20 Dec, 2018 at 22:00pm
You’ve probably heard about how blockchain technology and smart contracts are going to disrupt all sorts of industries. Although no one knows for sure how it’s going to turn out in the years to come, we are seeing more and more people getting interested in decentralized reward platforms. One of the sectors that welcome copious numbers of initiatives each year is social media.
Today, we’re going to delve into one blockchain-based social media platform that’s hoping to revolutionize the way we create content — Steemit.
Founded in 2016, Steemit is a blogging and social networking platform where users can generate and curate content. Here, they can upvote and downvote posts. They can follow the ones that interest them and even discuss them with fellow users. Steemit is similar to content-driven websites such as Reddit and Medium in that sense. However, it’s unlike any other social media platform you’ve come across before.
Blockchain technology runs the Steemit network. Through this decentralized rewards platform, social media users can monetize their content. Publishers receive rewards for the contributions they make to the platform. They earn tokens that have market value and are tradable.
Steemit isn't like most mainstream social networking platforms, but in a sense, it's sort of similar to Facebook Ads. People pay to get their content seen by larger audiences, hoping it will drive more sales for the business, or in this case, upvotes or earning potential for your content.
Not one but three digital currencies make up the entire Steemit ecosystem. These are STEEM, Steem Dollars, and Steem Power (SP).
The foundational digital currency of the Steemit network, STEEM can be traded for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through several exchanges. STEEM may also be converted into Steem Dollars. To cast a vote, you must exchange STEEM for SP tokens. The platform calls this “powering up”.
A single Steem Dollar is supposed to be equivalent to one US dollar. Holding Steem Dollars promotes the growth of the community as it is similar to lending the platform the value of US dollars.
One unit of SP is equivalent to a single vote. As one can expect, users who are holding onto a lot of SP tokens have more capacity to elevate the content that interests them. Votes from publishers who hold large values of SP weigh more than the votes of users keeping less SP.
Users who hold large amounts of Steem Power end up with nearly 90% of new STEEM tokens. That gives them an incentive to contribute to the community’s growth. Every time users exchange STEEM for SP, they are investing it back into the network as equity.
Much like other social networks, users can create a free account on Steemit. They can post articles, images, and commentary, but unlike the rest of the social platforms today, Steemit uses a points system to reward users. Given that Steemit is blockchain-based, users earn cryptocurrency, they can then go on the market to trade the points they earn as tokens.
Another way to earn money on the platform is through upvoting and sourcing popular posts. When users upvote a piece of content before it goes viral, they can collect more rewards. They should receive half in Steem Power and another half in Steem Dollars, which they can then exchange for US dollars.
Most social media platforms store all their content on their own servers. Well, Steemit isn’t like most social networks. This blockchain-powered network stores nearly all of the textual information on Steemit on the public ledger. Images, on the other hand, still need third-party hosts such as Imgur.
The great thing about using a blockchain for storage is that content creators can retain ownership of their work forever. No one has the power to change that information or delete it. Apart from that, the blockchain reinforces this reward system. Each day, it mints new STEEM tokens. Of these newly-minted digital coins, 5% will be given to users holding Steem Power. About 75% goes back to the community and 10% will be allotted to the miners.
Steemit then distributes the 75% to users based on the popularity of their contributions to the network.
Users have two ways of acquiring STEEM. First, you can earn it by making valuable contributions to the social media network. Posting new content, sharing, commenting, and engaging with the rest of the Steemit community helps you earn this digital currency. Second, you can also purchase it on popular cryptocurrency exchanges. Here are five platforms where users can buy STEEM:
Binance is known for its multi-language support and high liquidity, the exchange offers STEEM tokens.
Users can make a crypto deposit on Coinswitch or use their credit card to purchase STEEM, as well as any of the exchange's 250+ digital currencies.
This platform is a global crypto exchange where users can make cryptocurrency deposits to purchase STEEM.
At Cointree, users can buy and trade digital currencies like STEEM without deposit fees.
KuCoin is one of the largest multi-crypto exchanges in the world and also offers STEEM.
As of writing this article, a STEEM token is equivalent to $0.2823.
The Steem network provides several opportunities for users to earn cryptocurrencies. Anyone who creates and curates content will receive rewards for their efforts. Going into this new social networking experience, users must set realistic expectations. After all, Steem isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, contrary to popular belief. You might not go viral on your first few posts, but if you work hard enough to build a decent following and contribute more high-quality content, you should start receiving more rewards.
Users should aim to accumulate more Steem Power if they want to be more influential on the network. Continue to invest in the system to gain more influence. As a result, you receive more upvotes and, of course, that gives you more opportunity to earn a whole lot of rewards.
Steemit may have an interface that reminds you of popular social media networks, but its business model is unlike any other. Simply put, the network doesn’t monetize their platform with ads like Facebook, which has had many controversies, or YouTube.
The network earns money every time users choose to invest more of their Steem Power tokens into the system to share their posts across larger audiences. In doing so, they receive more votes, and that turns into money. Since Steemit has a blockchain-based business model, all of their tradable STEEM tokens can go up in value over time. That will surely be an abundant source of cash for the company.
Developers have also opted to hold back some of their tokens. They can either cash out or reinvest these digital currencies back into the business.
Steemit doesn’t display ads, but on this platform, each post is no different from an advertisement. You need to share your content to larger audiences to earn more money. To attract attention and acquire upvotes, you must invest your time and energy into creating high-quality content. When people like your posts, you can get your investment back and even profit from it. You also need to invest in the Steemit network to gain more influence. As you become more influential on Steemit, it will be easier for you to earn more rewards.
Photo credits - Steemit.