A new social platform uses blockchain technology to encourage people to socialise in person and online.
There is a growing awareness that social media companies like Facebook care less about encouraging interactions, and more about selling data to brands. A new social media company, HelloFriend, wants to change that and return to the original purpose of social media – to help people to connect with friends. Additionally, HelloFriend wants to encourage people to go beyond the virtual world by offering an opportunity to connect in real life. To do this, the platform is using blockchain technology.
Users of HelloFriend can act as ‘hosts’. Hosts organize social activities, from coffee mornings to movie nights, house parties or city tours. The hosts charge participants a fee for taking part in the activity. HelloFriend will then retain 10 percent of this fee. Participants pay using Connect tokens, an in-app crypto-currency which can be purchased and exchanged for fiat currency. Using a blockchain platform creates an incentive structure to encourage people to participate. Furthermore, it provides an economic incentive for people to become more sociable and active. Fees for attendance are intended to offset the cost of hosting an event and thus make them easier to organise. The use of blockchain also eliminates advertising from the site and protects users’ data.
HelloFriend co-founders Shaban and Salman Habib define their platform as a “marketplace for social experiences”. They are currently conducting a private token sale to raise seed funding. The platform is expected to launch as an iOS and Android mobile application in selected college campuses in early August, and nationwide in September. HelloFriend is not the first to use blockchain for social networking, we have also recently covered a social network that uses blockchain to encourage positive interactions and a network that rewards users for posting photos. Will HelloFriend’s model succeed in encouraging people to socialise more in the real world?