Could Twitter Be Killed?

4년 전

Well the title was a hyperbole. Now that I have got your attention let us get started. It might be stretch as of today that we can kill twitter. But in this post I would like to show that it many not be impossible after all, at-least in a couple of years.

A few things to know before we start killing twitter.

It starts with realising the you are doing a favour to twitter and twitter is not doing a favour to you. Yes I agree that twitter has been a great tool and it even led to many Arab Spring.

Social Media Made the Arab Spring, But Couldn't Save It

But we need to realise that while these are the pleasant side-effects of twitter/social media, for a service or business to be sustainable it has to be profitable or at-least should have the profit generating potential in the future. Irrespective of whether the services is following a ad revenue based model or freemium model one thing is in common. Either you have to pay up for the services or the service needs to sell something to somebody.

Understanding what is that something that is sold and to whom it is sold is important.

Let us start with the most quoted quote regarding the free services or seemingly free services.

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 9.21.22 PM.png

Most of the social media users forget the value they are adding to the networks. It is easier for us to see a blog post or a video as as data/content. But we fail to realise that even the short status updates that we do on and our comments on them in social media websites are also content.

Every action that we do on social media is valuable and it adds to the valuation of the platform. How much is that action valued and how is it valued requires a detailed analysis (Will be following up this post with couple of related posts about this topic). But for now let us understand this much.

Every action that we do on a social media website falls into one of the following categories.

  1. Content creation
  2. Content curation
  3. Content Distribution
  4. Training the AI models.

I have tried to highlight the same in this tweet of mine.


It is difficult for people to understand this as they cannot see it clearly or rather there is no way for them to understand this. It only becomes clear in some conversations like the following. In February this year when aantonop was complaining about how facebook was locking him out, one of the users mentioned this.

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 9.25.55 PM.png

So it brings us to the question who is benefitting from whom. Is the platform benefitting from the user or is the user benefitting from the platform. At the least it is a synergy between the platform and user. At worst the platform is ripping of your data and making a hell lot of money while not rewarding you in anyway.

What is your data worth?

Data and the value it creates is has different lifetimes and there are lot of overlaps. So it is difficult to put a value to it. Let use a very crude way to identify the average minimum value of our data on Facebook. Facebook is valued at 600 Billion USD today. There are around 2 billion users on Facebook. Since Facebook makes money primarily by showing ads or/and selling your data :P , data created by each user should be worth at-least 300 USD.

How Much Is >Your< Data Worth? At Least $240 per Year. Likely Much More.

One thing that everybody seems to agree is that data is the new oil and it is valuable. But what most of us fail to understand is that oil has a single lifecycle but whereas data has multiple life-cycles. So any valuation you put to a data piece is only a moving value that is affected by various parameters. We also need to realise that data that we consider archived or stale also revenue generating potential in the future. AI models will need a lot of data going forward and will unlock the revenue generating potential of your data. In the following article you can checkout how Bottos and Databroker DAO or unlocking the potential of data from various sources.

Data Monetization: 2 untapped ways to monetize your data, no matter what size it is

The two ways to realise the true value of your data

There are two ways you will realise that your data is worth something.

One : Have somebody like Zuck sell your data and make billions in the process.

Two : look at the real money people make with data.

1. When your data is sold

Cambridge Analytics expose happened on March 17, 2018. This expose made it clear that the user targeting is not just for ads and can be used for much more. There were serious concerns about users’ privacy. The expose once again proved that privacy is dead. What is more disturbing is that experts expressed that this might have a serious effect on Facebook’s future valuations. But that turned out to be completely false. Can you spot the dip in Facebook marketcap because of this scandal? I have highlighted this in red circle for you towards the right end of the graph. This is what I would call “A major dip in the short term but a minor blip in the long term”. The quick correction back to the trend line only suggests that nobody takes privacy seriously any more.

Facebook Marketcap

2. When you look at real money people make with your data

I am sure that Andreas M. Antonopoulos knows the value of data. I am just taking this example as it was a high profile case where data created elsewhere was able to generate revenues in some other platform because of the data distribution. The interesting thing is that in this case the money made was being used for translating aantonop’s videos to other language. You can read more about it here.

The real aanntonop

Aantonop made the above post which can be called as “Proof of Identity” post verifying that he is the real aantonop. The post gathered a lot of attention and has rewards of 1449 USD. I just hope that Aantonop claims the amount one day and starts using Steem more frequently.

I took Aantonop’s example because he is very popular in the world of Bitcoin and his videos have helped many entrepreneurs to take a plunge into Bitcoin. His videos are proof that well made content has a long shelf life and has revenue generating potential even outside the platforms that the content was created in.

Now lets gets back to our original question.

How to kill twitter?

This might seem like an impossible proposition to many. Let us look at the reasons why it is difficult to kill twitter or facebook for that matter.

I don’t need another social network.

I first got to know about Robert Scoble from Google+ days. I invited him to checkout Steemit platform and he replied with “I don’t need another social network.” Today we are in age where we have a social media overload. The new social media platforms needs to cross the critical mass for all the others to follow up. Replacing Facebook might be impossible for the next few years but we might have a chance to replace twitter with a decentralised version. Facebook has too much of a lead. It has your photos, videos, friends, memories, groups and pages. Any new entrant needs to address all these to overcome Facebook. Whereas with respect to twitter a limited feature set with additional benefits should be able to sway the needle in the new entrant’s favour.

So for now let us assume given enough motivation users might consider shifting to the new platform.

Twitter has first mover advantage

Twitter is huge. Twitter has first mover advantage. Yes that might be the case. But last year has proven the with right incentive models you can have a jumpstart. Binance became the fastest unicorn in history.

From Zero To Crypto Billionaire In Under A Year: Meet The Founder Of Binance
_Changpeng " CZ" Zhao CEO, Binance Crypto Net Worth: $1.1 billion-$2 billion* Seven months ago Binance didn't exist…

Also Binance was more profitable than Germany’s biggest bank.

Crypto Exchange Binance is More Profitable than Germany's Biggest Bank
_This year, in the first quarter of 2018, Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank and one of Europe's leading financial…

So don’t be surprised if a new entrant replaces bitter in less than a year.

Show me the money

Attributing a value to content is a tough task. There have many unsuccessful attempts in the past. I think Steem blockchain has come further than any other attempts. By incentivising both content creation and content curation steem has figured out a subjective way to attribute value to content. With the release of SMTs later this year the community will only get better at arriving at closer estimations for the value of posts. When people were told that their content is worth something they were not able to relate to it. With platforms like Steem having put definitive value to content and having paid the same to the content creators (which many have en-cashed to to FIAT) the idea is more palpable now. Monetary incentives can do wonders and as more people get to know about these platforms the effect will only get compounded.

Hitting the critical mass

To be a serious contender to twitter the new platform needs to hit the critical mass. This can be the real challenge. So here are the things that can be done.

  1. Create a distributed cryptocurrency on the lines of Steem (Especially the rewards mechanism part.) Keep the interface, UX and restrictions(like number of characters) very similar to twitter. So that people feel at home ;)
  2. In addition to the normal account creation have a preserved namespace twitter-[twitter-handle]. This will be reserved for creating one to one mapping of user accounts from twitter to the new blockchain.
  3. The user accounts for each user on twitter are also created on the new platform. Both username and passwords(private keys) will be created. Twitter users can claim their password by sending a tweet to twitter handle of new blockchain. The password or private keys will be dm’ed to users.
  4. Since all tweets are public duplicate them in the new platform under the users accounts. If that is a stretch then it can be started with latest tweets of popular accounts and then it can be expanded slowly.
  5. The beta users will have access to popular content on the new platform. Their retweets and likes of tweets will decide the value of the new tweets mirrors from twitter.
  6. While users might be hesitant to create new accounts I think there will be very few people who will not be happy to claim their accounts. Especially when they know that there are rewards waiting for them to en-cash for the content they have created.
  7. The incentive or the rewards to be received on the new platform will be bigger for the users with huge number of followers. (Assuming that their content is also liked by the beta users on the new platform). So if these influencers move to the new platform, they will also bring along at-least some part of their followers.
  8. Considering that the content on blockchain will be censor resistant and it rewards good content the platform should be able to take of hit the critical mass very soon.

I am not sure what will be the legal issues surrounding an attempt like these. But I think this is something definitely worth trying. A few crypto-millionaires coming together should have enough funds to try something like this. What do you think? Will an attempt like this work? Share your thoughts.

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for sure it can steem and adbank wil be big in the near future..

I think Facebook is way more dangerous than Twitter.

I think twitter can not be killed because users from steemit also use twitter to promote their post or steemit. Some kind of airdrop used twitter to advertise their website.

Isn't this what Zapl was supposed to emulate? Although the suggestion to keep a one to one mailing of Twitter name to the new cryptotwitter is a good step in the adoption process. It would aid in existing influencers in bringing over the masses...

I think the biggest problem with adoption is still the private key. Most people lose or forget their passwords on a pretty regular basis, or store it somewhere pretty unsafe if they aren't trivial. The idea that you would be completely locked out of your account and funds is quite serious, and would likely be disturbingly common. Even worse if the cryptotwitter gains a critical mass and becomes the target of scammers and others with nasty intent.


I was disappointed with the outcome of Zapl. The problem I think was that tweets were equated to other posts on steem and hence there was a difference of opinion regarding content size and rewards eligibility. A dedicated platform short size content might address that. May be an SMT for content on Steem that is less than 240 characters so that the actual steem reward pool is not touched will change the odds.

Steem has better private key management compared to other projects but is still complex for a normal user. Custody is coming to cryptocurrency and that might solve this problem as well.


Custody is the current holy grail! Not only would it solve the problem of account management for most people, but it will open the way for real investment from the larger funds. As I understand, they can't invest at the moment as there is no qualified custody solution at the moment, which would leave them exposed in a big way if anything went wrong.

Edit: one of the many holy grails! There is much to do better before mass adoption can happen...

I agree very much with your analysis. We need alternatives to the current social media, that are heavily controlled and regulated and use our data without giving us money or controll.

Crypto provides the opportunity to build a true p2p uncontrolled social platform where everyone has controll over their data and may financially benefit. In addition that platform would be free and censorship resistant.
That should be enough to kill twitter and also facebook.

But I fear that steem is not fit to replace twitter.
The reason is the huge influence of the whales. Steem is actually very centralised even though the protocol itself is decentralised. The whales really controll this platform and take their part of the profits.

Instead I would like to see a platform where adds drive the revenue and users remain in controll. Then I think we can finally replace twitter.


As the time progresses I think Steem will get more decentralised. If one media house invests in Steem then others also will invest and that will lead to redistribution of Steem Power.

Also with introduction of SMT next year we can have alternate rewards system as well. That will balance out the the power centres and we will have more distributed power.

Not a fan. Twitter is filled with bots, fake followers and celebrities. Most followers don't read your tweets so rewards based on popularity is silly, it rewards people who follow back and add bots.
Having a character limit stigmies creativity, it gives a larger voice to the less creative and promotes laziness. Few tweets are creative and many are utter trash.
Watch what SMTs do with Steem, I'm sure DApps will also operate on Steem that are similar to Twitter. I'm not a fan of one liners taking away Steem or people posting one lousy photo and writing a sentence-I sure hope that it's not the future.


Agree we should keep the Steem rewards pool for serious long content and we can have a DAPP+SMT for twitter like application.

many ppl ARE turnin into Mastodont, but I think that twiter has gone so far in users that'll be like MSN, and insted of just dying it'll fuse to another service (and I'm speaking in 10-ihs years in the future)


Was not sure if people were using Mastodont. Thanks for mentioning it. Will check it out again.

Not only can it be killed but it will be killed. Every giant social media outlet / app / company or what-ever else that has had great success eventually is left in dust by the next big thing.

Hotmail / Messenger / Friendster / Myspace / LiveJournal

The list goes on. ..... Facebook and Twitter will be next. We are on the cusp of the next big thing and its Steemit or another site like it.


My question is what would happen if they also come out with tokens and start sharing the rewards with its users?


They need to adapt or be left behind. The thing is with big companies that are use to getting 100 % of the rewards is that they likely are not going to want to share the pie. I have read rumors months ago of Facebook creating its own token / coin. The rumor was circulating around the same time they stopped advertising crypto.

facebook had a bigger dip when they announced they expect less growth in the future

Scandals like Cambridge Analytic are signals of change on the horizon, even if mere blips in the long-term. It would appear people are valuing their privacy less and less these days. There is enough evidence presented here to substantiate the claim on this diminishing values-based and social trend. Therein lies the challenge, how might we get people to rethink their privacy? To challenge their beliefs/assumptions about privacy in the digital era. Without a shift in consumer thoughts, values and behaviours can we really kill Twitter?


I would say Facebook and Twitter indeed have the first-mover advantage (though there was MySpace before Facebook). The reason they have so many users is because they keep evolving their features and add/copy from other services. I remember Facebook adding status updates (a copy from Twitter), # links for topics (another copy from Twitter), story feature (a copy of Snapchat) and others. 🙄

Nice way to get attention.
Facebook and twitter could be killed but not in the nearest future.
What could bring about there downfall is perfect information.example if everyone in twitter and facebook had information about steemit that is an disadvantage for facebook and co.

I think in the long run these big tech boys have gotten too big for their britches...they will ultimately undo themselves.

It has already begun with the purge of conservative voices. People are realizing that these are not the free speech platforms they began as and promised to be...throw on top of that that all your information is being tracked and sold and the snake 🐍 eats its own tail.

Really excellent article! I guess we're all aware to some extent that these sites make money off of us (we see adds, etc.). But I don't think many people realize just how much money they are making off of people!
Actually, Twitter more or less lays it out there (you can look at all kinds of data), but there 's no doubt they are rakin in the cash!

And don't think that in the near future there is a chance for twitter to be killed. Twitter has a lot money and huge amount of users so competitors have a hard way to keep up.
Existing users of twitter won't move to another plattform where they have to get the same amount of followers as on twitter. The big problem is the big stars on twitter won't move elsewhere when there are not enough users on the plattform. And many people don't go another plattform when there are not the stars they want to follow.
Most users are just too lazy and forget scandals and problems with twitter very fast.

Most blockchains networks, like steem, are still not user friendly enough for the every-day user of twitter.
And a lot of users of steem don't talk about increasing the user friendlines of steem but only but their Return of Investment.
I think for newcomers steem looks quite strange with all the upvote bots who are big part of the comment section.

And last but not least, steem would need a good and easy to use mobile app for andorid and IOS. Most people use their smartphone for twitter and using steem on the phone is not so comfortable as using the twitter app.


Agreed. But steem is the base platform. is just one of the interfaces that you can use. There are many others now. In an years time you will start using the steem blockchain without even realising that you are using it, because the interface could be completely different.

do you have a website? I would love to share your article. Yes we are the product being sold no doubt about that!


You can check which is a website I run.

wiz steemit and decentraclized rewarding social platforms (mythril) it is harder on classical social hubs to continue eating the cheese alone :)

blockchain = get the power back to the people

I follow you, I hope for your reciprocity

Thanks nice info

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Exellent report. I had no idea that it was so. Thanks for you contribution

Twitter will be difficult to murder since it has now become more than a box to reply to businesses of all varieties.
STEEM itself has a very hard time to even migrate the larger of the alternative media creating folks of the internet.
After 10 years on twitter, I rarely see any use of it anymore since much of my following is not of the mainstream media's beliefs.

Almost not possible .....!!!!!!!!!!!

You say some reason , why not possible to kill twitter.. I appreciating your thought and i think you are right. Because a social media network is must needed for our daily life for sharing our won thought and enjoy able moment . We know that there have many social media in the world . But they are not standard like twitter. So its almost impossible to kill twitter...@gokulnk

afraid this news

Twitter I feel that it has not been improving, it remained static and that is a big mistake. Facebook already seems instagram, has looked for the way not to be left behind. However, I like twitter for the news instantly and the trends.

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I think twitter cannot be killed as a result of users from steemit additionally use twitter to push their post or steemit. Some quite bringing used twitter to advertise their web site.

Social media platforms have been destroying their credibility recently. A decentralized system will be the way to go. There's no doubt about that.

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Why only twitter? if you are paying incentives for content creation, people will kill Facebook too.

Twitter is doing a good job of offing themselves

Great post

Firstly, well done for acknowledging the clickbait healine in your intro, lol. You raise somd very interesting and valid points. Despite with times moving forward and new platforms popping up, i do agree that it would be hard to kill this platform on a whole. However, the bulk of twitter activity is dominated by the early adopters. These guys rule the trending streams much like the whales and more established accounts on Steemit. Joining twitter at this late stage its hard to actually build up any oraganic reputation (unless you paying for it, or have something interesting to say that of course appeals to the masses). So you might be onto something here. The groupie attitude of the bigger accounts not willing to help smaller accounts groe and essentially make the circle bigger could actually lead to the downfall of this platform. Unlike steemit where most bigger accounts are keen to help out the redfish!!

Pasara mucho tiempo, y no podran asesinarlo, no han podido, asesinar a facebook, con el ultimo escandalo, no podran con twitter