Raising the Vibe:
The need for a refocused Vybit 2.0 Roadmap
Current investment round and feedback:
After our small community round, we have been focusing on our product redesign and subsequent next raise of capital with investor groups to continue fueling the growth of Vybit. Being a social media platform requires a lot of it to attract content and develop features to rival existing social platforms. This raise has been different however, not only because it is a next step requiring a bigger inflow of capital to scale, but also because it has been the first time we have seen increased investor focus on commercial viability. There is no more interest in high-spending on Billion-dollar-growth valuation prospects lacking revenue focus. We have to shift from our traditional social media model and reposition to build more efficiently.
The risk of cash burn to compete against established social media giants is not viable for investors, as more money has to be spent on building content and onboarding creators than what is actually spent innovating. It also comes with common startup risks of getting caught up building a feature instead of a product: Vybit is traditional social media with the added Cryptocurrency feature and value redistribution earning model of Vibes (“likes”). The risk is that all it would take is for existing social platforms to incorporate this — which they are already working towards — making Vybit as we know it obsolete.
Given the lack of resources to compete with big social media, the question is: Is it necessary to actually compete with them at all? What if we could build on top of them instead?
There is ultimately a lack of value in attempting to burn tens of millions of dollars to create another platform for people to publish and share content. The leaders are already leading in this space, and there is no need or value to add in attempting to attract better content than they do. As simple as it seems, social media users want a good algorithm that entertains them and shows the content they are interested in, all while having good filters and an intuitive social media posting experience when they want to publish. They already have that, and it is thus commercially unwise to burn money attempting to rival industry leaders’ success.
With that said, we will refocus our business objectives: Instead of trying to compete with existing platforms, we will focus on building on top of them instead. This allows us to benefit from the existing user bases of big social media platforms without having to focus on building our own. This allows us to focus on building a layer on top of those platforms to achieve what we care most about: democratizing earning on social media and bringing access to crypto to all types of users, even those who are not familiar with cryptocurrency, giving them easy access and onboarding into web 3.0 from their mobile devices. This also allows us to focus on payment systems and transactions. The social currency component at the heart of Vybit’s product vision of building a super app that encompasses social and money calls for us to build in a direction that focuses on transactions and payments.
There is an obvious lack of financial viability in continuing to attempt to compete with established social media platforms to onboard more people onto Vybit to create world class content on a large scale. This would be a necessity to allow further growth of our platform and user base to generate advertising and monetisation channels. Given new social media platforms are created and fail every week, and the monopoly of established social giants, it would require burning tens of millions of dollars in funding to even have a low chance at achieving success with this model. Instead of looking for a make it or break it chance at building the next billion dollar social media platform, investors in the space are increasingly focused on short/mid-term viable propositions such as niche revenue generating products. This leads to the second main issue which is that we do not have those tens of millions of dollars, and that because of the first issue outlined above, we may never get them if we continue in the direction we are in.
This means we will change our business direction to build a more viable proposition. There are some essential aspects of our value proposition that make us unique and which we believe are important to retain:
- To build a system that rewards users for their social media engagement based on a calculation of impact score.
- To enable them to redistribute that value amongst themselves as a fully-functioning social economy (via the redistribution of Vibes).
The key component of this is the impact score, which allows for differentiation between levels or earning (i.e. “economic output”) based on proportional levels of value added by users (their engagement, i.e. “economic input”). This is what allows the daily earnings distribution and subsequent redistribution through Vibes to be efficient. For those reasons, we believe in keeping our system of impact score and Vibes earning and redistribution.
Our new focus
We will no longer attempt to build our own video publishing and sharing platform because of the lack of utility, product market fit and viability. This combined with the high-risk and necessity of burning tremendous amounts of money to compete with social giants, all discussed in the paragraphs above, makes that business model unsustainable. Instead, we will focus on leveraging existing social media platforms to build on top of their established success, content and user bases, to improve your current social media experience through the use of Vybit. This will be done by redesigning our product so that it focuses on user profiles and impact scores based on the popularity and engagement analytics on the leading social media platforms.
The redesigned pitch is simple: Turn your social media handle into your bank account. We will focus our product on enabling users to connect their existing social media accounts (Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter, etc.) which will allow us to establish their level of engagement and network value contribution based on a similar impact score system as the one you are familiar with. This will allow us to scale our model of value redistribution for social media engagement focusing on the transactional side of our approach to social money, which is our core value add.
With Vybit 2.0, you will be able to connect your existing social media accounts on our app, and start earning for using them. This is simply done by leveraging the existing use of targeted ads based on your interests and bringing together existing platforms, allowing you to earn for the value you provide to them. In essence, the same model you know with Vybit, just adapted to leverage existing platforms instead of forcing you to publish content and spend more time on yet another social media app. With this model, we will be in a much better position to focus our efforts on achieving the main goal we have always been building towards: to allow everyone to earn a fair share of the value they generate for social media companies.
Thanks to this repositioning, we will also be able to expand our vision of social money and social wallet payment system capabilities, allowing users to simply send each other money transactions in VI, Bitcoin and leading stable coins with a familiar @ username, enabling anyone to send money to the friends they have in their social media circles, instead of relying on the long and still scary process (for many newcomers into the cryptocurrency space) of needing to input long combinations of random numbers and letters to make transactions.
We will therefore cease to operate the current Vybit social app to replace it with the above-mentioned commercially refocused and redesigned concept of Vybit 2.0 which instead of video publishing and sharing features, will focus on the above-mentioned impact score, earning and social money capabilities and features by leveraging existing social platforms. While the current app will be shutting it down in the coming days, rest assured, if you are currently on the app, a snapshot of your Vibe balance has been taken and you will have those credited within Vybit 2.0.
Improved $VI tokenomics
This will also allow us to solve the main issue with the current $VI tokenomics, which is that daily rewards distributed to app users are inflationary until the moment that Vybit reaches its monetization and advertising revenue growth. Given the points above, it would take an excessive amount of time and capital to grow our social video platform in order to gain enough users and content so that advertising revenue exceeds the cost of rewards to be redistributed to our users. With our new model building on top of existing platforms and established user bases and analytics, we are in a better position to roll out our DeFi and SoFi utilities such as in-app staking and $VI-enabled cashback mechanisms for tips and marketplace usage. These are all the deflationary and utility mechanisms which make $VI more interesting and useful to you. We can also achieve revenue growth much faster, which means we will be in a position to redistribute value to you for your engagement on social media much sooner. This expands the utilities of $VI to power our social earning, payments and username-based transactions.
These efforts, once combined, will enable us to create a more valuable proposition for all of you ensuring we continue to build with the trends and evolutions in Web 3.0-enabled social media, while remaining mindful of commercial viability and the need to create products that put utility and innovation first.
We can only achieve this by realizing and anticipating points of pivot quickly and changing direction as needed to ensure relevance and continued reason for the products we build to exist. We look forward to sharing more details on this with the upcoming release of our updated roadmap, and for now, here is a preview of what we are building.