The title contains a sort of odd proposition. Why are Facebook and Twitter being lumped in with a seemingly very different platform like Patreon as potential disrupt-ees by the same new platform?
What is Flote anyway?
Flote is a sort of hybrid social network and crypto-monetized marketplace. With backing by Boost Venture Capital, Flote.app acquired crypto focused Patreon contender Bitbacker.io early in 2019. Led by lead developer Kingsley Edwards, Flote consists of a small four person team effort to bring integrity back to the monetization of online content. By now, most of us have heard at least one story of a content creator who had spent countless hours over the course of years developing a following on YouTube, Patreon, or other monetized platforms -- only to be suspended, banned, de-monetized, or otherwise de-platformed, often without warning and with little to no explanation or sensible justification. This experience can completely blindside and be quite traumatic for people who have come to rely on their channel or account as a regular source of income, in many cases, their main income. This increasingly common problem was the inspiration that led to the vision and development of Flote.app.
Market Disruption Potential
Sometimes billing itself as a decentralized, censorship resistant alternative to Patreon, Flote also sometimes is seen by its community members as a potential alternative to even Facebook and Twitter. Probably that's because in addition to the paywalled features of Patreon, the UI/UX is a lot more social media oriented, and blends many of the characteristics of Facebook and Twitter into a very crisp, clean, intuitive interface. Flote incorporates many features we're used to, such as re-sharing content, liking (indicated on Flote with a Star icon), and a very easy to access livestreaming feature--in addition to some unique features we've seen before, but perhaps not in a while, such as audio upload capability with an mp3 player (MySpace anyone?). So in theory, you could even throw Soundcloud or podcasting type platforms into the potential disrupt-ees mix. And yet somehow, Flote seems to be doing all this without creating an overly busy interface. In fact, it's among the most simple, clean looking interfaces I've ever had the pleasure of using.
Our goal is to deliver a fun, engaging social experience where information and payments can flow freely
With that introduction out of the way, let's take a look at this robust list of some of Flote's most unique selling points. Many of these features are not yet available, but in the meantime, the app is still very functional with ever increasing user activity. That said, being a Beta product, there are occasional bugs.
- Built in livestreaming feature right on the home page
- Support creators directly with no middle man
- Crypto agnostic
- Simple built-in Bitcoin wallet with other cryptocurrency wallets on the roadmap
- Ability to set up paywalled content for regular subscribers
- Ability to set tiers of access to paywalled content for subscribers
- Anonymous donations and pledges for member-only feeds
- Free speech friendly and Censorship resistant
- Audio upload ability
- Storefronts where users can sell their products and services (roadmap Q1 2020)
- Ability for creators to earn a share of ad revenue (coming soon)
- Boards (akin to Subreddits or Facebook groups, coming soon)
- Anytime withdrawals
- No fees!
- Android and IOS apps
- Super easy connection to your Facebook, Twitter and more
With this many features and advantages over more centralized social media and marketplace channels, perhaps the greatest obstacle to Flote adoption is the relatively still obscure use of cryptocurrency (sources give varied information, but worldwide crypto ownership appears to be roughly 5%). But Flote certainly is an impressive step in the right direction in terms of disrupting the legacy platforms which seem, almost by the day, to take more and more advantage of the very people who give their platforms value in the first place.
And after trying over a dozen crypto monetized social platforms over the past two years, I believe that due to its simple no-fuss interface, familiar feel, and unique selling points, Flote (along with Publish0x) is among the most likely contenders to have mass appeal to the yet most untapped market -- people with little to no experience with cryptocurrency.
Go here if you want to try Flote. Be sure to follow me @jmbsol, and after using it a bit, come back here to tell us what you think!