Future of Social Network: How Web3 Social, Crypto, NFT & Community Intersect

When decentralized finance meets social

Zoe Chew
8 min readDec 15, 2022

What’s this about

  • In Web2 social, users without active participation are being left out of economic opportunities.
  • Web3 social is changing social interaction by combining the features of decentralized finance (DeFi) and social media, allowing users to benefit from the financial component of making friends online.
  • This is made possible through tokenization, NFT memberships, crypto rewards & creator economy on the blockchain.
  • In this report, we will examine the latest platforms and emerging technologies that are changing the way we socialize, earn and own in the Web3.

Hey 👋 I’m Zoe: builder, ever curious, built 11 MVPs, on Lifehacker, Product Hunt #1, and Medium Top Writer & HackerNoon winner in VC topics. I unpack new insights on Web2 & Web3 economy. Let’s go!

Section 1: Key Market Trends

(1) Web2 social networks are going into crypto:

  • Many social media platforms are adding Web3 experiences for Web2 users by offering digital art collections, crypto payment options, and Fintech integration.
  • Reddit has launched an NFT avatar marketplace at Collectible Avatars Shop.
  • Twitter has a tipping feature that allows creators to accept Bitcoin via Strike.
  • Telegram aims to launch a marketplace for selling NFT-based usernames to interested buyers.
  • Discord, home to crypto and gaming enthusiasts have enabled Web3 sign-in feature via MetaMask and WalletConnect integrations.

(2) Curator economy aka monetizes “good taste”:

  • Online content is overabundant. Information overload is driving the need to centralize quality content in one place. Curators come into play. They “re-bundle” information by organizing and sharing thoughtfully curated content. They get paid by monetizing “taste”.
  • New Web3 startups are rewarding curators via cryptocurrency and turning social media users into “digital librarians” who get paid by sharing what they love.
  • Yup is a social network for curators. Curators get paid in YUP tokens when users “like” their content collections.
  • Catalog is building a listening discovery platform and has helped artists earn over $3 million.
  • Dataverse is building Web3’s Pinterest. Users can curate, share and monetize their collection.

(3) Tokenized membership and community:

  • Startups are building the Web3 version of Patreon to help creators monetize from multiple revenue streams that are Web3-native. This includes NFTs, gated content, tipping, recurring subscriptions, and so on.
  • RareCircles helps brands and creators launch NFT memberships using its mint-to-checkout solution.
  • Rally helps artists to launch their own branded cryptocurrency and monetize through donations, merch, and access to events and content.
  • Unlock is a community-governed protocol that lets you create membership programs and sell access using NFTs.
  • Coinvise helps you create a token-gated membership where you can grant special access by adjusting membership tiers.

more… !

(🔒 MEMBERS-ONLY) +5 more key trends, backed by real company examples:

🔑 (4/8) How to use token-based virtual interaction in social network (4 platform examples)

🔑 (5/8) How to create the future of Web3 social clubs? (3 platform examples)

🔑 (6/8) How do influencers become an IPO in Web3 (3 platform examples)

🔑 (7/8) Who’s combining NFT & AR/VR in Web3 social (5 platform examples)

🔑 (8/8) How to create product habits and increase engagement in Web3 social (5 platform examples)

🔥 Unlock the full-report & databases :::

Section 2: Market Players & Company Databases

  • 🏢 Total 96 market players
  • 🔖 Total 10 niche segments
  • 🗃 Company databases: value proposition, website, stage, total funding raised, year founded, company size, location, and LinkedIn
  • 👌 Easily filter, sort and customize the display

(🔒 MEMBERS-ONLY) Access the full database:

Section 3: Problems & Market Needs

(1) Lower technical barriers:

  • Web3 social is characterized by online communities. Therefore, social tokens (personal or community tokens) play a role to gain access to a specific community or incentivize participants through a tokenized ecosystem.
  • Solutions exist to help creators, community managers, marketers, and brands to navigate the complexities of tokenomics and transition into Web3 social easily.
  • SocialStack makes it easy for community managers to launch tokenized online communities that distribute rewards throughout the entire community.
  • Strata, a Solana-based platform is a no-code platform for launching all kinds of tokens including DAO, GameFi, social and community tokens.
  • Calaxy makes it easy to create social fan tokens. Fans can buy tokens to support their favorite influencers and gain access to perks such as 1:1 DMs, video calls, and fan club access. The app also has a user-friendly interface that looks like Instagram.

(🔒 MEMBERS-ONLY) +4 more insights to find customer needs:

🔑 (2/5) Solving social networking app fatigues (3 platform examples)

🔑 (3/5) How to redistribute income opportunities for social media users (4 platform examples)

🔑 (4/5) Create a new market for a specific niche (4 platform examples)

🔑 (5/5) Solving creator’s burnout using Web3 social model (4 platform examples)

Section 4: Next Big Things + Startup Opportunities

(1) Social-based investing:

  • A study shows 47% of Gen Z own cryptocurrency; 1 out of 10 of them own NFTs and many younger generations use social media to learn investment knowledge. Many Gen Zers turn to TikTok, YouTube, and podcasts to learn about investing.
  • With the rise of “social investing”, a concept where friends can learn from what others are investing in, social networks are no longer a place to meet new friends, but also to learn and grow wealth.
  • Public.com offers a wide range of investments including alternative assets such as arts and collectibles. Public.com brings together experts’ live sessions, community discussions, and friends-follow-friends features in its social investment app.
  • Shares recently closed $40 Million in funding for building a peer-to-peer social network for investing in stocks.
  • SprinkleBit offers play money to invest in real stocks and allows you to follow top investors/friends and copy their trade.
  • Alinea Invest is a GenZ-focused investing app. Users can create “investment playlists” and share them with their friends.

(2) Rethink social media advertising:

  • Web2 social thrived on monetizing user data through online advertising. At its core, Web3 social is built to give control and privacy back to its users. This means users have a choice to opt-in for watching ads (like Brave Browser’s Private Ads) and get monetary rewards for doing so.
  • New solutions are needed to rethink digital advertising in the Web3 space. This could be Web3 social media agency, AdTech, and native features that incentivize users for sponsorship opportunities.
  • Web3 advertising. Permission is using a permission-based approach to connect consumers with brands. Users who opt-in to watch ads and share engagement data with companies will be rewarded with crypto.
  • Buying an ad space using NFTs. With smart contracts, thought leaders might be able to rent out their personal social posts in the form of NFTs. Advertisers can incentivize the account owners who offer ad space in the form of featured sponsorships.

(3) From social graph to interest-based social network:

  • At present, many social media algorithms favor influencers with a large follower base. The more views, likes, and comments you have, the more visible your content is. This is why only the top 10% of the creators make all the money on YouTube and Twitch.
  • TikTok is taking the lead to engage users based on interest graphs (your preferred content topics), rather than social graphs (what your friends are watching).
  • Web3 social will see similar trends that bring together people based on similar passions, rather than mutualism. Emergence players will likely attempt “TikTok for Web3” with added built-in payment and in-app economy.
  • Bullz allows creators to make authentic recommendations about NFTs, DeFi, and cryptos. Users will get peer-reviewed for their recommendations and earn WOM Tokens.
  • Chingari is building India’s Web3 TikTok. Users can turn their short videos into NFTs and sell them on the NFT video marketplace.
  • Index.as maps out the Internet’s content based on contextual relationships and let users monetize them independently.

(🔒 MEMBERS-ONLY) +6 more startup opportunities:

🔑 (4/9) Decentralized eCommerce opportunities (3 use case examples)

🔑 (5/9) Create an immersive commerce experience (2 platform examples)

🔑 (6/9) Solutions to increase user experience and reliability (2 platform examples)

🔑 (7/9) Vertical Web3 social network and types of target audience (3 platform examples)

🔑 (8/9) Adjacent tools for Web3 social media users (4 platform examples)

🔑 (9/9) Tools to help Web3 communities socialize better (3 platform examples)

Section 5: Product Strategy & Recommendation

(1) Focus on content with higher dwell time and repeat consumption:

  • Short-form content or content with “higher dwell time” such as games, and music are highly repeatable.
  • People re-watch funny TikTok videos, play the same popular online games for years, and listen to hit songs on repeat.
  • Startups that anchor these content types and embed social networking elements will have higher chances of success.
  • The secret sauce is “Do leisure activities with friends”. For example, Spotify’s creates a collaborative music playlist and sees what your friends are listening to. Roblox’s customize your avatars, build virtual worlds and chat with friends.

(🔒 MEMBERS-ONLY) +4 more action ideas and recommendations:

🔑 (2/5) 6 examples on how to differentiate your Web3 social / SocialFi platform

🔑 (3/5) 6 ways to create revenue streams for creators (6 platform examples)

🔑 (4/5) Build a minimum viable product (MVP) for Web3 social (3 tools to use)

🔑 (5/5) Build a minimum viable community (MVC) for Web3 social (3 tools to use)

🔥 Unlock the full-report & databases :::

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More Trends and Ideas…

Web3 Creators Economy:

Web2 Creator Economy:

Fintech opportunities: