AT&T Wants to Use Blockchain Tech to “Map” Social Media

AT&T, the American telecom powerhouse is seeking out a patent for a Blockchain-based social media “map.” The company applied for the patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and they published it on December 13th.

AT&T’s patent describes a system powered by Blockchain that may include a “transaction history controller” to store their subscribers’ data, which can then be applied to a plethora of applications. The patent divulges some information about these intended applications, including creating and sharing information, ideas, and career interests through virtual communities and networks.

The system has its uses for both the company and its subscribers. For example, it could track “micro-culture transactions,” like checking trends at a particular time and place. That ability, per the patent application, “may have enormous value in e-commerce, marketing, and targeted advertising.” The document also says,

“The social media history map platforms described herein may take advantage of the immutable and permanent nature of blockchain records to store, and provide access to, data representing online transactions that occur on multiple social media applications.”

According to the paper, the creators are keen on keeping the data that will be collected by deploying the system, for themselves.

“However, instead of passing ownership of blocks or data between users, a social media account owner maintains primary ownership of his or her online transaction data. What passes from the social media account owner to other users of the social media history map service, such as followers of the social media account owner, is a notion of elevated visibility rights.”

The USPTO has recently been supportive of companies implementing proprietary Blockchain technology into their systems. In November, the Office awarded well-known printing and digital copying appliances manufacturer Xerox a patent for Blockchain-powered auditing tool for electronic files. The system is innovative, to say the least, detecting if a file has been altered and tracks the history of the changes. Owing to the decentralized verification mechanism, the system thus becomes resistant to tampering, the filing states.

The same month, another corporate giant, American Express filed a patent for a Blockchain-based system to scan and transmit images of receipts. The filing describes that the system lets a user with a mobile device capture a copy of any receipt following which, the system uses “optical character recognition” to read the receipt.

It seems that Bitcoin may be taking a hit, but Blockchain’s going strong.