Web2 social media kinda sucks. So why aren’t people using Web3 platforms?

Most of the Web3 world tends to congregate in Web2 social platforms, despite their many flaws

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Cristian Dina/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Let’s face it. Web2 social media kinda sucks.

Even Twitter, a popular gathering point for many crypto enthusiasts, is not what it used to be. Sure, there seems to be less censorship and more transparency which is, arguably, a positive change. But lots of little things just don’t feel right. 

The “for you” feed sends all kinds of irrelevant content, algorithms seem to change arbitrarily, and the search function is completely broken, to mention a few examples. And let’s not just pick on Twitter — competitors like Facebook and TikTok have their own long lists of problems.

Still, most of the Web3 world tends to congregate in Web2 platforms, despite their many flaws.

In the Web3 social media space, a couple apps like Lens and Warpcast, built on Farcaster, have seen moderate success, but nowhere near the levels that would “disrupt” legacy platforms.

Back on Twitter, Icebergy has successfully built a substantial following, but he too finds Web2 services to be lacking. 

The self-described developer and angel investor who created the popular market-tracking Twitter account, Whalebot Web3, spoke to Blockworks on a recent episode of the Empire podcast about Web3 social app adoption (Spotify / Apple). 

While some Web3 social media apps are “pretty good,” he says, he doesn’t know what it will take “to get the snowball rolling of people actually logging in there and using it.”

The key challenge is to reach a critical mass where lots of people use the platform, but this usually only happens, paradoxically, if lots of people use the platform. “A lot of us are on Twitter because that’s where we engage with people,” podcast host Santiago Santos says.

It’s not easy to carve a viable niche out of massive corporate platforms, where everyone already gathers and feels at home. Web3 economic motivators can also attract negative behaviors, inauthentic engagement, and “paid shills,” for example, Santos says. 

Genuine engagement and communication can be distorted when value is introduced, he says. “It just changes the game.”

Just port over the content

Icebergy explains that old forums such as Twitter still hold certain advantages, primarily serving as a tool to “network and talk to people.”

“It’s like the best Google in the world where you can just ask a question and 10 people will tell you you’re right, 10 people will tell you you’re wrong.”

“It’s a very good public chat room,” says Icebergy. 

To replicate this utility in Web3, the content needs to be imported, Santos says. He explains that he created his Web3 Lens profile to be “very transparent,” but the main barrier for usage requires changing the “flow” to attract users and develop new habits. 

As an early investor in Lens, he has spoken to developers about ways to “insert” adopters into that flow. “Can you create some sort of app where, if you tweet, it automatically posts on Lens by default as an initial hook? Just port over the content.”

He uses the example of Airbnb, which used a “great strategy,” he says, pulling listings straight from Craigslist and slapping on an attractive interface. “That was really all it took to source all the inventory and the content to the platform,” he says.

“Assuming you already have the content there — like, all my tweets are on Lens,” he says as an example, users could dive deeper into analytics, curation and engagement. 

But to attract users away from established platforms, he says, there’s going to have to be a “value add” that doesn’t exist on Twitter.

Icebergy sees the list of upcoming Web2 social media platforms like Bluesky and Instagram’s Twitter clone, among others, and feels overwhelmed. “It just seems like too much.”

“But I feel like there has to be some opportunity here for something like that” in Web3, he says. For now, it seems to be “a forgotten aspect of crypto.”


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