Did you know there are other social media platforms besides Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook? In fact, most of the well-known digital platforms are centralized social media networks. These refer to applications where the data, functions, and algorithms are all controlled by a central authority. However, decentralized social media platforms are the ones that are currently disrupting the digital marketing landscape. These platforms offer increased data security and empower users to take charge of what they share online.
In this blog, let’s learn about the rising popularity of decentralized social networks and why marketers should leverage them.
What is Decentralized Social Media? How Does it Differ From Centralized Social Media?
Decentralized social media refers to online platforms not controlled by a single company or a central entity. They are primarily powered by blockchain technology and run on independently operated servers, giving users more control over their personal data. Mastodon, Steem, LBRY, and BitClout are a few examples of decentralized social media platforms.
Centralized social media platforms are governed by a single core authority controlling the network and responsible for all major decision-making. As a matter of fact, the main difference between decentralized and centralized platforms is “user control”. Decentralized platforms use a system of governance that democratizes the platform and empowers users to have complete control over their data. On the other hand, centralized platforms offer little to no control over data, and users do not influence key decision-making processes.
What are the Benefits of Decentralized Social Media for Businesses?
Decentralized social media networks offer a fresh take on digital communication and have the potential to transform business models. Unlike centralized social media sites, these platforms run on a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network that eliminates censorship and fosters user-centricity. From a business standpoint, decentralized networks provide new opportunities for content creators and brands to connect with their audience better.
Let’s take a look at four ways through which decentralized social media platforms can benefit businesses:
1. Greater Data Security and Privacy
Users need not link their information, such as emails or phone numbers, to create an account on decentralized platforms. Instead, these platforms use public-key cryptography, which is much more secure. This greatly reduces the chances of hacks, takeovers, or data leaks.
2. Better User Control
Users have complete ownership of their personal data on decentralized platforms. They can decide which content their followers can see and how they’d like to build communities on the platform. Censorship resistance and unregulated user-generated content are the biggest advantages of decentralized platforms.
3. New Avenues of Monetization
Straying from the conventional ad-based model, brands and content creators monetize their content using cryptocurrency or social tokens. On decentralized social platforms, tokens reward users for sharing and creating high-quality content.
4. Improved Transparency and Trust
Decentralized social media platforms use blockchain technology, which eliminates the need for external control over user data. In fact, by allowing businesses to control who can advertise to their users, these platforms boost trust and transparency.
How Can Marketers Leverage Decentralized Social Media to Improve Strategies and Reach a Wider Audience?
Adopting a strategic approach to decentralized social media platforms can greatly help marketers maximize online presence for a business. In essence, decentralized social media is a new and innovative channel for connecting with audiences amidst a competitive digital landscape. Here are some ways marketers can leverage decentralized social platforms to their benefit:
Experiment With Content
Decentralized social platforms provide a dynamic environment for content creation. It’s a great space for marketers to experiment with innovative content strategies and find what works best. Marketers can work with different content formats without worrying about constraints such as algorithms that traditional social media platforms impose.
Build User Interaction and Engagement
Marketers should explore decentralized platforms’ different interactivity features and leverage those to boost engagement. Use hashtags, keywords, and search functions to find relevant groups, participate in discussions, and collaborate with users.
Cross-Promote on Other Platforms
For example, on centralized social platforms such as Twitter, users can only send and receive messages through tweets. This lack of interoperability between different platforms limits the scope of content marketing on centralized systems. However, marketers can repurpose their decentralized social media content and cross-promote it on other relevant platforms.
Let’s take the example of a video uploaded to decentralized platforms like LBRY: Marketers can turn that content into a podcast and publish it to a centralized platform like Spotify.
What Role Does Blockchain Technology Play in Decentralized Social Media?
The integration of blockchain technology in social media platforms is fairly recent but is groundbreaking in the modern digital landscape. In fact, it is safe to say that today, blockchain technology is ushering in a digital revolution. Here’s how: Decentralized social platforms use a distributed ledger system, known as blockchain technology, to store customer data. Unlike centralized platforms, this blockchain network stores each user’s activity and keeps it private using encryption.
In general, the blockchain network primarily addresses two shortcomings of centralized technology—data security and transparency. Blockchain’s P2P architecture enables customers to maintain higher accountability for their online activities. Since customers require proper authentication to access data stored in a decentralized space, data breaches or thefts are nearly impossible on decentralized social media platforms.
How Does Data Privacy and Transparency Vary Between Centralized and Decentralized Social Media Platforms?
Decentralized social media platforms work on P2P networks. This enables users to interact directly through a distributed storage system, making them less susceptible to cyberattacks or data leaks. Furthermore, it allows users to have greater control over data and higher privacy levels than conventional platforms.
Centralized social media platforms, on the other hand, are built around a single server that makes all the decisions. This can be a risk in terms of data privacy, as a single point of failure in the server processes could lead to compromised data or hacks. There are also privacy and transparency issues. For instance, third parties might use user data to promote targeted advertising.
Become a Future-Proof Marketer With Emeritus
Decentralized social media platforms are a need of the hour, given the growing concerns around data privacy and security. Therefore, they offer valuable and lucrative opportunities for marketers to promote and monetize content easily. This will likely surge demand for skilled social media marketers and specialists. So whether you’d like to learn more about social media marketing or upskill, an online digital marketing course with Emeritus is the best way to enhance your abilities. Find accredited courses by top institutions here and accelerate your professional growth further.
By Neha Menon
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