Web3 Social: DID First, DAPP Second

Web3 Social: DID is the priority, DAPP is secondary.

Original Title: Identity First, Apps Second: Beyond Gated Web 2 Platforms

Original Author: Matti

Original Source: zeeprime

Translation: Kate, Marsbit

Table of Contents

• Indexing users instead of pages

• Superapps vs Longtail apps?

– Web 3 social will see a bottom-up identifier indexing attached to users’ blockchain addresses

– New applications will aggregate these verifiable identifiers, allowing users to connect in a social platform-like experience

– As the social graph in Web 3 is inherently open, it’s difficult for applications to establish moats

As Web 3 memes gain attention, many people’s instincts turn to social media applications. Many people believe that the timing for this industry to be disrupted has come. I agree, but I’d like to add that the emergence of cryptonative social media might not be top-down, but bottom-up.

Below is Zee Prime’s continuation of Web 3 Social, Commerce, and The Fappening.

Our investigation into decentralized social media began with Hive.one in early 2018. It still struggles to validate its product thesis today. Nonetheless, it was an interesting experience. In short, the founder believed that someone would figure out how to reliably index identities based on the “potential attention flows” between social media accounts, much like how Google indexed the web using PageRank.

Attention flow refers to the direction of a user’s attention, likes, and other impressions on a social network. Hive.one applied a pattern similar to what Google used to guide its search engine to Twitter accounts instead of websites.

Breaking down the terms:

1. Indexing refers to creating order out of chaos, e.g. a search engine cataloging unfiltered, chaotic websites, essentially assigning value to nodes on a graph

2. (Social) graph is the result of indexing, meaning it’s a mathematical structure that describes relationships (edges) between different nodes on the graph

3. In this case, the identifier is the thing that uniquely defines a node (entity) on the graph

We use the terms network and graph interchangeably. Source: Introduction to Networks.

While we still believe indexing is meaningful, it is not the way Hive aims to pursue. While Twitter user profile metrics such as follower count are an interesting potential identifier source, we now have more interesting identifiers to use that are not constrained by closed platforms; tokens.

I define identifiers as any asset or metric that helps determine someone’s position in a social graph. There are implicit and explicit identifiers:

1. Explicit: usernames, actions, etc.

2. Implicit: follower count, likes, and all other information describing the user, such as holding certain tokens or NFTs, executing some on-chain transactions

Closing multiple debt positions in Aave can win you a “Western Flame” identifier/badge

Both fungible and non-fungible, these open identifiers are unrestricted and have allowed us to begin describing cryptographic social graphs (so far, these graphs are mainly financial, not attention flows between addresses, we have fund flows between addresses). With the emergence of ZK-based proofs, we are upgrading our ability to assign identifiers based on user behavior, even porting Web 2 credentials in a trustworthy way.

Identity first, application second – no need to be locked into one platform to get identity

Our blockchain (primarily ETH) addresses are slowly becoming our user profiles. This is the way interactions between users and networks will slowly reverse, with identity (addresses) becoming primary, and applications becoming secondary. Networks will become native social networks, and users will not have to rely on closed social media platforms to facilitate contact with other users.

Index users, not pages

In this sense, we believe Hive.one is moving in the right direction – indexing identity is one way to build decentralized and platform-agnostic social media, however, their form of proof (Attention Score) has failed to create a flywheel because it hasn’t caught on.

Tokens have marked networks and defined relationships between users. The next generation of social media applications will rely on indexers that provide additional utility.

Enabling tokenized clusters is a way to define communities. As the surge of non-fungible verifiable identifiers (also known as soul binding) increases, we may enter a Cambrian explosion of tags that make social activity possible. This implies that the encrypted “Web 3 social” will develop from the bottom up.

Suddenly, we are no longer limited to one application to connect with other users, we need them just to facilitate interaction, not to define our social graph. The first part of the index is completed by tokens (non/fungible and ZK identifiers), and the built platform will facilitate discovery (through competition algorithms), DMing, tweeting, news source-like user experience, etc.

From a more practical perspective, Sismo ZKconnect or something similar may be an evolutionary tool that will accelerate the process of fully socializing the encrypted financial graph (with some privacy elements).

Is the future of encrypted social applications just an aggregator? Like Zapper’s on-chain activity feed? It’s a wallet that shows your friends, follows, purchases, and ZK badges, allowing you to subscribe, block, mute, magnify, and send messages to anyone on the chain? Do inherent crypto finance tools enhance the experience? Send money to friends, lend them money (which is definitely not a good idea), bet on their “tweets” or streaming, etc.

Indexing the site helps to search better and improve navigation for users on the internet. It connects pages into a more structured network. Indexing users (based on identifiers) essentially means connecting them – or allowing them to connect. This experience is similar to having someone’s phone number, you know that X number is Joe, and you can contact Joe through hundreds of different applications.

Super app or long-tail app?

Social media platforms became the monopolists of Web 2. Can Web 3 follow a similar path? As mentioned above, identifiers in Web 3 are platform-agnostic compared to closed Web 2 identifiers. The potential monopoly in Web 3 will depend on aggregating these identifiers into a sticky application.

As far as protecting the moat is concerned, building an aggregator is tricky. If you want to build a “crypto WeChat,” you have to execute many functions well, but you still don’t own the users. They can switch to any other platform that offers the same features without losing their underlying network. The cost of conversion is zero.

Therefore, any future super app (it will never call itself that) will find a way to increase the user’s cost of conversion, either by directly offering lower prices because it innovates downstream (such as block building, thus providing cheaper execution costs), or simply offering a unique user product that is difficult to replicate.

Today’s building blocks are all about expressing financial intent. This social super app could find a way to combine social intent with financial intent and vertically integrate this building process into the user journey.

Another option is to use only unique, user-friendly products as the moat. In a sense, it may be a fragile network because it does not acknowledge the commercialization of the social experience.

Innovation is about breaking apart old bundles while creating new ones. Our guess is that creating bundles in Web 3 will require a solution that solves the complex coordination problem on the financial graph while integrating savvy social features.

In the short term, a top-down super app may have the potential to take over the market. Against the backdrop of Web3 social, they must separate identifiers from wallets in order to successfully lock users in the long term.

Regardless of which solution dominates in the future, we expect the emergence of Web3 social, but it is expected to be more of a phenomenon driven by identifiers (bottom-up) rather than app-centric prosperity, followed by wallet-like solutions that attempt to aggregate these identifiers.

If you are considering these issues, don’t be shy, reach out.

Thanks to Ankit and longsolitude for their valuable feedback.

Disclaimer: Zee Prime has invested in Hive.one, Sismo and Zapper.

Note: Blocking all articles only represents the author’s point of view and does not constitute investment advice
Original link: https://www.bitpush.news/articles/4469028

We will continue to update Blocking; if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us!

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