In 2022, more than half of the world's population will use social media, with the number of users growing at a rapid pace. Social media has changed the world and sparked the emergence of a new digital economy. Popular social applications have common features that attract the majority of internet users, such as visual content displayed in an easy-to-use application. As web 3.0 awareness grows, leading social media platforms have attempted to integrate wallets and launch their own cryptocurrency, but have failed to bring it to market. This is because their ideas were seen as securities that would compete with global currencies such as the US dollar, rather than being a utility token with the purpose of empowering users.
The user-generated content on social platforms creates billions of dollars worth of value that is distributed among shareholders. However, without active users who spend hours creating, posting, sharing, and engaging, the platforms would not have this value. The value is stored in the database of users, accessed by advertising companies and used for product placement. The database is detailed, reliable and accurate, enabling highly niche and specific advertising for companies and business owners. Until now, the only source of value for social media companies has been advertising. The company, advertiser, and users all play a crucial role in maintaining a sustainable network and platform growth.
Web 2.0 social media
In Web 2.0, centralized social media companies attract and retain users by creating a "free" platform for them to share their interests and connect with friends. However, in doing so, users unknowingly give away ownership of their content, thoughts, and messages to the company, without compensation. The company then uses this data to benefit from advertising and make profit, while users pay with their time and attention, and provide content for free.
Advertisers use social media to target specific audiences by purchasing access to the user's data and renting their attention from the centralized company. This creates a business relationship between the company and the advertiser, where the company sells access to the users and the advertisers buy it. In this process, users become a commodity for the benefit of the company and advertisers.
In traditional social media platforms, only shareholders and advertisers benefit from the value created by the users. Users are often taken advantage of and receive nothing in return. The way social media presents content to users has changed dramatically in recent years, with new algorithms manipulating the feed to show more relevant ads based on users' interests and behaviors. This means that users are no longer in control of the content they see and often unknowingly consume thousands of ads every month. They can either accept this exploitation or leave the platform, disconnecting from their network and shared content. APPICS aims to solve this problem by giving a fair share of the value created to all contributing parties, putting the user first and giving them control over the network and their content. Users can control the distribution of monetary rewards by participating and voting on content.