Web2 has played a prominent role in shaping social media as we know it today. Afterall, the term “social media” didn’t even exist prior to Web2. Today, platforms such as meta and Instagram have become notable social media channels. These platforms provide an avenue for self-expression among users.
Social media platforms allow users to become creators while engaging fellow users through different content-sharing options. This freedom to create has been the most vital component of Web2.
Nevertheless, Web3 is set to take over by giving users more value than they currently derive from existing social media channels.
Ownership of Personal Data
The freedom of expression and the ability to engage and create that users derive from using Web2 platforms have come at a cost for users, though the cost implications are not direct. Individual users now pay with their personal data, which social media companies gather and store on centralized servers and data centers. In the Web2 space, no user is ever in control of their personal data.
Web3 is set to change this notion by introducing decentralized storage systems where individual data is stored on networks of decentralized nodes that are participants in the social network. It will also be possible for users to store their data in their individual wallets, thereby removing data centralization.
Users are no longer the Product
Data centralization, therefore, leads to data exploitation. Ads are now central to how most web2 social platforms earn revenue, therefore, they enforce it on all users irrespective of the fact that most do not want it.
Targeted ads are served to users based on their engagement and activities on a platform, with some channels even using browser cookies to target users cross-channel. A good example is the Google network, where a simple search on Google will almost immediately be followed by a related ad when the user goes on YouTube.
With Web3, decentralization of data helps remove this barrier. Ad might still be served, but it will be based on a user’s preference. Essentially, users are no longer the product being sold but consumers of the product.
Reward for Creativity
With Web2, the reward for creativity is low and well out of the reach of most creators. This is because social media platforms are the ones who decide what a creator deserves.
Youtube pays creators based on certain metrics that are predetermined. This effectively robs many creators of the ability to earn from their work. With Web3, the creator economy is born, and creators get the full reward for their creativity. They could directly monetize content, build communities, and create deep ties with their fans without the need to follow strict laid down rules.
Web3 is about to usher in a new era for social media where users will be at the receiving end of major value-added propositions.