Jack Dorsey wants social media to adopt decentralized standards, and Twitter is already funding a small team to make this a reality. The Twitter CEO revealed in a string of tweets that his company will fund a research team to develop an ‘open and decentralized standard for social media.
Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard. ?
— jack ??? (@jack) December 11, 2019
In its early days, Twitter was seen as having the potential to be a decentralized internet standard, Jack, who also heads Square stated. This didn’t happen, and Twitter became a centralized entity. However, the time has come to turn to decentralized standards, Dorsey believes.
Having an open standard would solve a lot of challenges facing the social media industry currently. They include the shift in social media from content hosting towards algorithmic recommendations. These are, however, proprietary and usually without alternatives. Social media incentives have also continued to direct attention to “content and conversation that sparks controversy and outrage, rather than conversation which informs and promotes health”
Dorsey believes that blockchain could solve many of these challenges. He stated:
“Finally, new technologies have emerged to make a decentralized approach more viable. Blockchain points to a series of decentralized solutions for open and durable hosting, governance, and even monetization. Much work to be done, but the fundamentals are there.”
Dorsey’s team will be known as Bluesky. Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal is tasked with finding the project lead, who will then build up a team of five.
Jack, who recently pledged to live in Africa for up to six months in 2020, likened Bluesky’s mission to what Square Crypto is doing for the crypto industry. The team, which reports directly to Jack, works on open crypto development for the collective good of the industry.
Twitter could join the open standard, Jack pledged. However, it remains unclear if the other social media platforms would be as open to the move. And while Twitter is in itself a big platform, with over 300 million users, it pales in comparison to the likes of Facebook and Instagram which have billions of users. Facebook already kickstart its crypto project which could imply it’s interested in decentralized technology, but it still wants to have some ‘big brother’ power.
Jack acknowledged just how challenging this quest will be, but he pledged his support to the end, stating:
“This isn’t going to happen overnight. It will take many years to develop a sound, scalable, and usable decentralized standard for social media that paves the path to solving the challenges listed above. Our commitment is to fund this work to that point and beyond.”
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