some competitive shake-up in the online/social media world, finally

Set aside politics, 2020 and early 2021 became a real window of opportunity for what we could call ‘alternative user solutions’ in the consumer part of the Internet. The major players in the field proved to be less democratic and pro free speech as one might have anticipated. Not only those removed from the online space or penalized in the search results, but others worried to be under the same fire sometime soon started looking for new homes to land.

One impressive example is Telegram which crossed its 400 million users line just in 2020. The messaging app well known for its resistance against any government claims to ban, limit or affect activity groups and channels, or disclose information on its users, reported adding over 25 million people in just one last week breaking over the 500 million barrier.

Once looking for a replacement for the social network, people turned their heads towards Parler, a reasonably small and less recognized platform. The massive user inflow first caused the app to pause its operations as the load was beyond bearable, then another issue came in as Parler lost its hosting options fast enough. Finally, the system was attacked by the opposing camp, following another service drop off, this time the 2FA provider.

So, with this new line of evidence, non-centralized and non-controlled solutions don’t seem an obscure alternative anymore. With people looking to use DuckDuckGo as a search engine, they may have a glance at Brave which is a blockchain based browser that proved to be capable and effective.

As they switch to Gab as a fast app for tiny messages, it is worth remembering Steemit, a blockchain based social and blogging solution not only proven from third-party editing but also providing writers with awards and incentives.

In terms of corporate infrastructure solutions, a lot is still to be done. Like, fully fledged hosting will hardly be possible these days even with ideas and concepts proposed by the biggest players like Ethereum. However, the direction is certainly right, and anecdotal confirmation of that came just over a year ago with IBM getting a patent for… surprise-surprise, blockchain based browser.