Introducing Myriad Social
Turning your Web2 content into web3 data
Don't get me started on the pitfalls of web2 social media because you will experience a 15 minutes rant about how it has ruined public discourse, threatens youngsters' emotional health, and contributes to the loneliness epidemic.
That being said, everyone in crypto heavily relies on web2 social media networks. The irony surely isn't lost on me that despite more than ten years since we have bitcoin, we have yet to come up with meaningful traction in use cases that aren't speculation.
As the term social in social networks implies, it requires a lot of people to use them to be attractive. That's why bootstrapping social networks from 0 is hard. You wouldn't join one where none of your friends is active. The team at Myriad probably saw that difficulty and decided to go with an approach that brings together web2 social media content and allows users to turn it into web3 data.
What is Myriad?
In short, it's a decentralized social network that aims to reshape the relationships between users, community operators, and those hosting content. The goal is to preserve freedom of expression, community management, and choice for all content creators.
It distributes power away from a few centralized platform hosts into the hands of individuals and communities.
One of the difficulties for users and companies relying on Social Media networks in their current form are algorithm changes. It isn’t rare for businesses to be hit hard whenever Meta changes its algorithm to favor those pages paying them rather than those who grew organically. It isn’t unheard of that businesses had to shut down because most of their clients came through Facebook, and they ended up losing them with an algorithm change.
And that is an issue even without addressing the even bigger elephant in the room: the algorithms to pick and show content to maximize time spent on-site. That Facebook algorithms have a tendency to show increasingly extreme content isn’t news, and the negative implications of that are far too many to highlight in this post.
Myriad Social recognizes these issues and the problem that comes with having a few people in control over the experience for everyone. That’s why they chose to have unprecedented levels of transparency on their network. Anyone can see which algorithms are used by servers or communities. With this, they are cutting down on the top-down manipulation that commonly occurs in centralized big social media platforms.
Architecturally, Myriad consists of two layers:
- Myriad blockchain: developed using substrate (Polkadot). It secures data which includes the Myria token balances, reputation scores, and NFT ownership
- Myriad federation: consisted of myriad servers to facilitate scalability and data sovereignty. It stores communities, posts, and experiences.
This distinction between layers is important because if one hosted the entire social network on-chain, it would mean that node operators had no way to decide what they want to host — because for consensus, every node would have to host everything.
In a decentralized network, there might be servers that show content that you, as a node operator, don’t want to be involved with. By splitting the architecture into two layers, Myriad provides server hosters the option to choose — which seems like a good choice for longevity.
Using the network
As a user, you will interact with Myriad Social through your accounts. You can easily set one up with your NEAR wallet (or other blockchain wallets of chains they support), define a username, and even connect with your existing web2 accounts.
This allows you to display your posts from Twitter etc., on Myriad, but also works the other way around. You can then start creating what’s called experiences, where you gather a host of content into topic-oriented feeds.
If, like myself, you’re currently on a Sailor Moon-watching spree, you could create an experience dedicated to all things Sailor Moon. And the best part is, it can be content from web2 platforms combined with myriad-native content.
Inside of the Myriad ecosystem, there are two types of tokens:
- $MYRIA, the native protocol currency which is rewarded to users for certain actions such as importing from other platforms, tipping posts, and creators.
- Kudos, the social currency of the network. It’s a bit like Reddit karma, every user receives it daily into their account, and they can then use it to invest in their own content or to tip other content.
Both tokens together serve to incentivize high-quality content creation and fight spam.
Another part of the Myriad Social network is advertising. Unlike traditional advertising, advertisers can directly interact with those ultimately hosting their ads. They are incentivized to create ads that creators will want to integrate into their experiences, whereas, of course, creators with experiences will curate ads in a way relevant to the content they show. Win-win.
The team is also working on creating a Myriad Chat app, as well as a Myriad metaverse which will be available in 2D and 3D, enabling anyone access.
I’ve just signed up to Myriad, but so far, the experience has been pretty seamless, and the ability to view and curate posts from other platforms is a huge plus. If you want to give it a try, here, you go.