When Google announced that it would be banning cryptocurrency-related ads from its platform, the crypto universe was up in arms. While it is a fact that the company’s platforms have been used by some unscrupulous and fraudulent projects, a blanket ban on the entire industry was rather high-handed of Google, the biggest digital ads provider. The ban not only applied to Google’s search engine but also to YouTube, a platform that has become a favorite among many for sharing views and expertise regarding crypto and blockchain. Many crypto vloggers have seen diminished revenue from their videos, and a large number of them have turned to another platform: Steemit.
One of the YouTubers who has heaped praise on Steemit is Luis Thomas, a crypto vlogger from Wales who currently has just over 95,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. In a recent video, Luis explained that the first thing that attracted him to Steemit was the better monetization policy. On YouTube, he could make around £1000 per month. After crypto content became quite censored, his revenue began to diminish and he switched to Steemit. While he’s got around 97% fewer subscribers on Steemit than on YouTube, he is able to make the same amount of money.
… so can you imagine how much money I’d be making if I actually had the same number of followers on Steemit as I do on YouTube? If a content creator were to put as much effort into creating a good size platform, a good size profile on Steemit, they could potentially make much, much more money than they currently do on YouTube.
TJ Kirk, a longtime American vlogger who has over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, shares Luis’s opinion. In his video comparing YouTube and Steemit, he takes the example of a video he posted on both platforms about women’s march signs. On Steemit, he made 450 Steem dollars, which at the time were trading for around $7. The same content on YouTube made absolutely nothing! It was considered offensive by YouTube’s algorithms, which automatically takes away one’s ability to monetize their conent.
My video is too offensive to make money on YouTube, just like pretty much all my videos…
The decentralized nature of Steemit, which is among its most attractive features, is also its biggest undoing. While centralized platforms like YouTube have a central authority which lays out the guidelines and has the right to deny service to those who don’t comply, Steemit can only hope that its users are disciplined enough to post appropriate content. Many users have maintained professionalism, but as with any platform, there are those who post inappropriate content. To make matters worse, such content – which is sometimes crass, misogynistic or racist – ends up getting many upvotes and making a lot of money for its creators. This serves to encourage the behavior even more, an ultimately self-feeding degradation.
Another challenge is the upvoting model. In his video, TJ Kirk laments Steemit’s model, which incentivizes people to upvote popular content, as it makes more money from which they end up benefiting. This damages the platform’s reputation as a place where people can get genuine information.
A lot of these people are not genuinely voting on content or commenting on content because they genuinely give a s**t about it; they are doing it because they want a little piece of the pie, a little piece of that money pie.
Steemit and other decentralized platforms such as DTube have a long way to go before they can become worthy competitors to YouTube. However, their achievements so far can’t be overlooked. As blockchain technology revolutionizes sectors like finance, healthcare and insurance, social media and video sharing platforms should not lag behind, and Steemit is leading in this race.