our personal data is analyzed and used for campaigns and building a ‘bubble’ of information around us that reinforce our current beliefs and doesn’t challenge us. Corporations using our data against us needs to stop.
But this seems similar to other projects, what about Steepshot, Appics, … ?
We're glad you asked!
There are a lot of great projects and applications being built on Steem, and we hope that we can contribute to making the Steem ecosystem even stronger.
You can post pictures on Deegram, but that is not our only purpose, it is just the first implementation we’re publishing.
Deegram is a place to share everything, whether it’s music, articles, books, movies or places to visit. The feed is highly customizable and we’re building a cleaner and streamlined way of filtering content to your personal preference.
Perhaps you’re not interested in Greg sharing 80’s glam rock, but you would like to see pictures of his pet and take inspiration from his great taste in movies and articles.
We work continuously with other people and users to help us make Deegram better, by distributing questionnaires, performing interviews, and testing both design, user experience and prototypes.
We want to tailor this social network for the users. We want Deegram to bridge the gap between blockchain and the masses, we want to make Steem the new mainstream in social media.
A big part of making that happen is in our minds the communication with the users. We’ve had several rounds on our pitches; pitching Deegram, explaining how Steem works and where the money comes from, explaining blockchain as a concept. If the users can’t really understand where the money comes from and how this is possible, the threshold for joining will be higher. Skepticism has been a major hurdle for crypto, so it’s up to us all to show the world what crypto really can mean for society.
Another important factor we have a lot of focus on is simplifying the experience for the user. Getting the payout needs to be as simple as the click of a button. As of now, we don’t have that yet, but we plan to.
Speaking of the users, one interesting discovery we made during our market research for Deegram (we were granted some funding from Innovation Norway to do market validation) was that a lot of the respondents didn’t find the aspect of monetization interesting, as “it's not the reason they are on social media”. That’s when we brought in the charity aspect.
“What if you could just set your favorite charity to receive the earnings from the effort you put in social media?” - We asked. The response was a lot better than when we asked if they wanted to earn money themselves.
We’re developing the app cross-platform for both Android and iOS using Xamarin forms, and we’ll host images on infrastructure that ensure that users on our client can have their media files deleted. The references to media will be on the blockchain, yes, but we need to be able to invalidate the references to meet the requirement and demand for privacy and control for the users.
We’re following and looking into the possibility of integrating decentralized alternatives with projects such as Sia, IPFS, and Datum once they are more mature. However, as of right now we will keep using established cloud services to ensure the best product quality and stability.
Who are we?
The startup was founded by Robin (@robinron) and Sondre (@sflovik), but we’re not doing this all alone, we also have Stefan (@steblo94) on the team as a designer and web-developer. Morten (@amigos) has been a great help by developing major parts of the application as part of his Bachelor's thesis. We’ve also hired a developer part-time over the summer to help us finish the Alpha version, as well as a consultant from an established firm to do code-review and some optimization.
At the University of Agder, we have access to a large network of competency from students, lecturers, professors and Ph.D. candidates from several different fields within engineering, marketing, finance and social sciences. We have office spaces at the university incubator, where we also have assigned project mentors and advisors, including a professor in alternative finance and a renowned crowdfunding expert.
We will go into further detail and present our team members in the future.
A picture of the founders and the fantastic team of IT students at the showcasing of bachelor's project at the University of Agder. They all did their bachelor's thesis on Steem and performed development on Deegram. @sflovik representing with the @steemfest t-shirt from Lisbon
We’re all really excited to share more about the project with you in the time to come, and we’d be pleased if you leave a comment or give us some feedback on the work we’re doing.
If you want to know a little more about your project you can visit https://www.deegram.com/ and follow us on traditional social media (@deegramofficial) to check out our activity, coverage and more information about who we are.
We’re eager to stay in touch with the community here and find the best way possible of bridging the gap between the blockchain community and the everyday user. We’re doing our part from Norway, and hope to get in touch with as many of you as possible! All tips, feature suggestions and criticism are definitely appreciated.
Edit: Wow, thanks for all the support! We noticed that a lot of you want to try out the app, we have a form for you if you want to be prompted right away when it's ready to test (we will of course announce here as well).