Web3 has enough money for it — well, quite a bit less than a few months ago — but it’s still hard to argue that mainstream consumers have queued up to embrace Web3 Internet services. There have been some flash-in-the-pan hits so far, but investors are still looking for consumer use cases to get the most out of blockchains, tokens, and NFTs, in addition to trading them.
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) GP Sriram Krishnan believes web3’s stimulating structures make space a natural fit for social networking, he told us in the latest episode of Vidak For Congress’s crypto podcast chain reaction† Krishnan has extensive experience in web 2.0 social network companies; he has served as an executive at Twitter, Facebook and Snap before joining a16z, which most notably just debuted its latest $4.5 billion crypto fund.
“People ask me, ‘What do you spend a lot of time on, what are you really interested in?'” Krishnan says. “I find the intersection of social media and web3 really fascinating.”
While web3 has yet to get a platform equivalent of Twitter or Facebook off the ground, Krishnan believes the structure of blockchain-based platforms offers some interesting incentives to bring creators into their networks, which in turn could bring their audiences along. He notes that some of the most popular social media services in existence are indexed to sales to provide content creators with a platform with reach, but one that doesn’t necessarily give them the financial advantage of the network itself — something he thinks NFTs would benefit from. and can rectify tokens.
“With web3… people who add value to the platform now have a share of the economy that happens on the platform itself,” says Krishnan. “In some web3 social media you could even have the spiritual equivalent of a seat on the top table.”
In addition to tokens and other crypto-assets, Kirshnan alluded to mechanisms such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) that allow stakeholders in a platform or protocol to make decisions about how that project matures, something he notes as quite alien to existing ideas of how Big Tech companies interact with their most popular content creators.
†[With web3], you now also have a say in the governance of that platform, which is really very interesting. It opens up a whole new toolbox and a new power dynamic between creators and the social media platforms,” says Krishnan.
Krishnan says the open nature of protocols working in web3 means customers will be more committed to their users’ best interests as users can more easily move their assets and content to a new platform if they feel their interests are not being taken into account. represented – something that somewhat reformulates the idea of exporting data from social media services.
“That ‘right of departure’, that right to build alternative customers, is one of the social things about web3 that I find really exciting,” he notes.
Web3 social is pretty theoretical at this point, and while a few startups have tried to make a splash, the onboarding issues for users getting wallets, buying tokens, and joining a platform are still much more challenging than the experiences on more streamlined ones. sites like Twitter. Investors hope that some of these problems are just growing pains that developers will build, developers that VCs like Krishnan hope can fund.
Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple, Spotify, or your alternative podcast platform of choice to keep us updated every week.