Developers pointed out the “monopolization of content and data” in centralized social media platforms as a reason to create a decentralized alternative.
Via a July 6 announcement, decentralized social media protocol DeSo has issued a $1 million bounty for building a competitor to Reddit using its native blockchain. In supporting the decision, developers wrote:
“Reddit recently sparked controversy within its community following a decision to limit API access. This move provoked a series of 48-hour subreddit blackouts in protest. This price hike for their API has forced existing third-party developers to shut down as maintaining their applications becomes impossible.”
“This controversy and others highlight the ongoing problems with centralized social media platforms,” developers said, while also pointing out Elon Musk’s controversial decision to impose reading limits on new and verified accounts on Twitter, citing “extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation.” Nader Al-Naji, founder of DeSo, highlighted a shift where users embrace autonomy over social content, as with owning Bitcoin BTC $30,276 with money:
“These protests represent a broader societal shift. They are indicative of a new paradigm in how creators and users interact with social media.”
Founded in 2019, DeSo offers monetization features such as creator coins, nonfungible tokens, tokens and tipping. The firm claims to store user identity, profiles, content and social graphs 100% on-chain, and its content cannot be banned or blocked on a protocol level. Recently, the firm released new in-app proposals such as Openfund 2.0, a decentralized exchange platform.
In September 2021, DeSo raised $200 million in funding led by A16z, Coinbase Ventures, Sequoia, Pantera Capital and others, including, perhaps ironically, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Currently, over 150 projects are listed on the DeSo community, although their market caps are somewhat small.