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Building a thriving creator economy that is centered around digital ownership, tokenization and communities
Over the past decade, content creation and consumption has been on a steady trend of becoming more and more micro. Consumers want more information and they want it faster and quicker than ever before. The rise of Tik Tok is only the most recent example of this exponential decrease in attention span. While long-form content will always have its place - as we've seen with the rise of 2-3 hour Joe Rogan-style podcasting - short-form is king for the average consumer.
Many of you may not be familiar with the goal of INLEO. INLEO's mission is to build a thriving creator economy that is centered around digital ownership, tokenization and communities. Some may question if this actually has any value to the world. Do we really need another social media platform? Can a tiny startup and tiny community compete with the big dogs of Web2? Aren't all altcoins just scams? Do we need another token?
"No", "maybe" and "kind of" all come to mind as answers to these questions. The odds are incredibly not in our favor. Battling incumbents is never an easy task and they will throw everything in the book at you so that you fail and they continue to succeed. This all being said, the mission is necessary. It doesn't matter how you slice it - our data is becoming increasingly commoditized and it has never been more important than now to democratize digital identities.
The strategy of INLEO is to build a small (but powerful) initial base of users and a product that is nearly indistinguishable from Web2 (on the surface). Utilizing this base of users, we're able to build a massive content library that drives attention. Attention is monetized and that monetization drives value to the LEO token. People go where there is value and the value that LEO accumulates through this increasingly monetized attention ultimately leads to a pinwheel effect where more attention is gathered, monetized and driven back to - you guessed it, more attention.
Other Web3 platforms like INLEO have popped up all over the place. The idea of creating a "tokenized social media" is not entirely new. Why will INLEO succeed where others have not? The strategy of building an initial base of users on top of a product that is nearly indistinguishable from Web2 has not yet been successfully carried out... by anyone.
Commonly referred to by our Web 3.0 peers as "Layer 0", the initial base of users can be considered the foundational layer of the value stack. Building an initial base of users is extremely important - nay, a requirement. You need this initial base to make any of the other key pillars work. Without the foundation of community, the entire plan falls apart. Creating an amazing product that is indistinguishable from Web2 requires feedback loops, testing and iterations. Our community of 1,600+ users (as of September, 2023) is the most vital notch in our organization.
Network effects also dictate that you need some initial network for the effects to take place. Network effects are what enabled Web2 platforms to grow to billions of users. With each new user, 10 new potential users are unlocked via network effects. Sustainable tokenization is a pinwheel on top of the building. Without wind (users), the pinwheel will not move anywhere. The initial users are the initial momentum that kickstarts the pinwheel of sustainable tokenization. Again, without an initial userbase, the final pillar of INLEO's strategy will not succeed.
Product development is incredibly difficult. Anyone who tells you that creating a great product is easy is lying to your face. It is one thing to create a basic interface and add features to it. It is an entirely other thing to create a complex interface that is multi-layered, feature-rich and maintain it while adding new features over time. Look to Twitter (prior to Elon Musk taking over) as a great example. The initial product was great. The growth was great. Features were getting added. Eventually, complacency overtook the entire organization. They barely released 1 new feature per year. The reason? They got caught in a complacent cycle of laziness, doing the bare minimum to maintain Twitter services. Many platforms fall for the same trap of creating something and then resting on their laurels.
An indistinguishable product from Web2 is not about cloning Web2. It's about building a familiar experience to Web2. The User Interface doesn't necessarily need to look or feel like a UI from Web2... But the experience the User has as they flow through the UI for the first time needs to feel natural. It needs to feel familiar. Tik Tok did not just clone other platforms when it came out. They simply built something that was natural for users to utilize. How did they do it? Users were trained over the past decade to swipe up on their smartphones to scroll through content. Tik Tok took that broad action and added a fresh UI experience that was still familiar. Swipe up to get new content.
INLEO's team is obviously much smaller than Web2 companies who have thousands of developers and billions of dollars. That being said, a nimble team can build an incredible product. Look to any successful startup in the past 20 years as an example. You start small, build a great product and continue to build, innovate and iterate based on feedback. I think we have proven our capability to build technology where it didn't previously exist. INLEO's team has already released many architectural and infrastructure innovations on the Hive, Ethereum, BSC and Polygon Blockchains and there are plenty more yet to come. Our mission is to build a product that is indistinguishable from Web2 which means that the user experience is familiar, the onboarding is flawless, the bugs are minimal-to-none and the feeds are rich with relevant content.
Sustainable tokenization is the final key pillar to INLEO's strategy to build a sustainable creator economy centered around digital ownership, tokenization and communities. Having a token for token's sake is not the important part here. Creators need to be rewarded and they can be rewarded in many ways other than giving them a token. Other Web2 platforms have already done creator revenue sharing but the difference between them and us is that with tokenization, creators can actually own the platform itself. On Web2, creators are beholden to the corporation running the platform. If they do something the platform doesn't like, they can get booted off the platform - losing all of their data, monetization and connection to their audience. The equivalent of your local government stepping in and just shutting the doors to your brick-and-mortar store with no warning and no recourse.
Tokenization allows creators and users to own the platform that they are generating value for with their content and interactions. After all, every interaction, time on site and piece of content that a user/creator contributes to the platform is adding value to it both in the short-term and in the long-term. Tokenization simply democratizes the distribution of that value and allows it to flow into the hands of the many, rather than the hands of the few. Though we have seen this experiment play out many times in the past in crypto - why is there a need for another token? Can't we use something like Bitcoin? Why do we need to create a new token when so many already exist?
Sustainable is the key operative word. We need a circular economy that can stand on its own two feet. True digital ownership means ownership at all layers. Users need to own their data but they also need to own the value they are contributing to the platform. By having its own token (LEO), INLEO enables creators and users to truly own the entire stack - data and value. INLEO's plan to drive sustainable tokenization is grounded in bringing real revenue into the ecosystem by monetizing the existing attention, inflows of readers from search engines and adding freemium-style features.
Currently, ~6,000 LEO is created on a daily basis. This 6,000 LEO is emitted through a decentralized rewards pool. This rewards pool allocates LEO to creators and consumers based on upvotes (think, likes). LEO POWER holders are able to dictate the flow of rewards. It is clearly in their best interest to vote content (allocate rewards) to where it would generate the most value for the platform as a whole. Since the platform primarily generates value from Ads, the curators (LEO stakeholders) are incentivized to upvote posts and threads that generate time-on-site and thus, ad views both in the short and long-term.
With 6,000 LEO emitted per day and the current price of $0.05 per LEO, $300 per day in value is emitted from the rewards pool. Can LEO capture $300 per day in value through sustainable revenue mechanisms? This is how LEO becomes sustainable from a tokenomics perspective. Let's run the math. Assume that the 467k page views that LEO had in the month of September is the bare minimum of ad views that the platform achieves. At a $1.85 CPM - which is our average CPM currently - this equates to $863.95 per month that LEO earns from advertisers. Bear in mind that on each page there are multiple ads that also rotate their banners. So 1 page view does not equal 1 ad view, but several ad views simultaneously + more views the longer the user is on the page.
We are using bottom of the barrel math though. So let's assume the worst case scenario of 1 page view = 1 ad view. That's roughly 3 days worth of LEO inflation that advertisers buy through the autonomous LeoAds contract. Now let's move to other revenue-generating mechanisms. As a utility token, LEO can generate a ton of value through two means: token sinks and freemium features. Token sinks are one-off features that allow users to burn a small amount of LEO in exchange for something. For example, promoting their post to the top of the list by burning 100 LEO or spending 0.1 LEO to translate an article from English to another language.
Freemium features are where things get really interesting. This is an entirely new strategy that INLEO has yet to implement. We're releasing this new feature before the end of 2023 and it will bring a whole new dynamic to driving revenue to the LEO ecosystem and providing more utility to the community. The idea of freemium INLEO is centered around the Orange Checkmark or what we're calling "LEO Premium". LEO Premium will unlock dozens of features that enhance the INLEO experience. Without premium, the core experience is still roughly the same. The whole model of Freemium is quite successful in the software world. X is now doing it with their blue checkmark service and it's working in a huge way, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue for X. When the feature goes live, I will update this post with facts, figures and a link to learn more about how the idea of LEO Premium is working in real-time.
Ad revenue is generated from ads displayed on the website. When users interact with ads (see or click), ad networks/individuals pay crypto into a smart contract. We call this smart contract "LeoAds". This LeoAds contract autonomously receives crypto from each advertiser and then converts that crypto into LEO using one of the liquidity pools on the Ethereum, BSC, Polygon or Hive blockchains. Ultimately, this creates a constant buyer of the LEO token through a fully autonomous Ads pool. This contract then takes the LEO it purchases and pools it in what we call the LeoAds rewards pool. From this rewards pool (separate from the LEO creator/user pool), users can earn extra LEO by holding LEO POWER and engaging on the platform. Users who hold LEO POWER and engage on the platform gain more LEO over time. They are incentivized to actively use their Upvotes to reward creators/users who drive the most value (ad revenue) to the ecosystem. The circular nature of how value flows from ad views to LEO to the LeoAds Pool is what drives LEO POWER holders to curate content that drives the most views/clicks (value to the platform as a whole). Creators are rewarded for driving valuable content, views and engagement to INLEO.
At its core, LEO is a utility token on the platform. So far, we've shown that holding more LEO as LEO POWER allows you to dictate the flow of rewards. Microspending LEO on the platform gives you even more utility. LEO Premium will roll out before the end of 2023 and allows users to get an Orange Checkmark in exchange for $10. This Orange Checkmark is displayed next to a user's username on the platform. It also grants them certain features that non-premium user's don't get:
- Edit Threads
- Longer Threads
- Thread Formatting
- Custom Lists
- Pinned Threads
- Pinned Posts
- Favorites Menu
- NFT Profile Pictures (PFP)
- Auto-AI Summarize Post into Threadstorm for Publishing
Creators can also promote their content to the top of various feeds by spending LEO. Promotions are competition based and rotate every 7 days. Creators can promote either Threads or Posts by spending a chosen amount of LEO. If another user comes along and spends more LEO to promote their post, then theirs will display above the other promoted post in the feed. Micropayments for micro actions will also be introduced later this year. These micropayments can be as trivial as 0.01 LEO and allow you to perform an AI Translation of a post into another language or allow you to setup periodic actions. A major use case for Micropayments in my opinion will be access to premium features as a non-premium subscriber. Say that you want to edit one of your Threads every once in a while and don't care for the other premium features available through LEO Premium. A 0.1 LEO micropayment, for example, could allow you to access this feature for a one-off use.
Additionally, a subscription dashboard is being implemented on the frontend which will allow any creator to enable premium subscriptions. This works quite similarly to Substack. For example, a popular creator can setup a subscription-only feed for some of their best content. This will encrypt the content and in order to decrypt it, your blockchain account will need to be a premium subscriber to that specific creator. Creator's will earn the lion's share of the subscription fee that is charged and a small fee will be collected by the platform. Substack charges 12.9% + 30 cents per payment. Thanks to zero-fees and blockchain technology, INLEO's platform fee will be far lower than this and will also drive value back to the LEO Economy.
Our driving focus is on creating an incredible product. We believe that building an incredible product comes first and is above-and-beyond the most important goal of the project. Delivering a product of this magnitude is no easy task. It involves dozens of team members and thousands of community members moving in lock-step. Growing that product - delivering it to more users - is secondary to our goal of building an amazing product, but it is no less important. If nobody uses our product, then there is little point in creating it.
As I stated above, it is the culmination of all of the aforementioned aspects that build INLEO into a great product with a growing user base and a sustainable utility token economy. Our mission is to build a thriving creator economy that is centered around digital ownership, tokenization and communities. We will achieve this through constant RnD of bleeding edge features, refining the existing product, growing our community and driving sustainability to the utility token.
Last modified 19d ago