MeWe, a free and subscription-based social media platform that payments itself as a privacy-focused various to Fb, is migrating its total platform to a blockchain-based, decentralized net infrastructure backed by billionaire Frank McCourt’s Undertaking Liberty enterprise.
Why it issues: With 20 million customers, MeWe turns into the primary main social community emigrate its tech over to Undertaking Liberty’s decentralized social networking protocol (DSNP).
- “That is large validation of the venture,” McCourt instructed Axios. MeWe’s shared values round privateness and person management “was a giant cause why we agreed to go ahead with MeWe.”
Catch up fast: McCourt launched Undertaking Liberty final yr with over $150 million in private funding. He is seeking to elevate one other $150 million.
- Along with constructing out a brand new governance construction for the net, Undertaking Liberty can be constructing a blockchain-based public net infrastructure that is meant to facilitate social networking.
- Most blockchain applied sciences are constructed for monetary transactions, stated Braxton Woodham, Undertaking Liberty’s tech lead. “Social networking may be very totally different dynamics.”
Particulars: MeWe will migrate all of its backend tech over to the brand new DSNP infrastructure over the following six quarters, its chairman and CEO Jeffrey Edell instructed Axios.
- Its customers will be capable to transition to the decentralized system in 2023. The brand new system will provide customers new options, together with a safe, password-free sign-in possibility.
- Earlier than making the choice, Edell stated he surveyed MeWe’s person base to make sure they’d be supportive of the change and so they largely supported the thought.
Be sensible: The business association to maneuver MeWe over to Undertaking Liberty’s net platform follows a brand new $27 million funding spherical in MeWe led by McCourt International, McCourt’s personal firm. McCourt International put $15 million into the spherical.
- Edell stated he’ll use the cash on advertising consciousness to drive extra customers to the brand new platform and to revamp the social community for its new dwelling.
- At this time, MeWe says it has round 20 million registered customers, with tens of hundreds of paid subscribers. MeWe presents customers a extra strong expertise for $4.99 month-to-month, or $29.99 yearly.
- Edell stated he hopes to double the platform’s person base within the subsequent yr. At the moment, there are 610,000 teams on the platform.
The large image: MeWe is one in every of a number of various social networks which have gained traction as extra customers turn out to be skeptical of Large Tech.
- Edell famous that in transferring to a public net infrastructure, one through which the principles of engagement are managed by the customers, not a giant firm, “is de facto what we’re about.”
- MeWe insists it is politically impartial, however like many free-speech platforms, its app grew to become a house for conservatives who felt disenfranchised by conventional social media corporations following the Jan. 6 rebellion.
Sure, however: Undertaking Liberty’s DSNP web protocol will solely be as robust because the person base that governs it.
- Whereas MeWe is a big platform in comparison with some apps, the overwhelming majority of the web’s social media networking ecosystem nonetheless runs on net platforms owned by a number of big corporations.
What’s subsequent: Undertaking Liberty is presently in talks with different apps to affix the platform, McCourt stated.