What do decentralised social networks mean for brands?

By Elin Salekärr

What do decentralised social networks mean for brands?

As the internet continues to evolve, we are witnessing a shift from centralised to decentralised platforms. Web3, the next generation of the internet, is built on blockchain technology, offering users more control over their personal data and greater resistance to censorship than traditional centralised counterparts. This blog post explores the benefits of Web3 and how using decentralised social networks could impact brands and marketers.

What is Web3?

Web3 is the next era in the evolution of the internet. If we go back, web 1.0 was the read-only stage, where the user read and searched for information (around 1989 - 2005). Then came web 2.0, the read-write/create stage (from early 2000 and in many ways still ongoing). And since 2010, we've gradually entered the read-write-own phase, web 3.0. It uses a distributed ledger built on blockchain technology, allowing secure and transparent transactions. Unlike traditional centralised platforms, Web3 offers users more control over their personal data and is more resistant to censorship. The use of smart contracts allows for the automatic execution of transactions without needing third-party intermediaries.

Benefits of Web3

The three main benefits of Web3 are security, efficiency, and transparency. Using blockchain technology, Web3 provides a more secure online experience, reduces costs and delays associated with traditional online transactions, and allows for greater transparency and trust between parties involved.

The advent of Web3 and blockchain have made way for the shift towards a more decentralised social media landscape. With recent events, such as Twitter users leaving the platform, one has seen a rise in the interest in decentralised platforms such as Mastodon to express personal ideas and comments.



Impact on brands

Brands and marketers need to think creatively about how best to incorporate this in their marketing and communication efforts. Let's look into a few examples of how the transition to decentralised platforms will impact daily business in the near future:

  1. Freedom of expression: With decentralised platforms, there will be greater freedom of expression, as censorship policies will not be the same as with centralised platforms. This will have pros and cons, but on the positive end, it opens up communication for both brands and content creators.
  2. Connecting different social media platforms: Decentralised networks allow for cross-platform networking, which is not possible with traditional networks. This opens up opportunities for brands to communicate more effectively with their audiences.
  3. Improved security: Decentralised networks are more secure, making it harder for hackers to obtain sensitive information. With blockchain technology, data is stored across a distributed ledger, removing any weak links in the chain, which makes it difficult to corrupt data.
  4. Improved transparency: With decentralised platforms, recordings of assets or transactions are stored on a distributed ledger, allowing everyone involved to see, follow, and verify that the information is genuine and has not been tampered with. This will help build trust between customers and brands.
  5. Opportunities for direct and transparent customer interactions: Decentralised social networks and blockchain-based platforms could provide new opportunities for brands to interact more transparently and reliably with their customers. For instance, a brand could use a decentralised platform to create a loyalty program where customers can earn tokens or rewards for engaging with the brand's content or purchasing. These tokens could be traded or exchanged on various decentralised exchanges, providing a new way for customers to engage with the brand and potentially creating new revenue streams for the business. Furthermore, customers would be able to verify that the tokens they receive are genuine and cannot be manipulated by the brand, providing an added layer of transparency and trust. This could lead to stronger relationships between brands and their customers and increased loyalty and engagement.
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To sum up

The transition towards decentralised platforms will significantly impact brands and marketers. Brands that want to capitalise on the opportunities need to start thinking creatively about how best to incorporate them into their marketing and communication strategy. The benefits, including security, efficiency, and transparency, offer new opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences in innovative and meaningful ways.

Marketers and brands that take the time to understand, adapt and commit to the changing landscape will be well-positioned to succeed in the future of a more intelligent and autonomous internet where the users are the actual content owners.  

Want to make sure your brand communication is up-to-date? View our branding services, to help you stay well-positioned for future success. 

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Elin Salekärr
Project Manager 2011-14 and 2017-23.
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