(Adapted from a talk given at NFT NYC 2022).
My name is Nick Confrey and I’m one of the founders of Seam, building social spaces for web3 and NFT communities. Previously, I was a senior software engineer at Facebook, specifically on the New Product Experiences team, tasked with building the next big social platform. The reason why I’m here today is because I believe that web3 and NFTs are going to disrupt the existing social platforms and lead to better social media.
By the end of this article, you’ll have learned:
Blockchains are immutable and public, so we must be careful about the data stored on them. Social networks are the next opportunity for web3, but given their different data storage requirements only limited data should be stored directly on-chain.
Two types of social networks are relevant to what we’re building at Seam: Social Media and Influencer Media. Each serves a different audience with different expectations around data privacy, and both deserve to be thoughtfully distinguished in application design.
Social Media Platforms are used to connect to people you know in real life: your friends, your business partners, your family, and others close to you. You likely don't expect to go viral or make money from your posts, you'd just like to keep in touch with people you already know. Web2 examples are Facebook, Snapchat, Whatsapp, private Instagram accounts, and LinkedIn.
Influencer Media Platforms are the platforms where you expect to go viral and get monetized. By posting content, you expect global distribution. Examples include Youtube, Tiktok, Twitter, Twitch, OnlyFans, ect. Notably, there is a reduced/no expectation of privacy on Influencer Media platforms, because you want everyone to see your content.
A new renaissance of creative potential is brewing—I see the potential of Web3 to empower a new, community-driven approach to product development. It introduces new tools and business models that will fundamentally change the way that products are built. There’s a lot of opportunity, both good and bad for society at large, and I aim to take my experience in the largest social network and make sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
I love building social products. It’s very rewarding to take the problems of my friends and family, and then build something that they can immediately download and use on their own phones. I want to continue to spark joy in the relationships we have with others; in order to do so, I need to use the best tools.
Here are my top 3 reasons for building a company in the web3 space: