So you say you could have done it sooner, but it was good to wait for the blockchain because otherwise no one would believe you?

I’m not saying that. But there is truth in this frame. It’s less related to the blockchain, and more related to competition in the market for creators, and we feel the urgency that we’re de facto a platform for them. In particular, Instagram has long enjoyed a huge market connection with the creators. Now many other platforms have realized the value of creators. As power shifted from institutions to individuals, competition for creators and their businesses intensified. And it has created a strong incentive for us to do much more to help creators make a living directly rather than indirectly.

Traditionally, creators create an audience, and they monetize that audience. The branded content on Instagram is probably $ 15 billion, roughly – I don’t know, many billions of dollars. We are now creating more ways for creators to make a living. So we announced the first NFT testing this week, conducted affiliate marketing tests, experimented with revenue sharing and videos in a bigger way. We have launched subscriptions that are still being tested.

Let’s talk about your hypothetical country singer Lisa. It sells subscriptions to its content on all platforms as blockchain tokens. But virtually every major blockchain use also requires some other intermediary services: Lisa probably wants software that connects transactions to a list of actual subscribers so she can give them access to her content. And maybe she needs CRM, and maybe analytics. And it still depends on the platforms themselves to distribute their content. Their algorithms can boost or suppress her stuff, or take it down, or the platforms can crash. So isn’t Lisa as indebted to centralized platforms as before, and in something even worse? She doesn’t necessarily control everything, but she’s all on the hook.

I strongly disagree with the characterization at the end. But I agree with that. In this world, yes, it has addictions. But the idea here is that she has options and she can move on without losing community. For example, it could change payment providers, move platforms – if it is kicked out of Twitter, it can start using YouTube, and it will still maintain all relationships with all its subscribers. Yes, subscribers expect from her, but she is much more independent. Note also that subscribers can vote out of pocket, so if it does not provide good content, they will probably stop paying. This is actually a healthy incentive.

A blockchain is a public record of transactions. Theoretically it’s anonymous, but if someone wants it hard enough, they can probably find out who your subscribers are. If it’s subscribers to country music, it probably doesn’t matter. But if Lisa shoots BDSM videos or has a radical political newsletter, it’s different. In addition, Lisa’s competitors may find it helpful to know who subscribes to her and how many subscribers she has. How does it protect this information?

There are a bunch of really interesting privacy implications and trade-offs as to what you keep in the public blockchain. It may be anonymous and hashed, but it is public, so you can count the number of subscribers. This will be one of the most exciting things if we are trying to develop this system in collaboration with the community.

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