Facebook recently erased the market value of $ 125 billion after publishing a quarterly report, the biggest drop in US stock market history. And this is not about their fiscal data – the company actually reported 42% revenue growth. the user base increased just isn’t as high as it once was; With fewer people sharing information on the platform than before, its popularity is seemingly on the wane.
Some analysts go as far as to predict the demise of the social networking giant. They argue the platform is ageing badly and that more and more youngsters are becoming “Facebook-nevers”.
It’s true that 12 years, which is Facebook’s age, is a century in internet time, and that it may have lost its appeal for many users. It also had a series of privacy scandals, and admits the introduction of GDPR in the EU cost the company 1 million users.
But on one side of the stock price and revenue number, it can have a wider technical influence. Facebook not only stores and displays our ideas, pictures and comments, it is the world’s largest identity: information like our name, profile, location, login and password.
Did you know that the button “Log in with Facebook” says that whenever you sign up with the seller to make the process faster, click? It may disappear soon. Facebook’s main role is not likely to be replaced by social media, it will be replaced by a single new user. We are most likely to transfer users to various specific platforms that focus on a particular topic or technical approach
It is unlikely Facebook’s dominant role in social media will be replaced by one single new entrant. We will more likely see users shifting to a variety of specialized niche platforms, which focus on a particular theme or technological approach. Similarly, Facebook’s role in personal data management may transfer to a number of alternative providers.
Blockchain is then the obvious choice for anyone wanting to build a personal data management framework. It would not only optimize its functionality with automated processes based on smart contracts, but it could regain user’s confidence in storing their data online by providing transparency on top of strong security.
Above all, blockchain could put users back in control of their personal data.
It is possible that banks or telco operators, who also store our personal data, will become the new providers, and arguably we trust them more than we trust Facebook. They could earn revenue providing personal data-as-a-service to partners.
When a user opens an account with a bank or a telco, a digital identity would be created. Its private key could be safely stored with the user, inside their phone, credit card, or other device. The provider then creates a virtual identity, using a public key from the digital identity.