While Facebook pursues crypto, crypto is pursuing social media.

Block.one – the multibillion-dollar team that built the EOSIO platform – is the latest blockchain firm with social-media aspirations. Announced Saturday, the new platform will be called Voice.

The company says its new social network will stand out by not turning users into products.

In a release, CEO Brendan Blumer said:

“Our content. Our data. Our attention. These are all incredibly valuable things. But right now, it’s the platform, not the user, that reaps the reward. By design, they run by auctioning our information to advertisers, pocketing the profit, and flooding our feeds with hidden agendas dictated by the highest bidder. Voice changes that.”

Voice will run on the EOS blockchain, which is also upgrading to a faster Version 2.0. By using the public chain, everything posted to EOS will be public. Meanwhile, the leading social network in the world, Facebook, announced earlier this year it would move in the opposite direction – with CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlining a “privacy-focused vision for social networking.”

Earlier attempts

Social-media-oriented crypto projects up to this point have largely resembled Tumblr or Medium, with the occasional Twitter imitation. A spokesperson for the Block.one project did not respond to a request for comment from CoinDesk about what sort of experience to expect on the new site.

While the argument for incentivizing contributions is compelling, the model has had a hard time catching on.

For example, in 2016, Tsu, a social network that promised to share its earnings with its users, shut down. It claimed to have 5.2 million users when the service ended. A frequent complaint about Tsu was that its promise of remuneration generated spammy behavior.

Steemit, meanwhile, is the Medium-like social network built on top of the Steem blockchain. According to Dapp.com, it was the only major dapp blockchain where social media was the dominant use case, with 93 percent of users touching its social dapps (of which, Steemit dominates). A recent estimate from May put the active users in that month at 75,644.

Other crypto social networks have come along since, such as Coil (which uses XRP) and Cent (which uses ETH).

Dapp.com estimated that Steem had over 386,000 active users for the year, while it gave EOS slightly over 171,000 active users in 2018, with 67 percent using its betting products.

It’s worth noting that EOS only had six months in which to build up a user base. After a yearlong ICO that generated more than $4 billion for Block.one, EOS officially launched on June 15, 2018.

Brendan Blumer image via Block.one

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