CEO Spotlight: Alex Siman From SubSocial On The Future Of Web3 And Social Networks

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Web3 is here to give “power to the people,” and it will completely change how social media works. With the use of blockchain, it will be impossible to limit social platforms in any way, and anyone can join in regardless of geographic limitations.

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These social networks have full authority over the data that is shared and stored on the platform, as opposed to Web2 legacy ones such as Facebook, which got bogged down in the Cambridge Analytica scandal after leaking the data of millions of users.

As Web3 keeps developing, the growth of its social networks will hinge on catering to brands and communities as DeFi investors are mostly focused on yield generation.

We spoke with Alex Siman, CEO of SubSocial, a social networking platform that provides the architecture and social primitives upon which social networks can be built. The company recently won a slot on Kusama Parachain and has its own views on Web3 drivers and the future of DeFi.

How Are Web2 Social Networks Different From Those In Web3?

Social networking platforms provide the architecture and social primitives for social networks to be built on top of. Those social networks will differentiate from Web2 social networks by being open, decentralized, and permissionless, with built-in Social Finance features like tips and subscriptions, without there being a middleman taking a cut.

On a larger scale, all social networks will share content and a user base, meaning users can migrate between social networks seamlessly, without losing their content backlog, or their followers. This will likely result in a much better specialization of particular social networks, as well as more competition between them. This is what we strive for.

Amid An Expanding DeFi Industry, What Are The Main Challenges Faced By Social Networks?

Most of the people very involved in DeFi are just looking for where they can park their capital to earn the highest yield, so social networks do not appeal to them as much.

In contrast, social networks usually appeal highly to those with communities and brands, who may not be as interested in yield farming as they are in community engagement, content creation, and content monetization.

This means that in order to grow the user base of Web3 social networks, a very different market segment will have to be targeted.

SubSocial Has Just Won A Slot On Kusama Parachain, What Were Your Expectations Before The Auction?

We definitely expected to win a slot in this round, due to opening our crowdloan a few days earlier than anyone else, but we certainly didn’t expect to hit our cap of 100K KSM so quickly, and become the fourth project to hit a crowdloan cap.

What Does A Parachain Slot On Kusama Have To Offer?

Being able to operate as a parachain is crucial to becoming a blossoming ecosystem of Social Finance. Integrations with other parachains building DeFi, identity solutions, and privacy features will allow us a much larger list of potential features.

You Managed To Hit Your Crowdloan Cap Of 100,420.69 KSM, How Do You See This Achievement?

We are humbled by the enthusiastic support of our community. It’s really awesome to see all of our hard work pay off, though in another sense, the work is just beginning. Now we have to keep delivering.

How Can SubSocial Help Dotsama Achieve Its Full Potential?

The Dotsama ecosystem is at the forefront of the Web3 movement. Looking back at Web1 and Web2, social interaction has always been an integral part of the internet —the internet is a communication tool first and foremost.

Social networks have dominated Web2,and we aim to provide the proper tools for Web3 social networks to flourish, allowing civilization to continue communicating with these beneficial tools, without all of the downsides present in Web2.

Since Users Must Spend SUB Tokens To Use Subsocial, Will Free Transactions By The Way To Go?

We are considering multiple approaches to this issue. The main consideration is that if the fees are too low, or it’s too easy to get free transactions, then bad actors can spam the network. The most likely approach will be that you can stake SUB tokens to earn some number of free transactions per day.

What Can You Tell Us About Current And Future Projects?

At the moment, we have three live projects: the SubSocial blockchain, our web app, and Sub.ID - our one-stop shop for viewing all of your Substrate assets in one place.

We have a few more projects in development, including a mobile SubSocial app, and another app centered around NFTs (built on top of SubSocial). I can’t say much about the rest yet, but they will also add more value to the Dotsama ecosystem.