With decentralized social media being one of the hot topics at KryptoSeoul’s Buidl Asia event in South Korea, Cointelegraph spoke with Ethereum Name Service (ENS) developer Makoto Inoue to learn more about Web3 social media, its potential to replace Web2, and the role of ENS and the metaverse in this new social paradigm.
According to Inoue, Web3 is “inherently social and distributed.” The developer stressed that everything is transparent, since it is built on the blockchain. This makes the blockchain a “social graph”, commonly used to represent the interconnectedness of relationships in an online social network.
“It’s already inherently social and permissionless. That’s where the ENS fits in; it’s transparent, but the addresses are human-readable. And by having the ENS name attached to it, it suddenly becomes a social graph,” he said.
The developer added that when there is a need to make things “easier to understand”, ENS steps in. This leads to the creation of what the developer describes as an “identity trace”. He explained:
“Wherever people start using blockchain and if you have to use your wallet address, especially when signing, it’s your kind of identity. It is your trace of identity. And we are making this history of identity more visible.”
Inoue told Cointelegraph that within the decentralized social media paradigm, no single entity could get in the way of its users. Compared to traditional social networks, no entity has the right to detain anyone on its platform.. He explained that:
“When Twitter first came out, there was a vibrant ecosystem of developers creating what they wanted. But once they realize they’re actually taking the revenue from Twitter, they have the right to stop it.”
On February 2, social media giant Twitter advertisement that would start charging developers to integrate the Twitter API into their projects. On June 1, the Reddit social forum it started to follow the example of Twitter and charge for what was previously free. Inoue claims that this will not happen in Web3, as it is inherently permission-free.
Cointelegraph also asked Inoue about the potential for Web3-based social networks to replace older Web2 social platforms. However, Rather than completely replace old systems, the developer shared his belief that Web3 offers a way to enhance and enhance existing platforms. “I would say that Web3 technology can enhance what already exists on Web1 and Web2, and not that Web3 should completely replace it,” he explained.
When asked about the role of the metaverse in decentralized social networks, the developer stated that the artificial intelligence hype has already taken over. He explained it this way:
“Before the metaverse went mainstream, AI took over. I don’t know if we’ll ever have the same narrative that we had a couple of years ago when Facebook changed its name to Meta.”
In 2021, Facebook was renamed Meta, taking a big step by focusing on integrating metaverse-based technologies into the world of social media. However, Meta recently reported that it had suffered $4 billion worth of losses in its metaverse unit, but made up for it with its artificial intelligence unit.
Although much of the Web3 social media conversation revolves around online platforms, Inoue argued that Web3 social networks are not limited to online. The developer shared his ID card, which can be used to link to other people with the same card. According to the developer, this can be widely used in events where you can touch each other’s cards to have a record of the meeting saved on the blockchain.
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