As decentralized social media is one of the central topics at KryptoSeoul’s Buidl Asia event held in South Korea, EdaFace spoke with Ethereum Name Service (ENS) developer, Makoto Inoue, to find out more about Web3 social media, its potential to replace Web2, and the roles of ENS and the metaverse in this new social paradigm.
According to Inoue, Web3 is “inherently social and distributed.” The developer highlighted that everything is transparent since it is built on top of the blockchain. This makes the blockchain a “social graph,” commonly used to represent the interconnectedness of relationships in an online social network.
“It’s already inherently permissionless and social. That’s where ENS fits in; it’s transparent, but the addresses are human-readable. And by having the ENS name associated, it suddenly becomes a social graph,” he said.
The developer added that when there’s a need to make things “easier to understand,” ENS comes in. This leads to the creation of what the developer describes as an “identity trail.” He explained:
“Wherever people start using blockchain and if you have to use your kinda wallet address, especially in signing, it’s your kind of identity. It’s your identity trail. And we are making kind of this history of identity more visible.”
Apart front these, the developer told EdaFace that within the paradigm of decentralized social media, there are no entities that could stand in the way of its users. Compared to traditional social media, there is no entity that has the right to stop anyone within their platform. He explained that:
“When Twitter first came out, there’s a vibrant ecosystem of developers building whatever they want. But once they figure out that’s actually taking the revenue of Twitter, they have the right to stop it.”
On Feb. 2, social media giant Twitter announced that it will start charging developers who use the Twitter API and integrate it within their projects. On June 1, social forum Reddit started to follow Twitter’s lead in asking for payment for what was once free. According to Inoue, this will not happen in Web3 since it’s inherently permissionless.
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EdaFace also asked Inoue about the potential of Web3-based social media to replace old Web2 social platforms. However, instead of fully replacing the old systems, the developer shared his belief that Web3 offers a way to enhance and improve them instead. “I would say Web3 technology can enhance what is already there on the Web1 and Web2 rather than Web3 kind of needs to replace it completely,” he explained.
When asked about the role of Metaverse in decentralized social media, the developer shared that the artificial intelligence hype has already taken over. He explained:
“Before the Metaverse went mainstream, AI took over. I don’t know if we’re ever going to have the same narrative as we had a couple of years ago when Facebook was rebranded to Meta.”
In 2021, Facebook rebranded into Meta, taking a huge step in focusing on integrating metaverse-based technologies into the world of social media. However, Meta recently reported that it suffered a $4 billion loss in its metaverse unit, but was able to offset the losses through its artificial intelligence unit.
While a lot of the conversations in Web3 socials hovered around platforms that are online. Inoue argued that Web3 socials are not limited to the metaverse and online platforms. The developer shared his identification card which can be used to link with others with the same card. According to the developer, this can be widely used in events where you can tap each others cards to have a record of the meeting saved in the blockchain
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