Op Ed: DApps Can Increase Audience Engagement for Creators and Influencers
Many of us are familiar with the term “DApp,” which stands for “decentralized application.”
Foundationally, a DApp is an application that runs using blockchain technology on a decentralized network of computers instead of on a central database.
Transactions via a DApp require the consensus of all users on the blockchain. For example, a financial transfer transacted via any DApp cannot be completed unless validated by all computers in the network, sometimes referred to in the blockchain environment as nodes. The funds will not be released and transferred until each node in the decentralized database has agreed upon the validity of the transaction.
DApps are open-sourced software that run on top of other immutable blockchain technologies like Ethereum, allowing for greater transparency in transactions. DApps, although a fairly new concept at this point must, in general, meet the following criteria:
DApps are open source. They are autonomously governed applications, with any changes decided by a consensus of users.
DApps are decentralized. “Decentralized” is the “D” in “DApps.” Records of the application’s transactions are stored on an immutable, public and decentralized blockchain, thus protecting it from the ordinary risks of a central database, like hacking and other types of fraud.
DApps must generate tokens. Validators of the blockchain should be incentivized by the rewarding of cryptographic tokens.
DApps generate tokens via a cryptographic algorithm. Tokens are created by a cryptographic algorithm, like a pProof of wWork (PoW), the algorithm for Bitcoin.
DApps, Meet Influencers. Influencers, Meet DApps
DApps are a wonderful means for social media influencers to interact with and engage their fans. Influencers are defined as social media contributors who have substantial followings, even running into the millions on networks like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Traditionally, influencers have been tied to these applications as the only ways to interact with their communities.
Enter blockchain technology and DApps, which are introducing exciting new ways of evolving the ecosystem that is home to social authorities, followers, developers and brands.
Influencers, whose focus and energy goes into interacting with and creating content for their audience, often lack the resources and technical know-how to deepen their relationships with their communities. Blockchain technology can enable influencers and developers to come together and form mutually profitable partnerships by developing dedicated apps that enhance interactions between influencers and their followers.
Among those creating innovative platforms that empower influencers and bring greater creativity, flexibility and meaning to influencer-follower relationships are companies like BOOSTO, PATRON and Hunter Corp Records. These companies aim to shift authority away from social media platforms and digital distribution services, putting it back into the hands of artists and content creators.
It’s All About Trust: How DApps Can Benefit Content Creators and Developers
When content creators use traditional apps like Instagram, monetizing talent can become a complex balancing act. Sponsored posts, a tried and true method for creating income as an influencer, can make content come across as fake, causing followers to lose interest and disengage. It can be difficult to maintain the delicate balance between sponsored and organic posts. DApps reduce the need for sponsored content by eliminating middlemen, like advertisers, and enabling influencers to interact directly with their communities.
The transparency of DApps can be leveraged to allow content creators to provide performance-based services for followers, like coaching sessions or classes. Imagine a wild- or foraged- foods expert being able to easily offer online, or even in-person, classes on how to safely forage for mushrooms. No hosting service would be necessary for the livestream or webinar, since such a capability would be built into the specially developed DApp, specifically created by the wild- foods expert with a developer to meet her explicit needs.
DApps work because they provide a foundation of trust that allows for more direct contact between fans and influencers, influencer networks, and social media platforms. The use of tokens further eliminates the need for intermediaries like selling platforms, and allows profits to go directly to content creators and developers. Developers additionally benefit from this system as they can be paid per blockchain transaction.
Smart contracts also help to establish trust between brands and influencers. This makes it possible for them to safely enter into partnerships, and gives influencers even more ways to monetize their talents, like establishing their own online stores, where they can sell personalized services and products from brands they have partnered with.
Marketers and companies who have constantly had to grapple with the problem of determining which influencers are fraudulent and which are genuine now have a trustworthy ecosystem in which to operate and interact, thus opening up more opportunities for influencers to establish solid relationships with brands, and thereby create income.
Where Is This Relationship Going? The Future for DApps and Influencers
Blockchain technology and DApps are poised to revolutionize the influencer universe, creating relationships that are ultimately healthier, more transparent, and more profitable for content creators and developers. The future looks like a truly connected influencer environment in which all participants will thrive.