I know everyone here has a massive hard-on for Steem (and so do I) which has spurred me to find other startups similar in nature. So far, I have found quite a few decentralized social media (DSM) projects. Some have been released, others haven’t. This is my small but comprehensive list of what I have found so far.
Before reading any further, I would like to say that I am not a dev or even very techie when it comes to crypto and programming. I am pretty much your front-end user and am writing about observations I have gathered from exploring and researching these platforms. If there is any content in this article that is inaccurate, please do not hesitate to comment. That, in itself, is valuable because my observations are probably how “laymen” perceive the info.
1. Synereo (duhhh)
Synereo seems to be a very promising platform with dedicated devs and has been several years in the making. Synereo uses its very own AMP coin that can be used to pump up visibility of posts created by its users. Synereo also offers a platform for applications to be developed, distributed, and then used by its members. I believe this is a similar to Steemians that create apps such as catchawhale.com and steemd.com, however Synereo’s application platform integrates user-created apps all under one roof. AMP has been floating around .16 per coin which is pretty promising.
There has been some controversy around Synereo’s crowdsale of AMPs and some are not happy about the setting of an ICO:
There has been rumors that Steem ripped of Synereo’s idea of a decentralized social media platform, but that is speculation, more or less.
You can sign up for Synereo’s newsletter and get involved in bounties and what not here:
MaskNetwork has been launched very recently and still has a small user-base. An interesting idea behind Mask is that everything you do on the network requires a small MaskCoin fee. For example, when you upvote a post, you pay a small amount of your coin to do so. These coins go into an undistributed pile. Also, there will also be no more than 21 million coins in existence.
Apparently, MaskNetwork had a pretty serious glitch where people lost their coin. These users feel they were ripped off but it is hard to tell what really happened. You can read more about it here:
There are also bugs o’ many on the GUI; dead links, broken URLs, some links even loop back into the login page. There are also some strange functionality issues that I cannot quite figure out yet, like finding a directory of posts or users.
MaskCoin is not currently being traded on the major market sites, therefore all of your coin lies in the hands of their network.
Yours.network is planning to give Steem (and every other DSM) a run for its money by using Bitcoin for its coinbase. Some heavy hitter devs (one being Ray X. Charles, former Reddit dev) are leading the project which could give this platform the dominating edge over all others, including Synereo. Skipping altcoin altogether by using the one-and-only Bitcoin can be a DSM game changer.
You can sign up directly for Yours.Network and be included in the early preview:
An interesting article with some juicy quotes from Yours.Network dev Ray X. Charles:
4. Akasha Project
Advanced Knowledge Architecture for Social Human Advocacy, aka Akasha, is an Ethereum based DSM that is built on the foundation of being a censorship-resistant platform. Beta is supposed to be launched in Q3 or Q4. It has the usual mechanics of a DSM but they have a new-age holistic type theology that I am assuming is the direction they want to take the project. You have to check out the website to catch my drift:
There is not a whole lot of information on this project which is probably a good thing; keeping a low key approach before launching may stave off some staunch criticism as the other platforms have been exposed to.
Diaspora* is yet another decentralized platform but is not based on rewarding content or curation with coin. It does qualify to be on this list as the platform is decentralized and is owned by its userbase. Diaspora* has independently developed and operated nodes. The devs created this platform to provide a social haven that is resistant of corporate takeovers and advertisement. As of March 2014, one million accounts existed (which has gone down exponentially).
Diaspora* was developed by a group of college kids at New York University in 2010. Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the founders, was found dead shortly after in 2011. He committed suicide by asphyxiation with helium (didn’t know that was possible). This terrible incident was a huge blow to the young Diaspora* team and likely stunted the growth of the project infinitely.
Diaspora* does get HUGE props for being the first of its kind (that I know of) by creating a platform for users to express themselves without having to worry about big brother peering over their shoulders.
The name, sorry, but it is god awful. It reminds me of a feminine hygiene product. And what is up with the freakin asterisk??
Diaspora will go down in the history books of crypto and social media.
So what do you think? What platform are you betting on? All? None? What do you think about DSM?