Reinventing: Blockchain

User Generated Content

This article originally appeared in HuffPost on 1/3/2018.

If we were to print all the digital photos taken in 2017 on 4x6” paper, and laid them end to end, they would reach from Earth to Mars more than three times. That’s 1.2 Trillion photos according to research sourced from Infotrends and nicely documented by Washington based firm Myilo. Clearly, with camera enabled mobile devices growing at staggering rates, this number will be dramatically larger in 2018, and continue to grow for the rest of our lives.

Now, try to imagine how many social media ‘likes’ there have been on these photos. Instagram alone has close to 1 Billion users. I don’t have research to back me up on this one, but it seems safe to assume based on the other numbers that there are Quadrillions of ‘likes’ and shares of the digital photos taken in 2017 alone. What if even a small percentage of these ‘likes’ and shares could be generating revenue for the people who took the photographs, or causes those people care about? Every single ‘like’, and ‘share’ could equate to a store of value for the photographer or their cause.

Blockchain based technology can provide the framework to make social network interactions benefit the content creator.

In addition to social network interactions such as likes and shares, the online stock image industry is poised to be built around a blockchain infrastructure to allow creators of digital media to earn an income from their work. However, it's important to take a closer look at the sleeping giant of user generated content. I like to think of Apple’s recent advertising campaigns showing photos taken with the iPhone. Everyday people, using their smartphones and advanced photo editing filters and tools are producing amazing content of real value.

Let’s take a look at Selfllery, an emerging blockchain project out of Singapore in the works since 2016.
A multifunctional social platform that allows users to receive rewards in cryptocurrency for social activities related to publication and distribution of their visual content. The product concept and its first versions were designed in early 2016.

Built on the ERC20 Ethereum token standard, their ‘YOU’ token and blockchain based platform will include the essential components for anyone to monetize a great piece of digital content. As users like and share content, they spend their allotted YOU tokens on the users whom content they interact with. Advertising on the site will also be shared with the content it’s surrounding and pay to users in YOU tokens. In order to regulate fraud and inflation, users will undergo a simple validation process, and also have daily limits on their social activity that will adjust as the system builds their profile and influence. The more active a user is, the more valuable their social activity will become. Metrics such as the number of likes received, the number of comments the user posted, participation in photo contests, positions in top ratings, and more will influence the token value each of their clicks has.

Here are some of the key ways the token ecosystem will generate revenue for its users:

  • Turn ‘likes’ into money: The system monetizes every ‘like’ through a decentralized blockchain technology, so that each user gets tokens automatically after the ‘likes’ appear under their photo.
  • Sell photos and videos: this will provide a multipurpose photo bank where users upload and sell their digital photos.
  • Spread goodness: An element I truly appreciate in their business model as well, is a dedicated 10% of revenue stream for charity by the company itself, and additionally by the users themselves, if they choose to do so. This could provide an amateur photographer with a large following to support real causes they care about.
  • Advertise and promote content: Selfllery offers an AdTech platform based on smart contracts, that turn photoquests and photo contests into marketing tools.
  • Compete and win prizes: Photoquests (where users follow journeys and challenges with their photos), and photo contests increases users’ potential to get likes and receive rewards in YOU tokens. The more participants enter the contest, the larger the reward.
  • Buy and sell in a virtual marketplace: The Selfllery marketplace is where companies and e-sellers sell related products and services, which users buy using the YOU token.

“From rock art to modern ads, humans have placed value on art. Today’s social networks have mechanisms in place for users to make money from their online activity, but these mechanisms take time and skill to operate, and in the meantime, the corporations behind these networks are the ones making money from the users’ content. At Selfllery, we want to break this. We are introducing blockchain into the mechanism, and allowing anyone to be rewarded for their visual content, quickly and automatically.” ~ Vadim Onishchenko, founder and CEO of Selfllery.