A look at Steem dApp user metrics and new dApps for the month of October.
1. October posting and payout
After the rollercoaster of the September hardfork, October was a return to normality and the smooth running of the Steem blockchain. There were no major outages, rushed patches or DDoS attacks. From a certain perspective it was all rather dull.
The impacts of the Velocity hardfork have now worked their way through to the usage metrics. Author and posting numbers seem to have settled on new, slightly lower, levels after the Resource Credit restrictions. Distinct author numbers are now running at around 12,000 per day. Post numbers are fairly constant at around 60,000 per day. I think it is fair to say we are yet to see any significant impact from the new easier account creation and sign-up process. These things take a little time to work through.
Payout number were higher in October than September. Although the Steem price was broadly stable across the two months, sticking close to $0.80USD, the lack of voting for five days after the September hardfork spread five days of rewards across October. That impact has now ended and we have returned to payouts of around 40,000USD per day.
The author / benefactor / curator split has also moved following the changes to the curation rules and the removal of the self-voting advantage. At the start of September the rewards were split 78% / 3% / 19% on average. Curators are now averaging a slightly bigger slice at 74% / 3% / 23%.
How have our Steem dApps progressed with this consolidation?
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, platform or application. 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-five are solid applications that you can use to post to the blockchain and these forty-five 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 in previous analyses overwrote the “app” field data and skewed the figures towards Steemit where most editing took place.
I would add that the block.ops system is new and still under construction. All figures should be treated with caution.
A few stories drawn from the figures above…
3. Impact of HF20 - Partiko, Steemhunt, and SteemPress
These are three dApps that all jumped up a couple of places in the rankings from September to October. For those who need a reminder, Partiko is a lightning fast mobile app for Steem, Steemhunt rewards users for finding great technology products, whilst SteemPress connects the Steem blockchain to users' WordPress websites, taking Steem out into the wider web.
How were their user metrics impacted by HF20? Three contrasting outcomes.
Partiko author numbers continue to rise after HF20 but there is a marked drop-off in the number of comments (the second chart illustrates that post numbers are less affected).
Since Partiko is a mobile app it is less likely that it is used as a vector by spammers for posting on the blockchain. As such this reduction is likely to be due to the HF20 Resource Credit constraints.
Post numbers are less affected. I would speculate that users are prioritising posts over comments because posts are required to maintain a blog presence and can gain greater rewards. Will this lead to a reduction in interaction and engagement?
By contrast, Steemhunt shows solid author numbers after HF20 and no drop-off in post or comment numbers.
With Steemhunt the comments are an integral part of the overall hunt-and-review process. Useful comments on products can also be well rewarded. Here I would speculate that users are continuing to prioritise their Steemhunt comments, potentially reducing comment usage on other dApps.
Finally SteemPress shows a marked contrast in usage statistics. While author numbers remain very robust, the drop-off in post numbers is huge.
SteemPress has been plagued by spammers. Prior to HF20 many of these spam accounts were already targeted by mack-bot, steemcleaners or spaminator but continued to post for zero rewards. The HF20 Resource Credit system seems to have put an end to this practice. These accounts would now need to invest capital in order to continue to spam and would still gain no rewards.
The payouts chart shows that the huge reduction in posts has not affected payouts, since rewards are targeted towards real content creators.
A mixture of impacts across three popular dApps. Some success for the HF20 spam prevention initiative. But there is also likely to be some loss of engagement through lower comment numbers due to Resource Credit constraints.
4. User growth - Musing, Actifit and Partiko
A quick check on user growth at three of the best growing dApps: Musing (Q&A dApp), Actifit (fitness dApp), and Partiko (mobile dApp).
All looking good post HF20. Steady growth!
5. New Entries
A bit of a Utopian theme to the new entries section. Every month something new!
SteemSTEM (position 45) is the new App from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics community on Steem. If any of those subjects pique your interest then this could be the site for you. The website allows you to toggle between all articles and those curated by the SteemSTEM team, allowing you to see a distillation of the best science on the blockchain.
SteemSTEM is also supported as one of the trails followed by Utopian-io.
You can read more about it here:
Utopian Rocks browser extension (position 46) created by @jestemkioskiem is a browser extension that allows you to create Utopian posts through Steemit. It brings additional functionality thanks to the Utopian Rocks API, allowing users to see useful information about the progression of their post through Utopian review and voting.
You can read more about it here:
steeve.app (position 49) is a Steem blockchain front-end that finally solves the trending page problem and also finds great content for you! Steeve uses an AI system to suggest posts you might like based on your own blockchain activity. You can also see what trending would look like based on organic votes, i.e. without bidbots.
Although Steeve has no connection to Utopian as far as I know, browsing through the trending page showed quite a few posts supported by Utopian. A good thing as far as I'm concerned!
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. It is currently under construction.
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.
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!