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2020-03-10

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The EOSIO Socials Voicers Have Forgot: Part 1 - Microblogging Platforms of EOSIO

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With all these people around the world waiting for their invite to Voice, what other option may there be for those that want to interact with the community. In this series we will forgo all the Voice hype and explore some of the other social dApps within the EOSIO sphere. For the first part we will focus exclusively on the ‘short form’ content creation sites of Karma which just recently relocated to WAX, Murmur, which is in the process of presently being relocated to TELOS, and Chirp, built and launched in tandem with the release of Lynx Chain. Without further ado then, let’s dive on in.


KARMA

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“KARMA is a social network designed for those who create the value, to actually earn it. Users are incentivized to do good, share positive & original content and receive KARMA from every like their content recieves” - karmaapp.io

According to co-founder Dallas Rushing, the intent behind creating the Karma app was primarily to address issues plaguing social media platforms at the time and create incentive to do social media differently, as well as a place for people to share things that are going to be valuable to those who consume that content.

Karma was created as an optional new social experience as a social platform that will not agitate people and addict them so that they consume the maximum amount of ads. That is sadly the flaw in so many of these platforms, and now we are even seeing that they are in a sense being taken over by larger entities who were helping to sort of steer the direction of them. Unfairly censoring people without explaining why, shadow banning people, and even in silence, secretly shadow banning people who were gaining momentum so that they will stop recommending their content. And really, some of the decisions that these platforms are making are not geared towards what is best for the users, but rather geared towards what is best for their over leveraged business to continue to stay afloat.”

Keeping this in mind, the Karma experience is a lot what you might expect, an affinity of posts from a plethora of posters across the globe on that which interests them.

Although originally released on the EOS main net as the first social app on EOSIO, KARMA migrated to the WAX blockchain in late 2019 to quell congestion issues on the EOS mainnet for app users which became almost unusable for anything relying on an on-chain transaction. This in turn hiked the price of CPU costs for users, and as Karma was paying for those costs on behalf of all of it’s users it just became no longer a viable option. In addition, the move to WAX had a serious effect on lowering the account creation costs substantially and better enabled a focus of capital on marketing and future app developments.

As much as a hassle this all sounds, for those around at the time, the switch from EOS to WAX was incredibly well executed. During the transition, all accounts that were holding KARMA were gifted free WAX accounts and the relevant respective WAX based KARMA tokens. In the broader spectrum, it was an amazing showcase of not only the Karma team, but also the fluidness of the EOSIO framework to move so seamlessly between chains.

What really set Karma apart at the time of their launch from traditional non-crypto social media sites was of course, the ability to earn. “It’s just not a reality for people of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or even YouTube for most people at this moment due to the hurdles for new users to earn from their content”

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Getting setup on KARMA is quite easy. Simply download the app from the App Store (for IOS) or Google Play (for android) and register with an email or Facebook account. From here you can tailor your profile and begin posting. The creation of a KARMA account and posting content on KARMA is free for all users. This means that there is no cost to the user to create an account and no necessity to purchase KARMA tokens to begin interacting with the community. That said, should you wish to improve your influence, earn staking rewards, or boost posts you will need KARMA tokens, either purchased from an exchange or earned through your activity on the app.

Karma allows users to post whatever content they deem postworthy. That said, due to the fact that “the app is in both the Android and Apple store, you do have to comply to some extent with those rules. Someone cannot really post illegal pornography or something like that, or that content can get flagged and the content can get removed. But for the app to be able to stay in the App Stores, compliance is a necessary factor for those very fringe cases.” The Karma team does have some interesting thoughts on how more moderation can come into play in a decentralized way effectively allowing people to earn as not only posters, but as moderators as well. “One cool idea is to do it sort of Tinder style where content just pops up and users just swipe left or right if it’s inappropriate or ok”.

Although currently only running in app mode, the web version for Karma is currently under construction and planned for release in March of this year. In addition the team also plans to release a new dark mode based mobile app as well.

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Other updates in the works, and one of the tertiary reasonings for moving to WAX in fact is to develop and release exclusive Karma based NFT’s that could be utilized by users owning them in interesting ways, such as inside comments, replies, or the chat. In addition, embedding tokens into NFT’s to give them some kind of value and would like to be able to support some of the NFT’s on other apps and those coming down the road from Topps on the heels of their recent partnership announcement with WAX.

Finally, Karma also has plans to utilize the Bancor relays to set up a swap function inside of the wallet so that users can exchange KARMA for WAX and other tokens. Add to this new features like the ability to post thoughts similar to Tweets and even the ability to write and post articles with the ability to rank in SEO’s or just putting helpful and meaningful tutorials, longer form concepts, or deeper passions out there into the world.

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At its core, Karma is making strides towards really amping up their reach both within the crypto space and beyond and looking to further fulfill the niche that they first spotted way back with the initial launch. As Dallas summed it up,

“The concept of Karma at is most root vision revolves around the concept of what you do in this moment will affect future moment of your life, and when you combine blockchain and social media when it comes to things being forever and also, what you are sharing, it’s such an important angle on for people to see things through with how social media should and could evolve in the future as it’s going to become such a larger part of society.”

*All quotes, unless otherwise stated, from Karma co-founder Dallas Rushing


Murmur

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“Murmur is a new-age, blockchain-based, decentralized microblogging platform. It’s open, transparent, and allows users to monetize their content. Murmur is an independently operated platform, which means it is less corruptible and resistant to regulation”- https://murmurdapp.com/

Murmur Voice screenshot

Although Murmur has been around for quite some time, there are potentially big changes coming as they prepare for their migration from the EOS mainnet over to TELOS. A lower network transaction cost, EOS network congestion hindering the ability to create new accounts, and a supportive ecosystem are all reasons noted for being responsible for the move. Being built on EOSIO, Murmur is compatible by design and is reported to be in the final testing phase of making sure everything is in line before going live on the TELOS network this month.

“Adding Murmur is a big milestone for Telos as a platform. Of course, at the foundation, we are happy to be working with Murmur’s awesome team. But just as important, their application brings further diversity to the Telos network. Adding a social network to the lineup of apps in other categories building on Telos brings it one step closer to being a truly complete platform for end users, with all the functionality they’re accustomed to from Big Tech’s closed ecosystems.” - Justin Giudici, Chief Product Officer for the Telos Foundation

At present there are 2 options to interact with Murmur, a web version of the platform that utilizes a Scatter based login and the Murmur App which is downloadable for both iOS and Android. However due to the transition over to TELOS new accounts are not being created in the App and although usable with the Scatter login, not customizable with username and profile changes at this time. This should soon be rectified when Murmur officially goes live on TELOS later this month, and if past president is any indication, the process of the past was relatively smooth for both the registration, profile customization, and the social aspects posting content to the blockchain and collecting one’s MUR token rewards sent directly to your EOS account for such things as ‘snoops’ and ‘yells’ of content you have posted.

“In addition to all the powerful features of the Telos network, Murmur will also get marketing and technical support from the Telos Foundation and community members. They’ll also benefit from aspects of Telos Economic Development Plan, which lays out incentives for various types of participants in the network.” - The Telos Foundation

Long term, the vision of Murmur is relatively simple looking towards establishing themselves as a social dApp to in the space offering a number of key features:

  • A proprietary reputation system that establishes trust between psuedonymous accounts by establishing account trust scores.

  • A democratic governance framework to adequately empower the community to manage the network on their own

  • Supported by a token economy that gives consideration to network growth and sustenance

Looking forward, it’s hard to know exactly just how all this will unfold, but from the sounds of it, the perspective of both parties seem to hint the move will be mutually beneficial. Not only will this mark the first micro blogging platform on the TELOS network, but with both web and mobile friendly versions of the app running on a chain as popular with certain crowds as Telos seems to be, it’s a good possibility that with a smooth transition Murmur expand its reach into the micro blogging crypto space by leaps and bounds.


Chirp

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With the exception of VOICE, Chirp is the new kid on the block when it comes to EOSIO social networks. Chirp was born on tandem timelines with the new EOSIO LynxChain and released with the first version of the new LynxChain desktop and mobile wallet.

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According to creator Kurt Braget (aka @kurtybot on Twitter),

“I started thinking of each blockchain as their own baby internet. When I thought of what the internet had when it was a baby, I remember simple things like message boards, a place where people could enter that world.

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What these baby blockchains need are a place to go to connect with others and use their tokens. If all the ERC20 tokens had something like this during the major bull run of 2017, the blockchains space would probably have a unicorn or two by now. Telegram (and scammers) should thank us at least.

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Also being fully aware of the issues on EOS mainnet and the roadmap of Voice would likely be very slow, I wanted something I could play with now. So rather than waiting for Voice, I rolled my own.”

In a majority of ways Chirp plays a very similar role with the other social sites on this list, that is the monetization of social content. There are however a couple of things that set Chirp apart.

One of the major differences between Chirp and pre-existing EOSIO social sites is that Chirp utilizes the LNX token instead of their own Chirp token. In fact, in order to post on Chirp you do need to spend a small amount of LNX, 0.03 to be exact. This is complimented with a very microtransaction focused social site experience rewarding users with 0.01 LNX every time their post is liked. In this regard, Chirp also differs in that when you like a post, LNX tokens are moved from your personal balance to the balance of the user whose post you have liked, thus acting as a true peer-to-peer micro transaction network and not just gaining gifted tokens from the platforms caufors for upvoted content.

LynxChain has some other benefits as well. “LynxChain (now Proton) seemed interesting to me because it was going to be an EOSIO implementation that removed the resource issues and user interface annoyances. A user on Proton doesn’t ever need to care about CPU / RAM and Net. No normal user will ever care about those things so it’s best to keep them out of the way. Proton has fun things like user avatars and account creation with short names that can be created for free, all you need is a phone number”.

Of course no conversation about Chirp would be complete without a comparison to Voice. The most defining factor of between the two is that unlike Voice, there is no KYC. It is the stance of Chirp that “crypto dapps should be open to all people and all countries on day one. That is true now. No matter where you live in the world you can use Chirp and immediately make friends, earn crypto. We do not discriminate on country of origin. We also will never ask for personal information or try to KYC people unless they want to use deeper financial services in the future. For now all you need is a valid number, which most people in most countries have”*.

The site itself is pretty simple and really easy to learn how to use. It’s a basic interface all run from within the LNX wallet. Although it is possible to use the Chirp from a smartphone, there is a catch whereby you need to enter from the Lynx homepage as due to App Store regulations hosting dApps directly within the Lynx Wallet App has become more complicated. That said, things may not always be this way as “ProtonChain is going to be an upgraded version of LynxChain that will all of the power of Metal wallet features. Still EOSIO and will be amazing.” When this change takes place the XPT token will replace the LNX token and although there is likely to be updates, the basic functionality at present should be set to stay the same.

As for upgrades, Chirp always seems to be adding something new. So far #tag_channels have been added for users to post relevant content in, and it’s even possible to create your very own channel for a modest sum of 5 LNX. Users on the site can check their rankings if they so choose on the Chirp leaderboard which not only tallies the top ‘earners’ but also how much they have spent to earn that much. Users on the platform can also spend LNX to pin their posts in the hope of getting more views and increasing their earnings. And, in the very near future in fact, Chirp is planning on expanding their COINS, an in app loyalty or rewards token that can be used to spend inside the app on various things giving users more in app power.

All in all, Chirp has hit the ground running with no sign of slowing up. Likely one of the only things slowing them down at this point is the fact that it is on LynxChain which has a lower threshold of users than that of the EOS mainnet. That said, considering that Chirp has one of the most seamless sign up experiences on Proton than and still has the user using their private key to sign their transactions, expect it to continue to gain in popularity especially after Proton Chain rolls out all the updates they are planning.

*All quotes, unless otherwise stated, from Chirp founder Kurt Braget.


Closing Remarks

So whether you are on WAX, TELOS, or LYNX (soon to be Proton), there appears to be some dApp that has you covered in terms of short form-social media content creation. Although each has its own unique user base, in truth there are many that utilize more than one as evidenced by user names and profiles that can be seen on various platforms. Having all come from different places and heading to different directions, despite many similarities in these early days, expect to see these dApps continue to diverge more into the benefits of what their hosting sister-chains have to offer whether it be NFT incorporation on Karma, tapping into an ever increasing developing nation user base on Murmur, or ever increasing optimization of micro blogging transaction ecosystem on Chirp. Regardless of your preference, just remember, in the end they all showcase what is possible in the realm of short content social dApps by utilizing the software of EOSIO.

As for us here at EOS Go, thanks as always for tuning in and do keep your dials honed for our follow up edition where we will delve into the longer form content creation networks right here at home on EOSIO.


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