As the CEO of the world’s largest social media platform, Mark Zuckerberg has no choice but to try and remain at the forefront of the industry’s biggest trends – and his website’s biggest potential threats.
So it was no surprise when, in January 2018 he mentioned that he was interested in studying the positives and negatives of cryptocurrencies.
Forget Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and even Oculus – blockchain technology could be one of the platform’s biggest threats yet.
Is Blockchain Technology Really a Threat to Facebook?
Blockchain technology is still in its initial stages of development.
Right now, it certainly doesn’t pose an existential threat to Facebook – an established platform that has been in existence for almost 15 years.
However, long-term, there is a very real chance that the technology could give the platform a good run for its money.
Facebook is a massive centralized organization with over 2 billion users. The underlying platform infrastructure is controlled by a single entity, and individuals can use it in exchange for sharing their data with third-parties.
Blockchain, on the other hand, offers a completely different experience. It is a fully decentralized ledger that stores data across a huge network of computers owned by its participants.
For many people, the thought of a decentralized Facebook alternative sounds extremely appealing.
In April 2018, Jason Calacanis, the American internet entrepreneur, and angel investor, felt so passionately about finding a platform to rival the corporation that he even launched ‘The Open Book Challenge’, where he is offering entrepreneurs a $100,000 investment in order to encourage them to try and build a Facebook replacement.
How is Facebook Reacting to the Threat of Blockchain?
Quite simply, they’re setting up their own small blockchain team.
David Marcus is one of the company’s top executives, a board member of the popular cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, and the previous head of the Messenger platform
He recently revealed that he was leaving Messenger and “setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”
It’s a small step, but a step in the right direction nonetheless.
Most importantly, it will provide the team with valuable insight regarding how exactly blockchain can be used internally, and where Facebook could potentially be most vulnerable.
Some of the Web’s Biggest Social Media Platforms Are Already Moving to the Blockchain…
Some of the biggest social media platforms are already getting a head start by moving towards the blockchain.
We’re only halfway through 2018, and so far ICOs have already raised over $9.6 billion – almost twice the amount raised throughout the entirety of 2017.
The popular messaging app, Telegram, that currently boasts a surplus of 200 million users, raised over $1.7 billion – the largest amount ever raised in an ICO so far – from private investors to build a decentralized network.
Even after canceling its public ICO, it had already managed to set a new record and has since been named one of the top ICOs of 2018.
At the beginning of May 2018, after much speculation, the social question and answer platform, ASKfm, announced that it also would be launching an ICO.
Similar to Telegram, the ASKfm platform already has a thriving user base of over 215 million users, representing over 49 languages from over 168 different countries.
The platform has already laid out its entire vision for tokenizing its services in a way that rewards all stakeholders.
Through this, it hopes to attract more knowledgeable individuals and professionals to its platform in order to increase the quality of the responses.
Given the huge success of the Telegram ICOs, the ASKfm is in very good standing to become another one of the most exciting ICOs of 2018, and is certainly not one for keen investors to miss.
The Future of Blockchain and Social Media
The tech industry is always moving and changing – and now it’s moving faster than ever. Sometimes, it can seem quite overwhelming.
No one knows for sure how blockchain will affect the future of social media, but there’s no doubt that we’re likely to experience some significant disruption over the next few years.
For big tech firms, the choice will be relatively simple: adapt, or die.