Are tribe apps actually used, or only their tags?

in #tribe2 years ago

It wasn't too long ago, when 80-90% of all Steem posts were done via Things changed slightly when, the mobile apps (Esteem, Partiko) and later got more popular, but barely lost its dominance. With a growing number of SteemEngine tribes, also a lot of other interfaces to the blockchain became available, like,,, Appics, and others. Those typically provide a subset of all Steem posts matching certain tags.

Are those tribe interfaces actually used, or are people just using the tribe tags for additional chances for rewards?

Root/Toplevel posts per day

I'm looking here into all root/toplevel posts that were created within one week between Jan. 10th and Jan. 17th 2020. Here is the total number of posts created per day:


The numbers vary slightly, but we're in the order of 5000-6000 root posts per day.

Apps and interfaces used to create root/toplevel posts

Here's a distribution of the apps and interfaces used to create the posts from the given week:
app_pie.png is still leading the distribution, but only with a total of around 30%. The next largest app is appics with 8.6%, which is also the largest tribe app in the given data set. The list is followed by steempeak (6.9%) and busy (5.6%). In total, I found slightly more than 100 different apps in the meta data of the posts (different versions of the same app already merged).

Tribe apps, tribe tags and general purpose interfaces

For the next step, I'm dividing the posts into 4 categories:

  • Created with a general purpose app/interface (steemit/busy/steempeak/partiko/...) and without using any tribe tags
  • Created with a general purpose app/interface and with using at least one tribe tag
  • Created with a tribe app/interface (appics/palnet/steemleo/sportstalksocial/...) and using at least one tribe tag
  • Created with a tribe app/interface and without using any of the tribe tags

Here's the result per day:

Around a forth of all posts were created with a general purpose app and did not contain any tribe tags. This is more than I expected.

Around half of the posts were created with a general purpose app and did contain at least one tribe tag. This is interesting, because it also means that those posts use tribe tags but didn't use any of the tribe apps/interfaces to the blockchain.

Another forth of posts were created with one of the tribe apps/interfaces and did contain at least one tribe tag.

Only a minor fraction of posts were created with a tribe app/interface but did not contain any tribe tag.

Picking two examples

I've chosen two contrary examples here to show that the situation across tribes can be very differnt. I plot here how many posts were done directly from the tribe's interface, from another tribe interface or from a general purpose interfaces. I'm using PAL ( and APX (appics app) here:


Only 1.6% of posts with the #palnet tag were actually done from, 2/3 were done from general purpose apps and the remaining part was done via other tribe apps. This is in great contrast to Appics, which had more than 90% of posts tagged #APX created via their app, and only a small fraction from other interfaces.


  • The alternative general purpose Steem apps and interfaces, and especially the tribes, were able to reduce the dominance of for root level posts to around 30%.
  • Around three quarters of all toplevel posts to the blockchain use at least one of the tribe tags.
  • However, only around a quarter of all posts are actually done via one of the tribe apps
  • Appics is currently the most 'active' tribe with both posts per day and posts actually made with their app.
  • The usage of the tribe apps with respect to the according tribe tags varies greatly across tribes.

I realized I barely use the tribe interface, I mostly read via steemit or steempeak and typically post via busy (and use tribe tags) - which around 50% of Steem authors seem to do likewise. Which interfaces and tribes do you use? Let me know in the comments!

This post was possible with the free Hivemind DB access provided to me by @emrebeyler - Thanks Emre!


Interesting analysis, thank you @crokkon!

I'm still surprised at how few people overall use the tribes for posting and even tags/curation. And I'm even more surprised (this is something I check, occasionally) how many people use tribe tags in their original posts, but when you check their SteemEngine wallets it's quite evident that they have actually NEVER logged into their SteemEngine accounts... or maybe just once when it was brand new.

I think Appics is a bit of a special case (and statistical outlier) because it's a mobile app... it was created to use with your phone, so you'll have high usage because as soon as someone downloads the app, they are likely to use it for posting because... well, it works with your phone. I personally don't use it... feels like the "instagram-spam" of the Steem blockchain.

 2 years ago 

The only tribe interfaces I use are STEMGeeks and SteemLeo.

Outside of the curation perk, they also automatically post to their respective hives. Since hives aren't exactly user friendly in terms of names, it is somewhat useful.

Oh, I didn't know that they automatically post to the hive communities. This is indeed helpful for the not-so-easy-to-remember community names. Thanks for your comment!

I use @steempeak almost exclusively now - NB they could use a vote for their worker proposal for keeping up with costs! I used to really like Partiko, now only if I'm down the pub, even then I don't really like it.

I use palnet for everything, via SPeak, and sportstalk for my running posts.

I've had a look at communities (Hive) but it seems i have to use steemit, which is just rubbish compared to steempeak so I dunno if I can be arsed.

I'm getting more into all things eco, but i don't think there's actually a community/ tribe for that on communities, if someone sets one up i might dive in, but nothing really interests me that much atm to look at the tribes.

Maybe I should I dunno. i'm not a big content consumer TBH.


Well apart from leo that rewards native posts I wasn't suprised that the front ends aren't being used. I think that it would be better if they were recruiting outside steemit and if they showcased their internal promotional services that can only be accessed via their front ends.

Appics I'm pretty surprised about but I think its because its an app based front end though, if they can get their IOS app on the actual app store it could really drive up those numbers

Thanks for your comment! I was also very surprised about appics. I haven't tried it myself, but from what I hear it seems to be pretty straight forward to use. I for myself are a bit lost in the large number of tribe interfaces available. And why use several tribes instead of one interface that shows all? In total the tribes make up around a quarter of all posts, but each of them individually is comparably small. Not sure to which extend they can run recruiting outside steemit.

I think that it’s too many chiefs and not enough Indians but the idea is still a promising one! Most of us in here are the hard core steemians so we know about cross front ends, esteem should support tribes and communities in their next deploy too

I think that once The RC pool and openseed come out as well as SMTs it will give tribe owners so much more freedom to do what they want and go out and recruit without any limitations! Then it could really get interesting

In theory, the Tribes have individualized interfaces in order to allow a reader to slice the content available on the blockchain to just that topically related to the purpose of the Tribe. That would go along with content-appropriate presentation as well as an implicit form of content curation (in the classic sense).

In practice, Tribes generally are rooted in an interface which is exactly like because they use stock Condenser, and have absolutely nothing individualizing them in any real sense. They do manage to try and provide content which is at least somewhat related, for the most part, but that can be hit and miss. Which doesn't at all help sell the underlying idea of Tribes as communities.

And why use several tribes instead of one interface that shows all?

Here is one of the underlying problems with the overall idea in the first place. Why, indeed, would you go to a specific website in order to slice out a community rather than be able to do that slice on one central location where you consume that content?

This is a very interesting question in light of what we had on the Utopian website. As much as I may have had philosophical and personal differences with the organization, the website itself was absolutely amazing in terms of being what should have been the prototype for the Tribe experience. It provided very specific content-related interface affordances. It actually helped drive a specific kind of engagement around open source projects. When that site disappeared with all of the tools and means of presentation that it had for that content, it was a severe loss.

As it stands, as far as I've seen, none of the Tribes provide as much support for the content they intend to specialize in as Utopian did without even mechanical support for an alternate pseudo-token.

APPICS has an essential advantage in being an interface provided by a single mobile application and specifically seeking an audience which isn't really overlapping with the court or traditional Steem blockchain community. The Steem blockchain is not anywhere near the core of their promotion, and as a result a good chunk of their recruitment not only occurs outside of Steemit but outside of the philosophical and cultural bounds of what has traditionally been a Steem blockchain user.

For good or ill.

Ultimately, my suspicion is that, for the most part, Tribe-specific websites will go the way of the dodo when SteemPeak integrates Hivemind Communities into the mainstream interface such that they become very easy to flip through and engage with. Very few standalone websites will be worthwhile because they just don't provide a sufficiently differentiated experience. APPICS probably will because of the inherent law can provided by mobile applications.

They do manage to try and provide content which is at least somewhat related, for the most part, but that can be hit and miss.

True. As long as users can use any tag as they want, the tribe curators will always run behind trying to filter out those posts which don't fit the topic.

Interesting comparison to Utopian! I didn't realize this before, but your right about it being a first version of a tribe. Utopian was different to the current tribes, because only 'approved' content was shown in the first place (at least in the default view). However, this came with a huge cost in terms of rules/processes/moderators and came occasionally with disagreement on human decisions.

True. As long as users can use any tag as they want, the tribe curators will always run behind trying to filter out those posts which don't fit the topic.

That's always been an issue with online communities. Keeping the interactions on topic requires either a very focused and dedicated group of people who are involved in the community or an extremely energetic and attentive moderation team. And even allowing for both, topics wonder, communities engage in personal asides, and all the rest of the fun happens. It is, not put too fine a point on it, "quite hard."

My suspicion is that a number of Communities will be very interested in building a front end which allows them to keep new posts in a corral, not committed to the blockchain, until they can actually be okayed by a moderator. That wouldn't be a new mechanism; pretty much everything in this field has been done at one time or another. And we will see some reimplementations of things which have gone before, like trusted users who can post without going to the corral first, groups which by default have new users not go to the corral until they make a misstep, all the rest of the ways that mailing groups, newsgroups, and forums have found to deal with potential abuse or just misuse.

It might just be a side effect of the places I've been exposed, but I haven't seen a lot of Communities or Tribes talking about these kinds of mechanics or problems out in the open. Maybe those discussions are happening behind closed doors and I would certainly encourage them to happen, but I haven't seen them happening and that makes me a little worried.

You did a great job here as usual, @crokkon. My VP is kind of getting on the low end with some programmatic voting I am tested but I couldn't tolerate myself to not vote this 100% when I saw.

I have my apprehensions about APPICS and seeing this data is all the more incentive for me to look into the app activity.

It's probably nothing but worth looking into at least. Thanks for this very useful post.

thanks for your support @anthonyadavisii! :)

So interesting data, thanx!

I have an alt account @leedsunited which only posts sports content and actifit and ONLY posts within the tribe except for a few 'visitor' post I made in some of the other tribes to try and encourage more users .

Generally though , I think you're right about people not posting in the tribes , many are just token collecting ...and I include myself in that!

Love the stats posts!

Posted using Partiko Android

Thanks for you comment, @nathen007! Good point, I think quite a couple of users use separate accounts for one or more tribes - those accounts can then be tribe-only then and the main account 'stays' at the general/all-content apps/interfaces...

Nice job @crokkon!

Only 30% share for Steemit! That is a bit surprising for me.

On the apps side, appics is doing so great couse it is sort of purpose made .... If you want to post on appics, you use their app .... similar as actifit ... quarter of the post from tribes sides, this is a nice share.

Thanks @dalz! Yes, I was also surprised on the 30% for Steemit. I remember Utopian contributions with market shares around 80% for Steemit. Things changed quite a lot...
I agree on appics - made for one thing, and this just seems to work. You could still use the same tags from other apps, but this rarely seems to happen there.

I have used the creativecoin tribe page to post from, but then they created a community also so I have posted from there also. Most of my post though are done in steemit unless I use the creativecoin tag, then it's currently a toss up, mostly using the Community page to post those from. I don't go to the page to look at the post from the tag often, but it is something I need to start doing.

thanks for your comment! creativecoin is one of the tribes I haven't look at yet - will do, thanks for the pointer! :)

SteemLeo and Steempeak are what i spend most of my time in. I really only use SteemLeo to make some Leo posts and occasionally comment on SteemLeo and it's usually after I spend most of the time on SteemPeak and I'm just looking for some new content to comment/curate.

I think most general communities will struggle to get people using their interface as, why would I post on palnet, unless I have a reason to do so? Not saying that as a negative thing, just saying that if it's going to be almost the same UI as steem why wouldn't I post on Steemit or Steempeak and just use the palnet tribe.

While appics has a completely different customized UI that caters to the niche of users that post on it.

Thanks for all the research and time it probably took to put together this post as it's a very interesting read!

thanks @gniksivart! I agree with your points, the tribes mostly provide a reduced view compared to steemit or steempeak. On the other had it's a great opportunity to find new posts around a certain topic/tag (where applicable, ofc...).

Awesome analysis. I like seeing the numbers from this macro perspective for the whole chain. We put out a weekly stats post on @leo.stats and one of our main growth metrics and KPIs is to look at the number of unique daily authors posting from our interface. We use the same ad network as Steemit (Coinzilla). We've noticed a very clear (and sharp) increase in ad revenue over time as the number of posts from our interface grows.

latest stats post

Posted via Steemleo | A Decentralized Community for Investors

#appics @appics will be pretty happy about this!

I wonder if Communities will pull some of the share back to, at least until the likes of steempeak incorporate them?

They could definitely, at least until the first alternative interfaces implement it as well. However, a "beta" in the URL and the disclaimer in the header won't attract the masses :)

It shouldn't be long until the beta interface is switched to live, and the feedback I read is positive. This coupled with SMT should help in the short term at least. I wonder how the adverts are doing....

If steemit is 'first', yes, and they have a huge advantage with the development in-house. I'm very curious how how the tribes will develop once SMTs are there, but SMTs are promised for too long already...
Thanks for the RS!

Yes but they are surely coming 'soon'... :)

RE; Rs, my pleasure - this work takes time and should be appreciated more!


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Happy about what precisely?

If you mean that they have the most TL posts, not really surprised considering the nature of their content.

It's shortform, many don't have any text, easy to repost / recycle from other sites so no wonder they would be able to smash that metric. (Assuming that is what you are referring)

I am still wary of them after confronting one of their leader / promoters engaging in comment spam w/out apology which makes me question the ethics of the team.

Chief concern is the app could potentially be used as a vote farming front. As you know, our community has been deceived more times than I'd care to admit.

I hope you have a better idea and can assuage my fears. In any case, very glad Crokkon pulled the data as it gives us something to perhaps have situational awareness about.

For them, numbers are everything. It's very likely going to be a major headache as far as abuse, but perhaps in the future STEEM rewards will be few and far between and they'll be in control of what content the appics token goes to.

Spent some time reviewing the posts on their tag and seems genuine; albeit, some single image posts appear fairly overvalued due to Rancho / Haejin votes. I did a few reverse image searches w no hits so looks good so far for image plag. / recycling.

Nothing appears to be overt but there was this sponge-bob account had a couple single image posts that had suspect voting but for the most part, it looks clean.


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A good analysis with somewhat expected results. You could make a weekly report out of it 😁

Thanks Ervin, but let's be honest, nobody reads weekly reports :D

I did read you report in full!

OK, monthly then? You can automate it ...


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Nice research you did there!

I almost never use any of the tribes interfaces. I don’t know why to use them. I don’t get it either. Just create one good user friendly Steemit interface. It’s getting too complicated now.

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Wow, way higher tribe app usage than I thought!

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To be fair, Steempeak is vastly superior to the rip-offs used by tribes. I dont use appics yet but I assume it's probably also the case?

It probably doesnt help that the tribes page for Palnet doesnt actually link to but to ;)

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