On 1st February 2023, Rally.io — the creator token platform announced its shut down, their Ethereum side-chain will no longer be maintained due to high costs and market conditions.
Rally was one of the more ambitious web3 social projects. We vividly remember discussing Rally with our investors such as Animoca Brands when Only1 was raising seed round in 2021. We wish the best to the creators and communities that were affected by this unfortunate event.
Consumer mass adoption will be the narrative for the next crypto bull run. Web3 social is a key driver. Read on if you don’t want to miss out 👇
What is web3 social anyway?
To understand the potential of web3 social, we must first look at the existing problems of social networks we are used to today. Social network is an all-encompassing term, it can be further segmented into short form video apps (Tiktok), content sharing (Instagram, Youtube), creator monetisation platforms (Patreon, OnlyFans), text-based thoughts sharing (Twitter) and more. Each platform caters to a specific demographic and each has its pain-points ready to be disrupted.
3 Problems of Web2 social
- Inefficient creator monetisation — Most creators rely on sponsorships, merchandise sale, and advertisements to earn. The platforms, agents and current market conditions poses threat to how creators monetise, many creators now flock to platforms such as Patreon and OnlyFans to earn directly from fans by providing exclusive access.
- Censorship — Each platform is governed by a board of directors (and for the conspiracists out there, politicians) who decides what types of content are allowed. Community can only follow the rules imposed on them with no ability to participate in the governance of the platform.
- Use of Personal Data — Most social networks rely on targetted ads to generate revenue for its shareholders. They do so by harvesting data points of each user and displaying to users ads that are most catered to their data profile. Some user segments are growing more aware to this and are starting to look for alternatives.
Harnessing the power of Web3
- Digital Collectibles to gate access — It is a new user behaviour that creators launch digital collectibles to give exclusive access to fans. Gary Vaynerchuk famously launched VeeFriends and generated over US$10m, some lucky individuals who minted the ‘Facetime Five’ NFT for example, may video chat with Gary for 5 minutes per year.
- Censorship-resistant content — Images and videos stored on decentralised data storages such as IPFS or Arweave cannot be censored by any centralised body, no matter how opinionated, politically charged, or explicit.
- Decentralised governance — Through voting consensus of token holders, the social network participants can help govern the platform in terms of community guideline, discovery algorithm, and future development of the core tech. Reddit does a fair job on this front allowing users to form their own subreddit communities with their own rules.
- Decentralised Identities (DID) — a DID is a self-owned, on-chain, self-sovereign identity that enables trusted data exchange (ref. Cointelegraph). This enables platforms to verify body of information specific to an individual without any centralised authority.
- Decentralised social graph — social network data is usually stored within servers of a private company. Protocols such as Lens.xyz created a user owned social graph, a middleware that any application can plug into and harness the power of network effect, without involving centralised bodies such as Meta.
2 Main Challenges of Web3 social Adoption
Blockchain technology offers features that the conventional web do not. For example, Rally offered creators a new way to monetise by minting creator tokens for fans to purchase and gain access to the creator. However, these products must find product-market fit and create value for the users in a sustainable way. There are two key challenges we identified that any dApp needs to solve in order to gain mass adoption:
- User Experience — Most working web3 dApps are built by web3 natives, for web3 natives. Crypto wallets, on/off-ramp are near impossible to use for a non-web3 native user. We once spent a whole hour explaining seed phrases and private keys to a DJ from Los Angeles, he was pretty turned off about 5 minutes into that presentation. Web3 applications built for mainstream users must create a user experience that is similar to the convention web2 applications.
- Product-Market Fit — More often than not, web3 project teams start the drawing board with “How do we attract more token buyers and find a fitting narrative to gain VC & CEX interest quickly”. In practice, it is more prudent to build for product market fit. A product should solve a painful problem for target users and be able to generate profits (or a good LTV:CAC ratio).
Creator Monetisation on Web3 — Only1
Only1 is a social platform that enable creators to launch Passes and give exclusive access to fans. Launching collectibles to gate access is a growing use case but the process takes a long time, is expensive and difficult. Creators care deeply about monetisation and are on active lookout for better solutions, especially during this economic downturn. Below we discuss how you can start earning on the Only1 platform:
How to start earning with Only1
- Sign in using email, Google, Social, or crypto wallets
- Create your profile
- Launch Passes: choose image, name, description (no gas needed)
- Share your profile and invite your fans to become a member by purchasing your Pass
Early access sign up will be announced mid February 2023, stay tuned by following our Twitter
Built for Mass Adoption
- Existing user behaviour — Launching collectibles to gate access has been done by tech-savvy creators like Gary Vaynerchuk, Irene Zhao, and more. However the process is expensive, takes time, is difficult and requires multiple platforms. We enable anyone to do so easily, for free, in seconds.
- Web2 sign-in — Wallet sign in can be one of the biggest friction in the user journey. We have integrated with Web3Auth to allow users to sign in with email, Google, or socials.
- Fiat payment support — Buying crypto first to be able to purchase Passes can be another friction for fans. We will integrate on-ramp providers to enable users to pay with credit card like its a web2 application.
- Performant & Scalable layer-1 — Buying and selling of Passes, as well as other interaction with the underlying network needs to be fast and cheap. We are currently building on Solana, and its performance has been impressive.
Web3 social is one of the verticals that will drive blockchain mass adoption. The infrastructure and middleware are ready, the last domino to fall in place is the application layer. What will be the first dApp to reach the masses?
If you are interested to learn more, here is a recent keynote presentation about ‘whether web3 will make or break social media’ at Token2049 Singapore by Adrian Lai, founder of Newman Capital. Shoot him a message if you are building in the space!