There are a few other social media crypto-based platforms out there which I feel are, in a certain sense, natural competitors to Narrative. One of the best of these is Minds.com. What follows is my take on Minds versus Narrative.
Minds is a good one to look at. Besides being quite slick and high on the usability spectrum for a crypto social media platform, the most visible part of Minds is organized similarly to Narrative.
MINDS HASHTAGS VERSUS NARRATIVE NICHES
For each post, a user may select up to five hashtags. Users subscribe to hashtags and other users.
This hashtag strategy is really front and center. Every user selects hashtags to place on their main bars, so as to be able to quickly view posts associated with the desired hashtags.
This may seem identical to other ways of implementing hashtags. It is not. By limiting the number of hashtags associated with a regular post to five, this actually disincentivizes the use of highly specific hashtags, as people try to capture users subscribing to hashtag streams. This is an attempt to organize the user experience around something like concepts.
However, what it ends up doing in the main stream is limiting the user's ability to categorize and tag their posts as they see fit. Content ends up being better and differently presented and organized in the Minds content stream "groups" the organization of which is defined by the users and group creators. The main stream is vastly inferior to early Twitter, even though it is essentially a Twitter clone.
Even though each Narrative post is similarly limited insofar as folks can only associate a post with a very few niches, niches end up being more similar to what is in Minds, called a group. In addition to the existence of a description (as opposed to a mere group of letters aka tag), Narrative niches really are organized conceptually. Apart from eventually being associated with each other to mirror a true concept map, the lack of duplicate niches means that the niches track a topic or concept, not a group of letters, or a certain group of people's thoughts about that particular topic. There is not e.g. one knitting niche for Bob's friends and another knitting niche for Mary's friends. The knitting niche is for content on the topic of knitting.
As far as I can tell, niches do a much better job than Mind hashtags or groups of organizing content in a better way than traditional hashtags, which is what everybody wants.
Note: This is not to say there isn't a place for hashtags. On the contrary, I think one of the mistakes of Minds is having not functionally split up their by necessity more general/conceptual hashtags from traditional hashtags.
MINDS CONTENT CREATOR EMPHASIS
Another point of commonality Minds and Narrative have is trying to reward content creators in a way that makes sense. Other platforms like Patreon et al have already begun to show just how powerful it is to truly compensate folks for that portion of the internet which they themselves create.
On Minds this means BOOSTS. You can use your crypto ducets on minds to Boost your own posts or the posts of others. This boosting functionality is highly visible everywhere. You can boost with one time payments of ducets. You can also schedule reoccurring boosts.
Boosts supplement, rather than replace, likes and dislikes.
In my opinion, the high visibility of boosts is a big mistake. It makes Minds look like exactly what it seems to me to be right now - a place for crypto-enthusiasts and content creators who will do anything to get compensated. And importantly, NOT like a place trying to also create an amazing user experience for the consumer.
I don't want to knock Minds too much. If you check out the platform, they clearly have thrown the kitchen sink at functionality. Every kind of anything you want is in there. But the "give me crypto" "pay crypto to get more views" is so front and center, the crypto-unsavy consumer may, in my opinion be put off.
I know the Narrative team is making a huge effort to appear and be accessible to the consumers, and I can't wait to see how this takes shape in the Beta and beyond.
I do think it's worthwhile for folks to look at Minds. It's a gorgeous platform visually. And I know that thinking about the way they use groups and hashtags helped me clarify for myself why I was so immediately and intuitively drawn to the whole notion of niches.