On the latest episode of the Invezz podcast, we talk social media.
Christopher Gulczynski co-founded Tinder and Bumble. Zaven Nahapetyan is a former Facebook engineer. Now they are co-founders of Niche, which is aiming to take part in the new age of social media.
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Namely, reducing the dominance of legacy companies like Facebook and Twitter, and building things in a decentralized manner by leveraging blockchain technology.
Certain parts of this intrigued me. Firstly, this is not a cryptocurrency. There is nothing to speculate on here. Christopher and Zaven have decided to leverage blockchain technology to try and improve the traditional social media model, but they have avoided the noise of the cryptocurrency world.
Christopher tells a nice story which illustrates it. He talks about how his grandmother technically owns NFTs, yet has no idea what they are. Their goal is to build something using these technological breakthroughs – NFTs, DAOs, blockchain – yet not have it front and centre.
Part of the reason for this is the reputation that crypto carries nowadays. We have seen numerous scandals this year in cryptoland – most recently Bankman-Fried and the FTX crash – which have grasped the headlines. I asked Christopher and Zaven whether they were frustrated at being tarnished with the “crypto” brush.
Part of it is also the ease of use, with crypto sometimes a bit intimidating for new users. We chatted about how the wallet experience can be daunting and how people don’t really need to understand what is going on behind the scenes, as long as the product works.
We also talked about the negatives of legacy social networks. The power of Apple is something I have written about recently, and we talked about it on this episode, too. We also discussed Twitter – Chirstopher mentioning that he has recently quit the platform in this new Elon Musk era.
With Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of these CEOs and companies possessing so much influence, it is no surprise that a new wave of decentralised social media platforms are springing up.
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