What if Blockchain leads to an Ad-free Internet

Mohamed Aboelez

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Everyone really does hate Ads, Google and Facebook mobile ads aren’t what they used to be. Worse, they are a pain point for user experiences yet drive incredible revenues to a few centralized platforms.

Not only is our data used against us in such an internet, those platforms increasingly do things that can only be considered violations of anti-trust. The are a bunch of blockchain startups that propose we do things a bit differently to improve the trust consumers have and to empower those creators, curators and audiences that make the attention economy go around.

Maybe mobile and digital Ads are becoming a bit outdated.

What would a word-of-mouth protocol look like in the age of smart contracts and dApps? Enter the WOM Protocol.

With Google itself being fined $5 Billion for Android anti-trust violations, we have to accept that in a more decentralized internet we’d likely have a healthier internet where a wider variety of apps, web traffic and ad-free user experiences could take place. It might be inevitable, it’s just a question of when and who those solutions might be.

In the discovery of user-generated content recommendations on brands, products, experiences and services the WOM Protocol would be entirely ad-free and based on authenticity, honesty, peer-to-peer relevance. No Ads, those are the kind of apps I’d want to experience.

Ads are not convenient user experiences

Consumers don’t like Ads, they pollute our fields of vision — and from banner blindness to ad-blockers to Chrome filters isn’t not like consumers wouldn’t profit from an Ad-free experience. It helped Netflix become what it is today, the leading streaming and original content machine. In fact Ad-free platforms might be the next thing and blockchain might be the best “Ad-killer” of them all. What if the next-gen of “killer-apps” were Ad-free?

For the most part apps such as WhatsApp, which now apparently is going to make a cryptocurrency by Facebook’s blockchain division, rose to adoption and utility by not being polluted with Ads. Instagram is already pretty intolerable with Ads between video stories even.

Ads are not trustworthy

In an era where ethics in technology have let us down in 2021, behemoths of digital advertising such as Facebook and Google are amount the least trustworthy. Ironic then that Facebook is trying its hand at a blockchain division to “disrupt crypto”. Here is a company that has betrayed our sense of privacy, data harvesting and failed to regulate both its own platform and the 3rd party apps data sharing ecosystem it’s profited upon. Facebook is little more than an Ads company.

If trust, is one of the most important fundamental pillars in any relationship including marriage, businesses or friendships that all require trust. Maybe it’s time we divorce ourselves from Ads.

Towards an Ad-free Internet

Maybe it’s time we boycott platforms with Ads that corrupts traffic, integrity and exploitative practices and business models that belongs to the past. Consumers must decide what they want to steer the future of the internet towards more healthy and progressive developments.

Is that blockchain redefining how content is distributed and brands proliferate online? I do not know, but I’m a firm believer that Ads are very very old-school. In WOM Protocol’s Economy paper draft, I gleamed an attempt to put authenticity back as the driver of how smart contracts and dApp ecosystems could function instead of Ads at the center of profitability.

The future of advertising and marketing does not have to be dark, dystopian and bleak as businesses attempt to scale their apps and platforms. Facebook has not been a positive influence to the world, this we can say with a fair degree of confidence heading out from 2021. Can in 2022 we aim to build and participate in more genuine communities, channels, platform and experiments?

AI and Blockchain could kill Ads as we know them

While I believe in Alexa and ByteDance, I don’t feel Facebook or Google are the appropriate leaders in the future of Ads and user-experiences that will replace them. They are too biased, they are too tied up to their profitability. We cannot trust technology companies to do the right thing in 2022 and the 2023s, we may have to turn to younger startups that have a more radical and user-centric vision of what the internet might be like in the future.

Centralized solutions aren’t working and many now see a powerful opportunity for blockchain technology to step in. While I do not think we should use the word “decentralization” that easily, I do feel the internet badly needs a new paradigm. Will AI or blockchain be the remedy for the dystopian age of digital distrust? Do I trust peer-to-peer dApps that I know will be more fair or do I trust Alexa since she will knows me so damn well? Consumer adoption favors smart speakers where Amazon alone is likely to make about $22 Billion from Alexa alone by 2023.

But I have a sneaking suspicion the decentralized cryptoeconomic impact of blockchain will truly be the Ad-killer sometime in the racy future of technology and social platforms. That’s for me, something worth believing in.

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