With the advent of facebook, the idea of social media as we know it today was born, now over a decade later this frontier, some would argue, is losing its novelty. This post explores some exciting innovation in the realm of social media, where users are monetarily incentivized to engage with the site and its users powered by blockchain technology.
Yes, users get paid to post in a currency known as Steem, which can be cashed out or reinvested in the form of Steem Power or Steem Dollars. Although Steem is similar to Bitcoin in that it is also a cryptocurrency, the primary method of earning money is not mining, which is dictated by the amount of computing power you have, but rather engaging with the community through producing and/or supplying content.
Is this the future of social media? Want to know more before jumping in a posting? Or is it the novel application of blockchain technology that has piqued your interest? Either way, let’s jump into a brief overview of steemit and its social networking site, steemit.com. Links to other, more in-depth, resources will be provided if you’re interested in learning more.
We hope you find this to be a good starting point.
What is Steemit?
We’ve heard talk of the blogosphere for years now, and these days it seems like everyone is trying to get a piece of the action. And why not? We all have passions, curiosities, and a sense of adventure now and then; sharing that with others via the internet is becoming – dare we say it –the norm.
But steemit.com, the social networking site associated with Steemit, is different.
Instead of the platform reaping nearly all of the non-commercial benefits of its users’ content generation, like facebook, for example, steemit passes these earnings onto the individual users, via its cryptocurrency.
Like many communities surrounding cryptocurrency, users are very concerning with verifying each other’s identities, this is usual done through an introduce yourself post where new users share their personal story starting with a current picture of themselves holding up a hand-written sign as proof of identity.
How does one get paid?
Steemit.com is a reddit-resembling social networking site where content creators and content curators get paid for producing and providing the best content and it’s completely free to sign-up.
So how do users get paid you may ask? Through what they refer to as Steem and there are three different Steemit currency units: Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars.
Steem are tradable units of the currency, much like bitcoin or stocks on the stock market.
Steem Power cannot be sold for two years so in that way is something like a long-term investment in the currency. Holding this unit of currency is favoured by the platform and these types of ‘investors’ are rewarded for their loyalty – 90% of the daily newly generated Steem Currency is in the form of Steem Power, with the rest going to content creators and providers. Half of content provider’s/curators’ pay is in the form of Steem Power.
Steem Dollars are the most stable unit of the currency and can be sold at anytime. The other 50% of the pay popular content creators/curators receive is in this unit of the currency and this portion can be immediately cashed out.
Steem and Steem Power represent the value of Steem digital assets, while Steem Dollars are something like loans taken out based upon the value of these digital assets. Sceptical that such digital assets can retain ‘real world’ value? Then look to the world of multi-player video games where on numerous occasions players are documented to have paid ‘real’ money for a digital game item.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Not only does steemit.com empower its users through paying for high quality content in many ways such a system also inevitably leads to the suppression of low quality content. (fake news anyone?)
Although the social networking site has not reached the size or influence of the mainstream social media site we know so well, many bloggers and youtube stars that have already gone viral or made a name for themselves on these conventional social media sites are complementing their success with the adding themselves to steemit.com as well.
As we see in many industries, consumers are demanding more transparency, traceability, and accountability – steemit.com provides all of these and on top of that it is the users that reap the benefits of their posts… not the platform.
Image Courtesy of steemit.com