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10 assertions about the future of social

  1. It will be decentralized. The way to compete with Facebook is not to compete with its model. Decentralization empowers users in a way that Facebook can’t, while also undermining its core business model.

  2. It won’t be a decentralized version of something we already know. It’s not enough to build a “decentralized Facebook / Twitter / TikTok / whatever”. While there’s a core that’s attracted to the ethos of decentralization, it can’t be the core value prop for most users. It’s got to bring something new in itself.

  3. It won’t be a monoculture. Lots of different clients written by lots of different teams with lots of different user experiences.

  4. It doesn’t have to be web-based. As much as we love the web, we shouldn’t be constrained by having to build web-first. Apps like TikTok - and before it, Instagram - have shown that you can take advantage of native app platforms first, and use web for discovery second.

  5. We can’t solve identity. There will never be a single identity that we use across the web. Instead, there may be open protocols that allow us to auth with different providers.

  6. It won’t be built by an existing tech company. (Although it’s possible it could be built by a spinoff or protected internal team of one.) And it might not be built by a company at all: it’s likely to start as an open source collaboration, or even as a co-operative.

  7. It won’t be built by an existing standards body. And any attempt to build standards-first will fail.

  8. The ecosystem will be simpler than you imagine. The technologies that succeed will allow new developers to get up and running in an afternoon, armed with great documentation, easy-to-use libraries, and simple underlying protocols.

  9. It won’t be based on blockchain. But there’s nothing to say that you won’t be able to bring your own ENS domain, etc, if you want.

  10. It has to solve harassment and abuse. Any new network that doesn’t solve harassment and abuse will be co-opted by right wing groups and trolls, killing any nascent community before it has had a chance to get off the ground.