|In the Future, Social Media Will Pay You For Your Data|
Some users are turning to a platform that flips Facebook’s business model on its head — that is, they’re making money from social media, instead of helping the companies make money off them (and the data they generate).
The largest one in this new guard of platforms is called Minds. Though it actually launched in 2015, Minds’ popularity seems to be rising as more people search for viable alternatives to Facebook’s data-guzzling digital Eye of Sauron.
“Even before Cambridge Analytica, we learned that Facebook saw their first ever drop of millions of active users, which is a major wake up call,” Minds founder Bill Ottman tells Futurism in an email. “Many signals indicate users are fed up and rapidly migrating to open source, encrypted and decentralized social platforms.” Minds has about 1 million total users, and 110,000 of them are active each month, Wired reports.
On the surface, Minds seems pretty similar to Facebook and other familiar social networks. There’s a feed, which gets populated with posts; other users can comment, upvote, and form groups. But the code that makes it run is totally different. Minds runs on a decentralized network that thrives on users’ “contributions” — upvotes, comments or sharing — rather than selling off their data to shady third parties. They’re documented in a Bitcoin-esque public ledger; transactions are transparent, like any real-world cryptocurrency. You know who interacted with whom, and who was the original creator of the content.
Minds has created an “autonomous peer-to-peer payment system.” Interactions with your content earn you a score; your daily total corresponds to a number of tokens that end up in your wallet. That ensures content creators are rewarded for their efforts, similar to how YouTubers are paid through monetization of their videos.