Parallel to the emerging dominance of video content on social media platforms, the narrative of better privacy has reached a fever pitch following several high-profile data breaches, particularly with Facebook . Considering the personal nature of visual content on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, privacy is now a paramount concern.
The idea of privacy and social media often conflict with one another, but they do not have to be mutually exclusive. "Over the last few years, major social media platforms have been rocked with huge user data privacy scandals," says Vid Co-Founder and CEO, Jag Singh. "As a result, people have become more conscious about how these firms collect and abuse their data, driving a desire for a new social media paradigm that brings privacy into the fold."
Jag Singh and his co-founder, Josh Singh, came up with Vid to allow both privacy and empowering users to distinctly express themselves--even monetizing their "video journals" at their own discretion.
"We are pioneering a new social media industry segment known as memory media," details Jag. "In combination with an AI-based memory interface for creating video journals, we built Vid on top of a blockchain to facilitate privacy and monetization for users."
Young Founders with Experience
The founders, Jag and Josh Singh, previously founded a company and grew it to $30 million in revenue in 4 years. They were 23 and 17 years old at the time, respectively.
As for Vid, the duo has invested over $1.5 million of their own funds into product development over the past 2 years while filing 7 patents for the platform--including an AI-powered "music magic" feature that automatically cuts video clips to the beat of a song, akin to a professional editor.
"We have been adamant about pushing the envelope," says Josh. "Everyone wants to remember their life, yet everyone's memory fades. The problem is glaringly obvious, but nobody has attempted a solution."
At a high level, the app works by tagging memories created by users with a calendar interface curated by the system's AI. The editing software enables users to share public memories simply and efficiently through a combination of auto-edited video clips, animations based on automatically-indexed consumer data, and natively integrated music. With Pew Research citing that 45% of U.S. teens are online and using social media on a near-constant basis, the market for social media--particularly visual mediums--is only expected to accelerate.
Vid allows users to monetize their data via direct interactions with advertisers, at the sole discretion of the user. The concept is not just another random bid of blockchain-based technology, either. Vid's proposed model is attracting significant attention already, particularly from established influencers.
"We launched a test app of Vid in Spring 2018 that drew 30,000 users within a month," says Jag. "Now, over 50 of the top Influencers on various social media channels, with more than 250 million aggregate followers, have officially agreed to support the Vid launch."
But this design aspect is not possible without the unique technology underlying Vid--blockchain and zero-knowledge encryption.
Trending Towards Privacy and Monetization
The concept of an AI-based video journaling platform for "memory media" may be novel in itself, but the primary value proposition of Vid originates from users controlling their own data and the downstream advantages of that.
Using an emerging cryptographic technology called "zero knowledge encryption," all of the memories are encrypted, effectively removing the ability for social media platforms and third-party advertisers to harvest user data without their consent.
The consent aspect is crucial. Even though user data is encrypted, they can choose to make specific videos public on the platform, even monetizing some of them by directly interacting with advertising companies.
"When users create public Vids that include branded, auto-generated memories of companies that they associate their lives with, it becomes an ideal opportunity to monetize those memories," says Jag. "Vid will offer brands the opportunity to add swipe-up links to these memories, enabling users to monetize those specific videos should they choose to."
Users receive the full advertising revenue from the swipe-up link--Vid does not take a cut. This is a direct result of its blockchain-based design, which facilitates a peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer between the advertiser and user/Influencer. The structure removes points of friction in transaction costs, and users receive advertising revenue in the form of a native Vid token.
Following concerns over the ICO and IEO "pump-and-dump" models of cryptocurrencies, Vid decided to deploy an extended, 5-year release of their tokens. Eventually, the monetization model will encompass advertisers, influencers/users, and subscription fees that users pay for tiered access to the model--all while granting users complete sovereignty over their data.
In an era of data impropriety that's a generous proposition.
"The last 18 months have highlighted the pressing need for disrupting the social media market," says Jag. "Our product is built, the market is huge, and Vid is technically complex, yet beautifully simple."