From a technological standpoint, the AMP token is not particularly innovative. It’s a cryptocurrency deployed as a meta-coin on top of the bitcoin blockchain, using the Omni-Layer.
However – unlike most other cryptocurrencies – its value is not based on news cycles, bitcoin adoption numbers, the weather, and only partially on speculation. The value of the AMP token comes from its inherent use in the Synereo network, as a means for paying for user attention.
To understand the nature of this value, we will briefly explain the existing attention economy that powers the free-to-use Internet today.
The Attention Economy
The total number of Internet users today is more than 3 Billion. 40% of the world’s population use the Internet. An astonishing statistic, one that would not exist if it wasn’t for the simple, and not-so-obvious truth – people use the Internet because most of the information available on it is free for them to consume. As a user, you are granted access to millions of channels, available 24/7, with very little censorship, in any language, and a never-ending stream of fresh content.
How is that even possible?
For centuries, people had to pick: should I spend my money on a book, go have a look at an elephant in a circus, or perhaps buy a subscription to a daily newspaper? Maybe we should save money and buy an encyclopedia. These were choices of content and allocation of attention – users pay, and users get something to “consume” in return.
Obviously, this is no longer the case; a person can use the Internet for many moons before even encountering a service or a piece of content that they will be required to spend money on. Articles, entire books, videos, music, pictures of elephants and works of art are at his fingertips, and most of this content is free, legal and was intentionally put there for the user to consume.
All this is possible because… someone else is paying for the content. The user is consuming that content because, just like the cookie, it was placed there, purposefully, deliberately. The site it is on was set up to deliver that content, purposefully, deliberately.
That someone is a 3rd party to the standard consumer-producer relationship, usually targeting a specific user based on a behavioral profile, based on the content consumed, or both. The sponsorship is conditional on the 3rd party’s ability to piggyback its own content on top of what you care about, diverting some of your attention and directing it to its desired message.
Let’s break it down further and see what happens on most of these websites.
- BestCutestAwesomePuppies.com has pictures that attract your attention.
- BCAP Ltd tells an agency/ad server – hey, we have 10,000 18-28 year old males looking at this every day!
- The company sells their audience’s attention to the agency and gets paid for it.
- BestCutestAwesomePuppies.com remains free, but now features Fleshlight banners.
Here are the key terms:
- CPM – Cost Per Millennia. How much does it cost to get 1000 views on this site?
- PPC – Pay Per Click. How much does it cost to get a person engaged/clicking on the advertisement?
- CPA – Cost Per Action or Cost per Acquisition. How much does it cost to get the person to perform something that generates money for the advertiser?
So What Happens on Facebook?
Facebook doesn’t have any one type of content. What it does have are over one billion users, and A LOT of data about many aspects of their online behavior, consumption habits, relationships and other A/S/L-style data.
This proposition has been very successful for both Facebook and advertisers, as you can see. After all, as an advertiser on a social platform, you are not targeting content, but rather people themselves.
Now imagine that the girl is white only way you could pay for attention on Facebook is the AMP.
But we’re not in Facebook anymore, Dorothy. On Synereo, users can fully control their stream. You can opt out from receiving promoted content based on topics, from specified areas on the network, from specific advertisers, or altogether. And if someone does invest AMPs in a post to reach your attention, these AMPs – representing the value of your attentions – are yours to keep.
Thank you for your attention.
For a more detailed explanation of how AMPs themselves receive value, see this post: