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Thoughts on more meritocratic social feeds

Who would get more reach:

A new Twitter user sharing an insightful and funny tweet or Elon Musk posting “hello”?

We all know the answer is Elon.

We've become so used to a followers-driven feed that we take for granted that more popular users should have more reach. But it’s not too meritocratic, isn’t it?

So when we started working on Kiwi, we took a reverse approach — there are no followers. This sometimes leads to unexpected outcomes.

Here's a short story that happened a few months ago:

I am a Kiwi Co-Founder, and I post daily. My 2291 karma score (similar to Reddit’s karma) ranks me among the network's top three scores.

On the other hand, there are new users, like Haardik. Haardik has been pretty well-known in crypto but not on Kiwi — he just signed up, so he had a 0 karma score.

If it were Twitter, my posts would almost always get more reach than his. But not on Kiwi.

Haardik came in, shared his blog post, and received 14 upvotes. He reached the top of the page and was included in the weekly recap. In the meantime, my link got 0 upvotes, which is kind of embarrassing, but I also deserved that — my link was much less interesting than his.

Haardik's Kiwi profile and his post that received 14 upvotes (1st upvote is his)

So, by not adding followers to the equation, the Kiwi feed has become more meritocratic than Twitter. It’s less about “Have you built your audience?” and more about “Is your content good?”.

This "followers-less feed" is nothing new — it's been used by HackerNews and Reddit, which we treated as inspiration. But an interesting insight is that some feeds force you to compete in the never-ending online popularity contest, and some just help you share your thoughts with the world whenever you feel like doing it.

It's just the product decision that someone makes, and it shapes the way people use the app.

This makes me bullish on decentralized social because it will lead to many feed algo experiments. At some point, we might choose an app with the algorithm we like, just like on Twitter we choose between "For You" and "Following."

Although many people might stick with fast-food feeds and not choose feeds focused on a healthy information diet, it'd be great to at least have a choice.

PS: If you know any good crypto writers who don’t have enough reach on Twitter, please tag them under this Twitter post. I’d happily onboard them to Kiwi. We have 1,500+ monthly readers who love to read about crypto tech, products, and culture.

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