How Tocial plans to help cosplayers monetize with Nervos’ help

Spike from the Tocial teams speaks at Beyond Consensus.
Spike from Tocial speaks at Beyond Consensus in Shenzhen.

We recently announced the first cohort for our blockchain incubator CKLabs. After evaluating dozens of applications, we ultimately chose to support two emerging projects, including photo sharing social platform Tocial.

Tocial — which is currently in closed beta with more than 20,000 users — enables cosplayers and other creators to share photos, gain followers, and monetize their work all in one place. While the co-founders Spike and Ted and the rest of the team have been working on the project for a short time, they have managed to build a small but quickly growing user base for their unique photo sharing platform. Now, with resources and hands-on support from Nervos, Tocial is preparing for its official launch on the Apple and Google Play app stores and integration with Nervos CKB.

Creating a blockchain-powered social platform for cosplayers

It’s estimated that for every person on earth, 1.7 megabytes of data is created every second. Hundreds of thousands of people post content on social networks like Twitter and content platforms like YouTube every day, but few are able to monetize their work. Tocial wants to change that, specifically for cosplayers in China.

Cosplayers mingle at an event.
Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

“It’s difficult for cosplayers and other photo content creators to make money on social apps in China because the fees can be very high,” Spike told Nervos.

Because users pay for subscriptions to access content on the app, Tocial can keep its transaction fees lower than its competitors. Through the app’s group chat feature, fans can send tips or donate both fiat and cryptocurrency directly to their favorite cosplayers. In fact, many cosplayers on the app are already earning hundreds of dollars every month, even before the app’s official launch. To give users and creators added security, all chat messages are encrypted at both ends of the conversation.

“Our goal is to become the Instagram of China but with a marketplace element that allows our creators to earn money directly from their users,” Spike added.

Like Instagram, Tocial has a timeline format that allows users to scroll through creators’ feeds and comment on pictures. However, while many social apps only offer public or private account settings, Tocial has implemented semi-public photo feeds, which enable users to make connections with others who share similar interests through a slide-and-match function similar to Tinder. To reward and continue to incentivize its most active users, Tocial releases a “Hots” list featuring the top earners and givers on the app every week.

How Tocial is integrating with Nervos CKB

Its gifting mechanism, social feeds, and niche community help set Tocial apart from other social apps on the Chinese market, but what really attracted the Nervos team to this project is its blockchain capabilities.

“We are big fans of the Bitcoin and crypto industries, [so] our other work in the cosplay area inspired us to build a modern blockchain app for young users,” Spike said.

Tocial’s intuitive social platform is not only easy-to-navigate, but it also acts as a gateway for mainstream audiences to learn more about cryptocurrency in a fun, engaging environment. Rather than having to buy crypto through an exchange, users can use fiat currency to top up their accounts and gift cosplayers with cryptocurrency.

Though the Tocial app was in development when the team applied for the CKLabs program, the team realized that in order to scale its app and ensure there was enough storage for user data, they needed to integrate with the right blockchain. After trying various solutions and encountering technical and economical obstacles, they eventually realized Nervos CKB’s on-chain storage leasing model was the most reliable option.

Through its integration with Nervos, the Tocial team is able to store user data in a standard format, enable users to store their own images, and even allow users to rent storage from others. Additionally, Tocial was able to expand its in-app features, including an embedded crypto wallet and tools, which will enable users to gift CKB tokens when the app officially goes live.

Cosplayers take a selfie at an event
Image via Beryl_snw/Flickr

Tocial presents at Beyond Consensus in Shenzhen

Because Tocial is a creator and content-focused social app, the project is currently working with several famous cosplayers and photographers in anticipation of its August launch. The team is also taking part in various online and offline events.

On August 4th, Spike took the stage at Beyond Consensus, a meetup for blockchain enthusiasts in Shenzhen, to introduce Tocial to community members. Frank Lou from Lay2, the developer team behind Portal Wallet, also spoke at the event, and guests from other projects including Chainlink, Celer, Grin, Iosg, and CKB Bar were in attendance.

Tocial presents at Beyond Consensus in Shenzhen

Because Tocial is a creator and content-focused social app, the project is currently working with several famous cosplayers and photographers in anticipation of its August launch. The team is also taking part in various online and offline events.

On August 4th, Spike took the stage at Beyond Consensus, a meetup for blockchain enthusiasts in Shenzhen, to introduce Tocial to community members. Frank Lou from Lay2, the developer team behind Portal Wallet, also spoke at the event, and guests from other projects including Chainlink, Celer, Grin, Iosg, and CKB Bar were in attendance.

Spike from Tocial talks about the origin of the blockchain photo sharing app at Beyond Consensus.
Spike introduces the Tocial team and presents his vision for the blockchain photo sharing app at Nervos’ recent offline meetup.

We will continue offering our knowledge, resources, and support to the Tocial team and look forward to seeing how the platform continues to grow as it launches in the App Store and Google Play Store soon.

Learn more about Tocial at tocial.io.

To stay updated on our integration with Tocial and more:

Join our community: Discord — Github — Nervos Talk Forum — Twitter

For discussions or questions join the conversation on Discord or check out one of our community Telegram channels: English, Korean, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese


How Tocial plans to help cosplayers monetize with Nervos’ help was originally published in Nervos Network on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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