Steemit is the newest blogging and social media platform that may soon beat Facebook and Reddit, all at once. Built on blockchain tech, its forward-thinking system rewards contributors for the content they post or upvote in Steem cryptocurrency. Today, Steemit has the potential to become the next big social media network
Steemit is one of a kind social media network and blogging platform built on the blockchain.
The cryptocurrency-driven social media is revolutionizing the “attention economy” and reinventing the way content is shared, as stated by one of Steemit founders, Ned Scott.
Created in January 2016 by crypto heavyweights Dan Larimer and Ned Scott, Steemit is a blockchain-based blogging and social media platform that aims at inspiring and rewarding a dynamic community of content creators. Built on the Steem blockchain, the platform is one of a kind in the blogging industry. Growing fast, the Steemit community has reached over 1 million users since its inception. Users are rewarded in Steem, an altcoin to Bitcoin, which has become a popular cryptocurrency over the last 2 years. There are three main currencies available in Steemit: Steem, Steem Power (SP) and Steem Backed Dollars (SBD)
Since June 2016, Steemit content creators have received approximately USD 40,000,000. What’s behind this fast adoption? Sharing content in a dynamic ecosystem is one of the motivations for publishers to post on Steemit. Indeed, users can upvote for content published on Steemit, making it more relevant and interactive. On top of it, the “financial” reward is another factor that contributed to Steemit rising success. Steem, the cryptocurrency available on the Steem blockchain, can be used to “pay” contributors but also to perform peer-to-peer payments, like Bitcoin. Today, the Steem cryptocurrency ranks among the top 25 cryptocurrencies with a market capitalization of over USD 600 million (prediction.vc) for a Steem worths USD 2.36 (June 1, 2018), attracting savvier investors.
What are the pros and cons of Steemit? How does the platform differ from traditional blogging and social media networks? How does the reward system work? Can Steem overtake Ethereum or Bitcoin?
Let’s study the pros and cons of Steemit to find some answers.
PROS OF STEEMIT
- Out of the decentralized social networks, Steemit rivals with Facebook and Reddit, offering censorship-free content. Hence, Steemit could become an alternative social network where users are in control of the content they wish to publish and curate, beating the odd and old Facebook algorithm or Reddit’s control over posting.
- Steemit is designed as a blogging platform and cryptocurrency for the masses, democratizing content creation and curation, and allowing newbies to earn their first Steem easily. It’s like playing a game where everyone can potentially win, depending on how much they participate.
- The Steemit “proof of brain” community incentives encourage users to upvote and curate content, creating a rich, diversified ecosystem of posts for which users get rewarded. Because users are incentivized, they interact and participate in the community in an unprecedented fashion.
- Faster and cheaper than Bitcoin or Ethereum, the two leading cryptocurrencies available on the market today, Steemit offers its community the chance to earn a strong token, Steem, which is liquid and boasts a rising market capitalization.
- Its creative, user-friendly interface blends the best of Quora and ProductHunt. Steemit could be a new generation of social networks, allowing the community to interact in the same way as Quora where users comment on posts and ProductHunt where users upvote or downvote posts.
- According to Blocktivity, Steemit records the highest number of transactions on the most active blockchains in 24 hours, amounting to 1,600,000—the double compared to Ethereum or Bitcoin transactions altogether. The number reflects the popularity of Steemit and its efficiency in cashing out the community.
Steemit transactions on the blockchain beat Ethereum or Bitcoin. Source: blocktivity.info, June 1, 2018
CONS OF STEEMIT
- Three currencies are currently available on the Steem blockchain—Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars—which may be confusing for users and investors. While Steem is the currency that can be traded on digital currencies exchange platforms, Steem Power is an internal currency aimed at powering up users, similar to achieving another level, and Steem Dollars, a fixed-based cryptocurrency that protects against a volatile exchange rate from Steem to any other currencies. While the system seems complicated, in fact, it provides users and investors with diversified investment options.
- The reward system on Steemit does offer the opportunity for new contributors to earn Steem, however, it’s not a get-rich scheme: Users need dedication and real participation to start earning well on the platform. That is to say, the most experienced or active content curators and bloggers get the best rewards.
- Most people are still new to the blockchain and cryptocurrency world. Therefore, people on Steemit tend to be more experts and early adopters of technology who already know their way around the blockchain. This implies that the “democratization” behind Steemit is still in its infancy.
- Steemit is still experiencing fast growth but competitors surfaced such as E-chat, Akasha, and Golos. However, they remain unknown to the majority.
- Some claims that Steemit is not really a decentralized network, implying the network belongs to their creators and friends. Again, how can any newbie earn the same amount as the founders?
- Users sometimes question the quality of content available on Steemit. As stated by a Reddit user, high-quality posts may be lost in the masses, unless upvoted by many. Therefore, how to highlight the content that is of value?
Whether Steemit has the capacity to outlook Facebook, Reddit, ProductHunt and other popular social and community networks or just being an upgraded version of all is still in debate. As the platform is still new, it means early adopters or experts are currently “testing” it. Steemit initial plans to “democratize” content creation, distribution, and promotion, and reward publishers efficiently—i.e. everyday people who enjoy posting and sharing on social media—in the world controlled by Facebook provides a great alternative to common social networks. Finally, if the platform proves that users can actually generate revenues in an equal manner—i.e. by actions they perform on the platform and not by seniority or level—while providing quality and original content, perhaps the chance to beat Facebook would be real. Until then, Steemit would have to find a democratic way to sustain its revenue model in an ad-free environment and growing its user base exponentially.
Also published on Medium.