During Consensus 2023, MeWe plans to integrate with the Frequency blockchain network, a Polkadot parachain. According to the announcement, the company will begin migrating user accounts to the new network this quarter.
MeWe was introduced in 2012 and marketed as a “Facebook alternative” with apparently enhanced privacy protections. In September, Axios reported that the network had more than 20 million users. In November, Frequency was introduced as a Polkadot parachain.
MeWe CEO Jeffrey Edell stated at a Consensus 2023 panel titled “Laying Web3’s Foundation With Decentralized Social Networks and Data Rights” that the move will enable MeWe to make a permanent commitment to user data ownership.
According to the CEO, blockchain technology can enhance privacy by ensuring companies keep their user data protection promises. In his view, by committing to blockchain technology, MeWe can maintain its privacy-focused approach even in the event of acquisition by a larger company that might otherwise compromise user privacy.
Further mentioned that the company had never engaged in surveillance or the amplification of bad news or misinformation. As a result, they believe they are well-positioned to transition into the Web3 world. The speaker acknowledged the need to approach this transition with caution and care but expressed their full commitment to doing so.
According to the announcement, Woodham worked on the Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP) as part of Frank McCourt’s Project Liberty. In June 2021, McCourt allocated $100 million to this initiative.
Amplica Labs was the first company to contribute technically to Frequency. Its president, Braxton Woodham, who also participated in the panel, highlighted that the collaboration between MeWe and Frequency would tackle only a few social media issues. However, he asserted that it would provide a foundational framework that app developers can use to solve a variety of problems in the future.
Woodham explained that social networks face various challenges, such as user experience, moderation, and AI algorithms for content curation. He stated that solving all these problems simultaneously is challenging, so their approach is to link their digital presence together on the web, creating the social web. By doing so, they aim to tackle the data layer and solve those difficult problems.