Social media has transformed the mankind like the steam-powered engine.
People around the globe began to live parallel lives and care about all the likes and comments they were getting from their online friends just like they cared about their closest relatives’ opinion.
There are some among us who even make a good living by endorsing various products, political parties or companies on their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to hordes of followers who are absorbing the opinion makers’ posts like the revolutionary James Joyce’s paragraphs.
Either we approve of it or not, every aspect of our lives sooner or later gets transmitted through one social channel or the other, and every sane human being has to ask himself – what’s in it for me?
Knowing what empires the likes of Facebook have built on the bruised backs of their countless users’ posts, and knowing that those exact users are the only reason Mr. Zuckerberg is so wealthy, the only natural thing for people to do is to turn to platforms which are looking to reward them for producing content.
Do You Want to be Paid for Sharing That Insanely Colorful Photo From Your Road Trip?
The blockchain technology is beyond disrupting.
Most people, when thinking about the blockchain, immediately mention Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, but “digital cash” is only one feature of the distributed ledger technology. Transparency, security, efficiency, and decentralization are by far the most important characteristics of the technology behind all those crypto-assets.
And that technology can be integrated into social media platforms.
By having a respective token, the company that’s developing a social platform can reward users for broadening their network of friends, creating content, commenting, liking, inviting new users, and basically doing anything constructive.
There are more than a few examples of successful and less successful attempts to develop a democratic, rewarding, and decentralized social platform. Steemit, which enables users to post and share articles and be rewarded by other users with Steem cryptocurrency, is maybe the most adopted. Having one of the fastest blockchain systems in the industry, more projects have been built on top of the Steem network.
One such platform is the SteepShot App, which presents the opportunity for all those who love to play photographers to earn Steem by publishing their work on the App.
WhatsAround – a Noteworthy Competition
WhatsAround is a startup which can be viewed as an unusual cryptocurrency startup. Having a beta product before doing the ICO is a rarity in the ocean of all the “we are going to…” projects which never truly see the light of day.
The platform, just like the SteepShot, allows users to share photographs and videos with one key difference. – all posts are interconnected with the App’s map, which shows
the exact location where the photo or video was shot.
WhatsAround is programmed to reward users who discover new locations (secluded beaches or caves, an adorable miniature French restaurant in the suburbs of Marseille, or the top of the mountain in the Alps that offers an incredible view) with cryptocurrency named ShotCoin.
Naturally, users can additionally reward others by upvoting their posts, which doesn’t affect their own balance. By growing a community, sharing content, commenting, and voting, the user reaches more people, thus, by the pure old-fashioned networking, make more ShotCoin cryptocurrency.
Imagine a totally personalized real-time guide that enables you to find a traditional, cheap trattoria near
Rome for a romantic dinner or a wondrous, secluded resort in Croatia for your honeymoon getaway.
Upon the full launch of the App, WhatsAround is going to provide exactly that.
Beta Means That Some Features are Still Missing
WhatsAround is still imperfect.
The author of these lines was using the App for a few hours and quickly realized that his Huawei P9 Light camera doesn’t work as well in the App as it does when taking photos normally.
The quality of the shots is notably lower. WahtsAround also doesn’t support the phone’s “professional photos” feature, nor does it allow the user to use more complex photo-options like moving lights or panorama.
That by itself wouldn’t be a problem if the App allowed the user to upload photos from the smartphone’s hard drive, but that is not the case, which can be interpreted as a sort of an anti-spam policy because users can’t post other people’s work as their own, by simply downloading and sharing without credentials.
Furthermore, the “landscape” photos are nearly impossible to view in their full glory as the photos don’t turn along with your smartphone when you automatically try to do it to enlarge the whole photography.
Since the product is still in the beta phase of development, the photo editing feature, even though the button for it already exists, hasn’t been enabled yet.
The WhatsAround team states that users will be able to send and receive ShotCoins and exchange them for other cryptocurrencies, but since the wallet on the app is still unavailable, those functions have yet to be tested.
Nevertheless, as the project is yet to reach its ICO phase (coins are still not in circulation ), these shortcomings are acceptable and more than understandable.
Blockchain Technology is Defeating Cancerous Information-Trading Practice
It is a public secret that social network companies have become personal information dealers, and the recent personal information “leakage” affair which led to the substantial devaluation of Facebook’s stock just confirmed the damage that those networks are doing to their users as well as to their mother-companies.
Blockchain is the technology disrupting enough to be able to pulverize that malpractice by the very nature of the distributed ledger system. The network’s encryption can hide all the personal data from the prying eyes, and bring the power back to the user.
WhatsAround has the potential to differentiate itself from the likes of the centralized TripAdvisor by using all those benefits that the blockchain offers. Being able to use cryptocurrencies to reward the content-producers without the need to suffer the irritating ads is the opportunity that the team behind WhatsAround is definitely looking to utilize.
Let’s hope that, with the start of their Power Launch on December 1st, they will be able to grow their project to its fullest potential.