A look at Steem dApp user metrics and new dApps for the month of November.
1. Background - November posting and payout
At the start of November Steem was rolling along smoothly at a price of eighty cents. The general trend was downwards, as it has been pretty much all year, but nothing to write home about. One month of major crypto declines later and Steem was sitting none-too-pretty at thirty-four cents, a fall of 58 percent across the month.
A lower Steem price brings lower post payouts, at least in US dollar terms. On the chart below we can see the recent reductions:
- from a steady state around $40,000 at the start of September;
- up to close to $70,000 per day at the start of October, buoyed by the HF20 reward pool build up;
- back down to $39,000 per day at the start of November;
- and finally down to $21,000 per day at the end of November.
Typically, lower post payouts bring lower user metrics in terms of author and post / comment numbers. The chart below shows this to be broadly the case. But the author and post impacts are comparatively smaller. Whilst post payouts fell 47% across November, daily author numbers fell only 27%, and post / comment numbers 25%.
There is undoubtedly some complex dynamics in the author numbers that go far beyond the single driver of the Steem price. I'm increasingly under the impression that there is a central hardcore of Steem users that post come-what-may and a large collection of users that come and go with fair weather. But that's an investigation for another day.
How have our Steem dApps fared in one of the most challenging months of recent crypto times?
2. Steem dApp breakdown and ranking
The Steem dApp ranking table is based on the information in the “app” field of each post of comment on the blockchain. Not all of the entries in the top 50 are recognisable dApps with their own website, plug-in, or platform. Two are coding libraries providing methods to access the blockchain. Two more entries are generated by automated comments, from bidbots and from steemcleaners. But forty-six are solid applications that you can use to post to the blockchain and these forty-six are drawn from an overall list of hundreds.
Authors is distinct authors across the month. Many users will use more than one dApp so the sum in the Total Result exceeds the actual number of separate authors.
Posts includes both posts and comments.
Payouts now includes benefactor rewards in addition to author and curator payouts. The payouts in the table are those made within the month rather than payouts associated with content created in the month, so a seven day offset (however for all daily charts in this post the latter approach is used).
The overall ranking used to order the table is an average of the author ranking and the post payout ranking. Numbers of posts have not been included in this ranking statistic due to the potential distortion from spam through some channels.
I am using the block.ops tool for this analysis. This applies the block transactions data directly and has allowed me to capture the "app" field as at the point of post creation. The above stats are thus unaffected by post edits which will overwrite the “app” field data and skew the figures towards Steemit where most editing takes place.
A few stories drawn from the figures above…
3. Month-on-month heatmap
Are there any Steem dApps that fared well under November's trying conditions? The answer is yes!
The heatmap below shows month-on-month comparisons of author, post/comment, and payout numbers, colour-coded to show growth and contraction.
As can be seen, five of our top twenty-five Steem dApps show green numbers of growth across the board: musing, dclick, share2steem, Appics, and dpoll. Unsurprisingly, these are also dApps that rose up the chart in November.
I have estimated musing author numbers for November in section 2 and excluded the comparison in section 3 since the "app" marker was changed from "Musing" to "musing" mid-month. Whilst the post numbers and payout numbers can simply be aggregated for the two month-halves, the distinct authors cannot without some level of double counting. As such I used the maximum of the two month-halves for the author numbers in section 2. Most likely the author numbers will have increased by a similar amount to the post numbers.
4. Steemit market dominance
Following ned's redundancy and replanning announcements this month there has been a fair amount of discussion regarding reliance on Steemit Inc for blockchain development and on Steemit.com as the main access point for posting to the Steem blockchain.
For the latter of those two arguments the pie charts below shows Steemit dominance still above 50% of the total market as measured by author or payout numbers.
However the following chart seems to suggest that Steemit dominance is decreasing. A good sign for anyone interested in the decentralisation of the Steem environment and healthy competition!
5. New Entries
Finally a look at some of the new entries into the top 50 of our dApps chart. Every month something new!
Straight into position 9 is dclick, an incentivised advertising platform on the Steem blockchain. Steem content creators can include an advert in their post and obtain revenue based on the number of clicks it receives. Advertisers can use the site to promote their businesses to Steem blockchain users. Win-win!
You can read more about dclick here:
Or you can visit the website here:
Engrave (position 41)
Engrave is a complete, external, blogging system built on top of the Steem blockchain. Aiming to cut through Steem's sometimes bewildering complexity, Engrave allows you to grab a site domain, set a theme and just start blogging. You'll have greater control over what your site looks like but still benefit from post payouts and interaction with thousands of Steem users.
Developed by the @wise-team and open-source, you can read more about Engrave here:
Or you can visit the website here:
StemQ (position 46)
StemQ is a Questions and Answers application focused on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Steem already has a large STEM community and this is the perfect place for them to engage in some in-depth discussions of how the Universe works and how to fix it when it's broken.
You can read more about StemQ here:
Or you can visit the website here:
Tools and Scripts
I used the block.ops analysis system to produce this study. Block.ops is an open-source analysis tool designed for heavy-duty analyses of the Steem blockchain data.
You can find the repository for block.ops here:
The study can be recreated by:
- Loading the data for the relevant time period into block.ops.
- Using the reportcomments command from the command line, i.e.
$ node blockOps reportcomments "2018-11-01" "2018-12-01"
- Individual dApp analyses can be run by adding the dApp name at the end of the above command.
Block.ops stores all posts and comments from the period in a MongoDB collection and the "reportcomments" command runs aggregation queries to summarise the results, then post-processes to export the results to csv. Payout amounts are converted to STU using hourly fx factors derived from actual posts. I used the mac numbers spreadsheet tool for the chart illustrations. Eventually I will build my own charts for use with block.ops.
Relevant Links and Resources
Links are provided in the text.
This analysis is of data from the Steem blockchain which is an open source project. Many of the individual applications are also open source projects in their own right.
Thanks for reading!