The sharing economy is a term used to describe the rapid spread of services built around the skills and knowledge of individuals, who can employ applications to share their personal expertise with the public and set their own rates. It can also outline how news is disseminated between people on the internet, though when compared to the phrase’s traditional definition, the ‘economy’ part is slow to catch up.
There is value in sharing interesting subjects with one’s family and friends, but it isn’t realized by those who do the sharing. Though ‘Share Now’ buttons pervade nearly every social media platform,
online magazine, blog, and news source, the money moving behind this technological phenomenon is locked behind doors installed by Silicon Valley’s most dominant web entities.
Adding sharing functionality to an online media platform or publication helps advertisers gain reach with new audiences. It also benefits the platform itself, as advertisers are likelier to invest media spend when they know their content might go ‘viral’. The only contributors to this system who aren’t also its beneficiaries are the users themselves.
Until now, websites that made sharing information possible marketed the ability to share as its own reward, but it’s proven relatively ineffective. Only 3% of new websites created each year implement sharing tools, despite its high relevance to every type of content. As blockchain demonstrates to industries like big data, intentionally cutting out or simply neglecting a single group of stakeholders detracts from a system’s efficacy, despite the possibility of short-term profitability.
Blockchain will also be the infrastructure to make sharing profitable for regular social media users, thanks to innovators like Sharpay. The unique decentralized infrastructure championed by blockchain can be molded to suit almost any purpose, and Sharpay is using it to build a cross-platform system that helps users monetize their popularity and savvy posting skills.
Just as the biggest social media influencers can earn cash for their subscriber count or number of views, blockchain (with the help of Sharpay) is introducing this concept for sharing in any network. It’s the only platform in existence that will be tokenized, but also establish a common thread between the most popular social media networks, spanning those like Facebook, Twitter, and more.
There is a certain satisfaction that comes from sharing an opinion, a new meme, or even reposted content and watching as your network lights up in response. Adding crypto-token rewards to this model will give new life to the idea, and spur a greater proliferation of sharing utility in new websites. Sharpay projects that it can increase the number of new sites with sharing buttons from 3% a year to 10%. Their optimism is realistic, given that such an idea will also increase revenues for advertisers, websites, and other stakeholders as well.
Advertisers have thrown their support behind blockchain systems that help them increase the accuracy of their targeting efforts before, and Sharpay is no exception. Users who share and have their content shared via a Sharpay button on their favorite site will earn Sharpay Tokens, which is an incentive that grants content greater reach. Advertisers can also breathe easy knowing that their ad budgets aren’t wasted on bots, as the system is insulated against cheating.
The benefits come full circle—and blockchain proves once again that merely incentivizing users to engage produces better results. Though the presale stock of Sharpay tokens were bought up quickly, the public sale is still live until May 31st. Those who want to explore the ecosystem before Sharpay hits its stride in social media can do so by contributing with their Ethereum wallet. As the concept is embraced and grows larger, these early adopters will be readily able to enjoy the fruits of their sharing participation.