LONDON (Bywire News) - Salah Zalatimo has announced a major pivot. Voice.com will become, he says, a social platform in which users can create digital arts across all formats, enabling them to be ‘bought and sold as unique digital artefacts (NFTs)’.
To do this, they will take advantage of one of Voice.com’s biggest selling points: blockchain tokenisation. Under its model people could benefit by consuming, creating and sharing content. Now Voice are taking this a step further by transforming these digital assets into non fungible tokens or NFTs.
<2/8>— Salah Zalatimo (@Salafel) May 4, 2021
We have just closed @VoiceHQ to the public for the next 3 months while we upgrade from a fungible token-based social platform to a non-fungible token-based social platform. I would like to share with our community more insight into that decision and on our future.
NFTs are unique digital assets stored on the blockchain which cannot be changed for anything else. They are unique. For example, bitcoin is fungible because it can be traded with other bitcoins. It is not a unique thing. However, a trading card is non fungible. It cannot be traded for something identical. If you traded it for another card, you would still have a fundamentally different thing.
NFTs have created considerable attention in recent times, by creating a trend for digital art and it is this trend which Voice.com hopes to capitalise on.
<8/8>— Salah Zalatimo (@Salafel) May 4, 2021
Our mission remains the same: build social as it should be. NFTs + EOSIO uniquely make that possible.
“Instead of putting tokens next to creative content, the content itself will be the token. We are working hard to enable everyone who engages (likes, comments, etc.) to receive a royalty from its sale, as well. This is social as it should be, where the value of creative content is shared with those who support it.”
In short, Voice.com will tokenise all creative content from words, video or images to reward people for their creativity. The big benefit of this is that it hitches up to a trend which is just building momentum and provides another way for users to benefit from their own creativity.
Voice NFTs will be:
- Free to mint (no gas fees)
- Clean (low emissions)
- Authentic (identity verified)
- Resilient (unbreakable ownership)
The big risk, though, is that as with everything around the blockchain NFTs can feel complicated and hard for some to understand. As such, reaction has been mixed.
Many were enthusiastic such as this guy:
For most, though, there was curiosity and concern about what would happen to their existing work and if articles would be included at all.
Zalatimo moved quickly to address concerns.
“It’s our top priority to ensure our creators can still access the incredible work they have done on our platform,” he said. “When we launch the closed beta, current articles will no longer be available to the public. Ahead of our private beta launch, we’ll be providing a download of all Voice content to creators in our incubator program.”
The new beta is expected to come this summer before August. Until then we wait with bated breath to see how this new incarnation shapes up.
The decision to delete all the existing content was a brave and decisive move. The technical reasons as to why are obvious, the legacy content was not in an NFT format, Voice are building a new system for this. However, these types of unilateral and sudden moves do break the trust third party content platforms build with their users. It reminds us of the risks of such relationships. Deleting a years’ worth of content begs the questions ‘will this happen again? What is even more challenging is that the blockchain was supposed to stop this type of thing happening in the first place. In this instance it has failed, and that is a big deal. With Bywire, deleting content in this way is not possible.
The pivot for Voice is indeed a big risk, and the path there alienating. It may confuse some in the Voice.com community who have worked hard to get to this point, and it is demonstrable that Voice 1.0 did not work. However, Voice would argue it is simply doing what it promised from day one: continually developing and upgrading their approach as they go.
Betting on NFTs and a substantial relaunch will be an innovative way to ensure social media users retain ownership of their digital assets and can benefit from them forever. Whether this is one pivot too many remains to be seen.
(Writing by Tom Cropper, editing by Michael O’Sullivan)