Decentralizing Social Media Rewards: Steem and Snax comparison
Rewarding social influencers
If a lot of people enjoy your content and listen to you, you should be able to monetize this achievement. There are, however, multiple problems that creators across platforms face when trying to monetize their success.
These problems are:
- You have to rely on advertising revenue or on donations.
- Platforms that provide ad sharing take a large cut from the ad revenue, with Youtube and Twitch taking half of any money generated by your content.
- Tight control exerted by the platforms over who gets to participate in their partnership programs resulting in censorship and favoritism.
- If you find a new platform with better monetization, you have to move your followers there or grow a new audience from that platform community.
Cryptocurrency can solve those problems. In this article, we will look at how two blockchain networks Steem and Snax try to solve these problems.
Steem is a blockchain-based blog platform for publishers to monetize content and grow communities. You can earn rewards by posting, commenting and curating content on Steem blockchain.There is a STEEM coin which is a cryptocurrency of the platform.
Snax is a blockchain platform that allows people to receive rewards for the social attention they receive (tweets, Instagram posts, and so on) and to make instant free micropayments without leaving their favorite social platform. SNAX tokens emitted for the social attention you recieve on already existing public platforms.
Although Steem and Snax have similar blockchain structure, the ways they implement the technology to create decentralized social rewards are extremely different. In a nutshell, Steem chose to create its own social infrastructure to use its blockchain, while Snax is built as a layover of existing popular social media.
Marketing on social networks has been steadily increasing for the past decade, reaching more than 6 billion dollars on Instagram alone, but most of that revenue is left in the hands of the platform.
Both Steemit and Snax provide publisher rewards directly to the content creators, independent from any advertisers and censorship.
Earning Snax tokens is simple - you continue making content on the same platform that you used and Snax will reward you for the social attention you receive with no strings attached. All you have to do is join Snax.
Snax rewards you based on your Attention Rate (AR from here) in the social network that you are using like Twitter, Instagram, or even Steem. AR is a metric that was developed by Snax to measure the comparative importance of the content in the social network. It is different for each social network, but generally, it works in a similar way to how Google indexes pages to make sure you get the show them in search results.
Snax takes into account factors like how popular is a person who upvoted your Steemit post or retweeted your tweet, how many likes or retweets you got over a fixed period of time (different for each platform), how many people are there on the platform and how supportive the followers are of your tweet. To learn more about how Snax evaluates Attention Rate you can read Snax white paper here.
Snax is against censorship, and we believe in your ability to choose which platform you want to use to express your opinion. That is why we are going to support multiple social networks, including Twitter and Steemit.
Steemit has its own social network called Steemit with a complex reward system that is generally described by this graphic here.
Figuring out how it works is no simple task, but the basic process is that if you post an article and people upvote it, you will receive a reward which is split between you, a publisher, and people who have upvoted your post, the curators. The more Steem Power (can be converted to STEEM) the user, who has upvoted you, has, the more STEEM tokens you will receive.
You can convert STEEM to Steem Power (later SP) to increase your upvoting ability and to have a higher chance of your article coming to trending, and you will receive dividends on your tokens after some period of time.
What about my audience?
Whether you are writing about blockchain, startups or you have a food blog you want to make sure you will have an audience on the platform of your choice. When you move to a platform with better monetization you have to either bring your followers with you or grow a new fan base on that network.
With Snax you do not have to worry about it. Snax blockchain is seamlessly integrated into existing social media networks - your followers, and the whole community of the social network you are on, do not need to be registered with Snax, you will be rewarded for their support. If they do decide to join, they will be given some free tokens to spend on their favorite creator, and also will get a chance to earn SNAX for their social activity themselves.
Whatever social media Snax will integrate into blockchain in the future, this principle will always stay - you will continue using your favourite platform as usual, and receive SNAX tokens proportional to the amount of attention you receive there.
Steemit chose to create its own platform which directly rewards you for your content on their platform with STEEM tokens. It has had relative success during boom of the cryptocurrency prices in early 2018, but it has had a steady decline in the number of content creators using their platform dropping from 40'000 to 10'000 active publishers and from 60'000 to 40'000 active curators by the beginning of the 2019.
Fair and transparent rewards
You want your quality posts to be valued fairly, which is why having a balanced rewards structure is important.
When Steem launched, the way it's token distribution was handled has led to the creation of large voting power inequality, with a dozen accounts holding the majority of voting power on the platform. This was inevitable, as the creation of a new and initially empty social platform with monetized actions creates a larger incentive for abuse of this monetization than for content creation. Initial inflation was 100% a year with 90% of new tokens going back to the original token owners and only 10% going to publishers and curators as rewards.
Steem has had many hard forks after that in order to fix that problem with relative success. Its current token distribution gives 75% of tokens to content creators and curators, 15% to witnesses and 10% to interest paid to SP holders, and the power distribution is slowly getting better, but still the majority of power is held just by 37 accounts (also known as whales) most of whom are not known outside of Steem network and only have influence inside their platform.
During the peak of Steemit activity the topics which got most rewards were rather diverse and quite typical to more traditional blogs, however, the rewards were often dependent solely on whether a whale has upvoted you.
The Snax network only gives rewards to accounts with high social relevance. You can have millions of followers who do not interact with your content and you will receive almost no SNAX, and you can have an account with few thousand of followers who are actively retweeting and liking your tweets, and you will receive a substantial reward.
This system in no way prevents Snax from having inequality, as social network celebrities will get a lot more rewards than anyone else, but it makes sure that all of those people are the people valued by the social network that they use. For example, if you are a famous person on Twitter (e.g. Elon Musk), you will receive a large reward, because a majority of people know who you are and a lot of people engage with your tweets. And if you, for example, are a new blogger on Youtube, and your audience is growing fast, then you can also expect a big reward, even though you are not a famous superstar. Only attention to your content matters and not an amount of money or SNAX tokens that you have.
Snax is learning from Steem mistakes and is launching a platform that uses the best sides of large centralized platforms, and blockchain technology. Snax enhances the experience of using your favourite social platform with a new type of cryptocurrency to reward you for the attention you receive on that social network.
Ultimately the difference between Snax and blockchain-based social media, created from scratch like Steem, is that they have tried to bring people into crypto, while Snax is bringing crypto to people.
If you have questions about how Snax emission works, how to receive publisher rewards, or about how to become a block producer for Snax network, feel free to join us in our Discord at https://discord.gg/qygxJAZ. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and to clap for this post!
Also, you can find answers to frequent questions here https://snax.one/faq.