Maringo; changing the future of social media with Web3 technology

Tomiwo Ojo
Maringo; changing the future of social media with Web3 technology

Maringo is a new social media platform that seeks to empower and reward users by leveraging gamification, blockchain technology, and tokenomics.

It is not news that social media plays a huge role in our lives, providing a means to connect, network, and even market our products and services to a larger audience. While several factions considered it a distraction some years ago, it has become a significant part of our culture.

As the internet moves on from Web 2 to Web 3, it is pertinent that many individuals take advantage of the next stage of the internet to provide more measures that benefit humans. 

Web 3 has seen the rise of cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, and other notable features. It has gained such popularity that some Web 2.0 companies, including Reddit and Discord, have explored incorporating Web3 technologies into their platforms.

Maringo is a platform that is seeking to revolutionalise the social media space by providing access to a social media platform where all users can be part of a united community, engage with diverse content, and earn rewards.

Today, Web 2.0 social media platforms are controlled by the platforms that create them; hence, the data and content are regulated by a small group of companies sometimes referred to as “Big Tech,” and the policies and decisions that govern these platforms are made by a few individuals appointed by these institutions.

Maringo; changing Africa's social media landscape with Web3 technology

In an exclusive interview with Technext, Louis Akaatengar, the founder of Maringo, explains that the platform will change the social media game by creating an exosystem whereby users can use, control, and monetise their social media profiles. 

Louis Akaatenger has interacted with different people from different backgrounds on his travels. He is an experienced finance personnel and moved into the tech space during his undergraduate year, acquiring knowledge and experience in the software and web development space. During the COVID-19 lockdown, he moved into the Web 3 space.

As an ardent user of social media platforms, Louis observed the current modes of operations employed by many social media platforms today and considered the bias involved, especially how some users get their profiles taken away from them.

To enhance the people’s voice, he put together a talented team of individuals to leverage Web 3 technology and revolutionalise the social media space. An opportunity for people who are techy and those who are not so tech-inclined to interact easily.

This birthed Maringo

“The aim is to transform the space, to venture away from what we have now, which is like the mainstream social media space. We want to create an ecosystem whereby users can use, control, and monetize their platform.” 

Already, Web 3 enthusiasts are demanding that users get more control over their social media platforms today. Mastodon, a free and open-source software for running self-hosted social networking services, has seen an increase in daily active users following the drama that has ensued since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

Maringo is already ahead with revolution plans, and Louis Akaatenger explains how the platform will change the future of the social media space.

“It is a very community-driven initiative where users will have a say in the day-to-day operations of the platform and get rewards. There is a whole array of features and a system that enables users to capitalise and monetise their whole experience.” 

Maringo is primarily concerned with enabling users to find their voice, use it, and get access to earn more rewards. 

Louis Akaatenger

However, Web 3 technology is new to a lot of users, and the mention of terms like blockchain technology breeds confusion. Naturally, people with Web 3 knowledge would thrive on these platforms, trust the processes more, and be more attuned to build followership, and stand a better chance to earn rewards. 

Maringo’s plan to familiarise users with Web 3 technology

Louis Akaatenger admits that the limited understanding of Web 3 technology was duly factored in Maringo’s planning. However, he explained that familiar features from popular social media platforms would be incorporated into Maringo’s interface.

The general sense of Maringo is that we are combining familiar social media features that people know and integrating some finance elements, especially DeFi elements, and also using gamification. We putting all of this together to make social media more engaging, more transparent, and more rewarding. 

The concept of Maringo is the infusion of democratic elements. While social media platforms today have offered users a lot, biased censorship is expected. These are instances where one person or organisation solely decides right or wrong actions.

It is not uncommon for social media users to get suspended or banned from their favourite platforms because of their political opinion, their sexuality, their religious beliefs, or other reasons that violate the terms and conditions of the platform.

Maringo’s infrastructure

Maringo believes every voice should be heard, although human rights violations will not be tolerated. The platform aims to have a democratic system where the users make the decisions that affect the platform’s culture.

While Maringo will employ the use of Machine learning and artificial intelligence to ensure safety and inclusiveness on the platform, major decisions will be taken by the users.  

“Of course, violence, hate speech, and bullying should not and would not be tolerated on the platform, but users will not be banned or restricted from using the platform because of their political opinions or grey areas”, Louis Akaatenger explains.

“There is going to be a behavioural AI that analyses all content to flag and remove violent messages, hateful speech, etc. When this content is flagged, Maringo has a moderation system to decide what should be taken off the platform. So, some users are selected randomly and they are asked to participate in a poll to verify the content flagged by the AI.” 

“So if the AI determines that content is violent, these moderators are asked “does this reflect violence”? And the results of that poll would help us determine Maringo’s next course of action.”

We use a judicial system, and AI is like the police. 

Gamification and Rewards on Maringo

Maringo has incorporated a gamification and rewards system to benefit users. While users can generate income on social media platforms today via monetized content, paid advertisement, etc. Maringo aims to reward users for using the platform and provide more opportunities to monetize their social media presence. 

“The majority of our income would be given back to the users. Users will have the option to opt-in or opt-out of allowing us access to their data. The data is yours but you can lease it to us if you want. We let you have a choice, unlike the other social media platforms today. Should you choose to, then you get rewarded for it.”

These rewards can be used for many things, such as converting to fiat cash or used to support a community-driven initiative.  

“There are a bunch of communities and these rewards can make them stronger or make you have a stronger say in them. Whoever gets chosen for the community is done on an electoral basis so you can input and say what they want.”

Maringo understands the impact of social media influencers on the centralised platforms, and these individuals have a role to play on the decentralised platforms as well. 

“We have a strong list of influencers who provide good content that thrive on social media platforms. We believe that these people are the driving forces for social media platforms, and Maringo will allow them to extra monetize their content and their followership.

“We are integrating DeFI so you can make tech content, live documents, and get a direct reward mechanism Sometimes you get rewards for your post getting liked.”

Louis Akaanteger, Maringo's founder
Louis Akaatenger, founder of Maringo

What separates Maringo from other Web3 social media platforms?

Maringo’s homepage has an interactive and intuitive interface with dunes in the background and distinct writing resembling the ancient Nsibidi symbols. Louis Akaatenger, of African descent, explained that the design was a choice.

“A lot of the Afro futuristic features on the landing page was done by African developers but that is more of a personal motivation. Although we would like to establish ourselves in Africa and provide a means for users to perform necessary tasks through the app.”

“Think of WeChat in Asia, an app that combines social media with payment platforms, etc. We want to cement ourselves within the African ecosystem. The continent is one of the fastest-growing tech ecosystems and markets. Most of the team is from Africa so there is that aspect as well.” 

Africa’s blockchain ecosystem has been on the rise as cryptocurrency adoption continues to soar. However, many people still steer clear of the term and any project that involves the use of blockchain technology. Akaatenger explains that an onboarding process will help users get familiar with the platform, and this will separate Maringo from other social media platforms built with Web 3 technology.

Maringo is simple for people unfamiliar with blockchain or web3 platforms anywhere. There is going to be an onboarding process that helps these users transition into the Web 3 space without needing to acquire complex knowledge. 

We focus on feasibility and user experience. There is no point in having all these cool features if the majority of the users do not know how to use them.

One of the things we are bringing familiar features So the users can feel like they are using the conventional platforms but have these features integrated that can help them get rewards, etc; not everyone will use it at the end of the day. However, we want people who do not have Web3 knowledge to be able to use the platform. So you will not need to learn these things to use the app. 

What next for Maringo

“We are going through a revamp at the moment. We still want to rework the landing page, we there is a lot of design going on to improve the landing page. Also, we are working on completing an onboard app where people can download and signup to wait.,” Louis Akaatenger explains.

“While we may not launch till the end of next year, we want the prototype of our app out. We also want to start our fundraising soon, maybe early next year. Then we will start a referral campaign and a marketing campaign where we make a lot of noise to get people to download the app, etc. Then we release the app and make the onboarding easy from the prototype app.” 

Do you see Maringo and the rest taking over from Big Tech social media platforms? 

Yeah, the movement has already started. People don’t own their platform, their content, no compensation, no transparency, etc. Now you can see them (conventional social media) trying to adapt in acts of desperation, but people want to have a say, they want to own a share of these platforms, and they want to get involved.

Most Web 2 companies are trying to integrate Web 3 bits now, but when the technology becomes easier to understand, it will be the way of life. This is where platforms like Maringo breach the gap between Web 2 and Web 3. 

It would be a complete transition and we will see it that Maringo will be one of the major players in this. It would be interesting to see how the market share looks in ten years.  

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