Since Facebook and Instagram play a vital role in many brands’ marketing strategies, how could the company’s use of blockchain-based solutions affect marketing and advertising?
That question arises following news this week that the social giant has hired the team behind UK-based blockchain startup Chainspace, which was reportedly working on a smart contracts platform. Reports indicate Facebook’s interest is in the team’s expertise rather than the specific technology. Most of the employees will join Facebook’s existing 40+ person blockchain team, led by former PayPal exec David Marcus, which reportedly has been looking into the creation of a cryptocurrency for its WhatsApp messaging mobile app.
Although hyped for curing many of the world’s ills, blockchain is settling into a few kinds of practical solutions: as a decentralized and shared ledger for permanently tracking all kinds of activity; as the generator of “smart contracts,” which are software that automatically trigger a digital outcome once conditions are met; and as the framework for creating and managing cryptocurrency, which are digital forms of payment that may or may not be tied to traditional currency.
To get ideas about possible marketing or advertising impacts from a blockchain-enabled Facebook and how the company might deploy blockchain in its systems, we checked in with several experts at the intersections of blockchain, marketing and advertising. As with any good speculation exercise, there were differing viewpoints.
Transparent walled garden?
Matt McGraw is CEO of Dispatch Labs, a blockchain-based platform for building distributed apps (dApps), which he founded as “a reaction to Facebook, Google and Amazon being untrustworthy with our data.”