We’re excited today to announce the Universal Attention Token, or UAT. This blockchain token will be the mechanism we use to shift the value proposition in digital content distribution back towards the Publishers who create the content.
The problems with the current digital advertising model have been well cataloged (if you somehow missed it, you can see a few examples here, here, and here). And competition is only intensifying, as ever more content competes for a finite amount of consumer attention. Some have called this a “golden age of content creation.” But for most publishers, it’s far from a golden age for content monetization.
The UAT is a digital token that corresponds to consumer attention. Having such a token allows us to account for consumer actions in a way that is simple, private, and trustworthy. The fact that token transactions will be written to the blockchain is an important technical innovation—but you don’t need to be a technical expert to benefit. Just as you don’t need to understand hypertext transfer protocol (“http://”) to use the Internet, you don’t need to understand blockchain to use the UAT. When done well, it just works.
Many companies are experimenting with approaches to solve various elements of the digital advertising problem, and we applaud them. A few examples include Civil, Invisibly, the Brave Browser, and Spot Protocol. Each has its own value proposition, and each has elements to be studied, admired, and imitated.
SocialFlow’s UAT will distinguish itself in three ways:
- Scale. SocialFlow customers publish on the order of 50 million social posts per year. Annual reach from those posts is about 1.1 trillion and the clicks generated from those posts are initiated by approximately 1 billion unique device IDs.
- Simplicity. We will explain the offering in clear terms that can be understood by people with non-technical and non-crypto backgrounds. It takes extra work to make the complex simple, but it’s worth it when you succeed.
- Publisher-First. Publishers are our customers, and we will first and foremost solve their problems. We understand why consumers use ad blockers, but we think solving the problem at the user level is corrosive to publisher businesses, and ultimately much less effective than solving the problem at its source.
There is so much more to discuss, and if you want to dive into the details we encourage you to download and read our white paper.
In the coming weeks and months, we look forward to talking with our customers, prospective customers, and the industry as a whole. In the meantime, we have provided below a few answers to commonly asked questions.
Q: So what exactly is a ‘digital token’?
A: It’s a string of letters and numbers, stored in a database, and assigned to a wallet. To visualize this, take out the bills from your wallet or purse, and inventory them in a spreadsheet, as in the table below. What we’re doing is in the same vein—but with digital tokens that are not actual money.
Q: So where does blockchain come in?
A: We’re using blockchain to store the record of transactions (but importantly, no one’s individual browsing history.) We’re effectively taking a snapshot of the transaction database, every 10 minutes or so, and writing it to the blockchain.
Q: So why do you need blockchain to do that?
A: We could (and do) store transaction records in our database. But writing the records at predictable intervals to a blockchain record makes it difficult to debate its authenticity. It’s a bit like taking a test using a Sharpie instead of a pencil — there’s really very little doubt about what answer you marked, and it’s almost impossible to change it after the fact.
Q: Does anything change with how I use SocialFlow?
A: No. SocialFlow today functions just as it did yesterday. In the coming weeks and months, your SocialFlow teams will be discussing with you how your title(s) can start to benefit from the UAT. Ultimately, we’ll propose a separate SOW for how you could bring your titles into the UAT ecosystem.
Q: So what’s happening today?
A: We are announcing the UAT ecosystem and the start of our fundraising. We are raising up to $25 million in capital to fund the development of the UAT.
Q: How do you pronounce UAT?
A: That’s up to you, but we pronounce it as three distinct letters: U – A – T. You can try “YouAught” if you want. 🙂