I originally published this on Medium a while back and just updated it to reflect latest developments
Not decentralized per se (there are plans to migrate to a blockchain in the future), but censorship resistant with sensible rules in place to prevent spamming and abuse of the rewards system. Crypto content only for now. Will eventually expand to any and all topics. Hybrid social media/blog platform. You earn the native 1UP token for every upvote you get whether it be a post you make or a comment. Site used to often be sluggish due to very rapid growth but has recently undergone server upgrades and is much more brisk now.
The token/earning system is fairly simple to understand and far easier to use than many other sites, which has the potential to give it mass appeal in my opinion. On boarding is also quick and easy. Decent earning potential here if, as many expect, the token value will rise. One positive aspect is that one doesn’t need to build up a huge following in order to earn decent rewards, making it live up to its claims of being an ‘altruistic’ platform to some degree — although you will still find some known crypto influencers at the top of the trending feed a lot (but you will also find plenty of others, which is nice). Uptrennd has some interesting ideas for future development involving ownership of community boards, content collaboration etc, but there's not room to go into all of them here.
Withdraws are enabled and tokens can be traded on three different exchanges. UI is decent and sensible, although the aesthetic is a bit 2008-ish. But I mean so is Reddit (although new Reddit looks nicer), and they’re still doing okay. Finding you've been unknowingly signed out at inopportune times is an ongoing issue, I'm finding (such as after you've just hit 'post' for a comment and instead of posting, it takes you to a login page, ouch!).
Uptrennd had no ICO and was essentially bootstrapped by its founder. While it doesn't have a polished verneer, it does have a strong, supportive grassroots community. Sometimes I think grassroots efforts may have a better shot at succeeding in the longterm than more polished well-funded start-ups that lack a strong community. Or ones where the developers seem to be out of touch with what's even going on in the community, as some have suggested happened with the recently shuttered Narrative platform. We shall see!
Android/IOS Apps coming soon
Designed with content creators in mind as an alternative to Patreon. Crypto agnostic, decentralized/censorship resistant (not built on blockchain so the protocol is unclear, I've asked team but yet to get a response), social media plus marketplace incorporating multimedia posting (including audio, a nice feature missing from most social apps), livestreaming, paywalled content, storefronts, boards (akin to FB groups or Subreddits) and encrypted messaging. UI is almost a kind of hybrid between Facebook and Twitter with the above features (plus more not listed) added in. Seems like they're finding a really good balance of user experience between desktop and mobile. Clean and crisp looking. Comes with a very simple built-in Bitcoin wallet which you can use to access paywalled content and make donations (and of course receive payments/donations if you're a creator), with more crypto currencies to be supported soon.
Even though it’s pretty intuitive and simple to use, it lacks some introductory information, such as an easy to find mission statement and FAQ, but it is still in Beta after all. It also so far lacks some of the features most of us have gotten used to, such as post and comment editing, but the developers have assured users they are forthcoming.
This is among the youngest of the platforms listed here, and so doesn’t have a lot of traction yet. But overall it looks good and apparently at one point had a fair bit of venture capital behind it (They acquired Patreon contender Bitbacker.io a few months ago), but now has a very small team. Not sure what happened there. Would be one of my favorites to use if there were more activity, because I like the UI so much, but hopefully that will change soon.
Android — Yes, Beta
IOS — Yes, Beta
Not decentralized, but generally fair, Medium-like blogging site featuring an agnostic crypto tipping system (currently in the form of BAT, Hydro, DAI and BNTY) for both writing and reading. Readers share the tip reward pool with writers by using a slider to determine what percentage of their allotted tip to give to the writer, and what percentage to themselves. You do not need to bring any funds to the platform as all tips are drawn from a pre-established pool provided by sponsors. Withdraws have a low minimum threshold, are easy, and allowed once a week.
Non crypto content welcomed, but site is still mostly crypto focused and so far there's no evidence of that changing any time soon. One thing I appreciate about Publish0x is you don’t need to be a big influencer type, or have a huge following to get read. No wishing for an upvote from a "whale." Just writing good content is enough to often get tips and good placement without needing to be a well known writer or personality. Though right now, only crypto content gets high visibility so there is that obvious limitation if crypto isn’t your thing. Recently though I have seen at least one non crypto post on the front page.
I’ve been using it almost daily since February. One of my favorites due to simplicity and ease of use, a very good text editor that makes for nice looking blogs (with YouTube uploads, Coingecko and Twitter widgets etc), and the ease with which you can find quality content.
No app, but works well on mobile.
Cent is a hybrid blog/social media site. Decentralized and censorship resistant, built on Ethereum. A lot of crypto and blockchain related content, but non crypto content as well. It has an interesting method of encouraging quality discussion. Basically, anyone can “seed” a post with a small amount of ETH, effectively creating a sort of bounty. This encourages people to read and interact with the post in a quality way. Any user can then anonymously “sort” the comments according to those they think have the highest quality input. This has the effect of rewarding the highest rated comments a share of the seeded ETH. I’ve found this actually does a pretty good job of getting better than average discussion than you typically see on social media. But it’s really only curating the comments, not the content itself. That is curated through the seeding function, which acts as a sort of trending feature if you choose to filter posts to see the most heavily seeded.
Very simple, unique UI, but with a post layout I nevertheless find overwhelming, at least on desktop. Much like Tumblr’s trending page, you see fifteen or more posts all at once in a staggered layout, often with flashing GIF’s. This can overwhelm you, making it hard to sort out and hone in on any one post that piques your interest. You can filter your feed by choosing “subscribed,” or an option which shows you only the most heavily seeded posts but this does nothing to change the somewhat odd screen layout. It comes off as being a bit “hodge-podgey,” which is a shame cause it otherwise has a really interesting and appealing aesthetic (I always leave it in night mode as to me it looks infinitely cooler that way).
Cent has announced a ‘coming very soon’ (late December-ish) complete revamp of both the rewards system and the UI, so this summary may be outdated by the time some of you read it!
Android — Yes
IOS — Uncertain
I have limited experience with Minds as over many months I simply haven't found the kind of content that engages me. Decentralized, censorship resistant, Ethereum based social media with its own token ecosystem which I find quite confusing. You basically need to read and watch multiple tutorials in order to understand how the token ecosystem works, which makes me skeptical it will ever gain much traction. There’s already a learning curve to using new social media as it is without having to watch and read tutorials to understand how the token ecosystem works. I have two and half years of experience using various wallets and crypto ecosystems, and this system is by no means simple or particularly easy to understand. A big turn off right off the bat.
Also Minds, like BitChute, seems to have become a refuge for a lot of alt-right people, many of whom have been undoubtedly censored from other social sites. That's fine as I'm all for supporting free speech. Nevertheless, unless they can attract a more balanced user base, many new users who aren't similarly politically minded will get turned off and will simply go elsewhere if there isn't a diverse enough population for them to interact with. Minds runs the risk of becoming known as an alt-right haven before ever even getting off the ground. But Minds also has major revamping coming, and so hopefully will be able to attract a wider base of users.
Android — Yes
IOS — Yes
What about you? Have you tried any of these apps/platforms or any others not on the list? Let us know your experiences in the comments.
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Cryptocurrency & Blockchain
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets.