What is Steemit?

One of the things Steemians love doing most is to define what Steemit is. As the Steem blockchain keeps evolving, often that also results in people poorly understanding the role of Steemit in the current Steem ecosystem.

Generally most Steemians will attempt to define Steemit as “social media” or “social network”, which makes sense, especially when looking at the Steem(it) FAQ:

What is steemit.com?

Steemit has redefined social media by building a living, breathing, and growing social economy – a community where users are rewarded for sharing their voice. It’s a new kind of attention economy.

Above is the first point in the Steem(it) FAQ, but the FAQ quickly goes on and elaborates more:

How does Steemit work?

Steemit.com is one of the many websites (including Busy.org, DTube, and Utopian.io) that are powered by the Steem blockchain and STEEM cryptocurrency. …

Steemit’s Role in the Steem Ecosystem

It is important to understand where Steemit belongs in the Steem story. Currently being the largest site, and also benefitting all SEO bonus, Steemit is not the end goal nor the main goal of Steem.

Steemit is the centralized initial roll-out platform to bring traction to the Steem blockchain, and to inspire the creation of more apps interfacing with the Steem blockchain.

While the latter may seem weird to many – why would any site want there to be competition – it is a normal thing in a decentralized world. There should not be one site only, definitely not a centralized one, operating on the blockchain.

Additionally, with SMTs coming there will be ever more interfaces and the vast amount of interfaces (apps, SMTs) on the Steem blockchain may eventually result in STEEM becoming a limited supply token and thus increasing (hopefully) in token value.

Steemit Inc., the company building and operating the Steemit.com website, as well as the main blockchain architects and developers currently, are rather clear in this.

If steemit.com stays the only gateway to the steem blockchain, we failed at our job.
@sneak, CTO Steemit Inc. at SteemFest².

The main focus of Steemit Inc. Is to develop a protocol, not one site.

We disencourage [our] people to use it, we are building a protocol, a decentralized platform. We need to make sure that the Steem blockchain is powering thousands of websites, not just 5.
@sneak, CTO Steemit Inc. at SteemFest².

Steemit is the Everything Bucket

At the time of writing, the Steem blockchain is still in an early stage and much new development will be released over the next few months. First of all there is HF20, and in the first half of next year the SMT platform will be released. Additionally, the release of HiveMind and later also Communities is still expected too.

Busy.org homepage

Until then Steemit is, and will continue to be, the “everything bucket” interface/gateway to the Steem blockchain. This means that Steemit displays every post, also posts submitted to the Steem blockchain via other SteemApps like Busy.org and SteemPeak. Both are also apps displaying every post submitted to the Steem blockchain.

Steemit itself has no (obvious) intention to be anything else currently. Steemit definitely doesn’t aspire to be the kitchen sink feature bucket, complete with both fridges and also the microwave thrown in. That is also backed by the words of @sneak.

People who want the site to function better or have more features or anything will have to build their own interface to the Steem blockchain. Steemit is not supposed to be like other sites and that’s a good thing.

The Steem blockchain already hosts several “content verticals”, SteemApps which display only content submitted through their interface. Currently most of those interfaces have a specific content – or media type – focus.

The most known are:

  • DLive: live streaming platform
  • dTube: decentralized video hosting
  • dsound: decentralized sound platform
  • Steemhunt: product enthusiasts
  • Musing: decentralized Q&A
  • Steepshot: Instagram alike photo sharing platform
  • Tasteem: Restaurant review platform

With Communities and SMTs still coming, the proliferation of specific content types, especially like Steemhunt and Tasteem already do, will continue. It is also expected that media organizations may join the Steem blockchain. Many bloggers may also bring their blog to the Steem blockchain, thanks to SteemPress, the WordPress plugin to post to the Steem blockchain.

In a rather near future many people will actively contribute to the Steem blockchain yet even not visit the Steemit website because they came for a SMT and the SMT may have its own signup and even Steem wallet. Others may use only mobile apps, apps not released by Steemit Inc.


Former startupper. Tech veteran. Lean. In before Ries.

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