Steemit will eventually go mainstream, it took Facebook about 5years or even more to get there.
I know steemit is fronted with a unique challenge (Cryptocurrecy challenges) but it also has many Silver bullets.. Lets examine just two.
- Decentralised Applications
These are not just apps but pain point fixers. Dapps are meant to solve problems as they arise or pick up existing problem and find a fix to it. I am not saying Dapps will solve all steemit problems but they have such great potential.
- Incentives for activities
Believe it or not most people are on steemit because of Benjamins (steem/sbd), the recent drop in steem price shows a direct drop in daily post too.. However, overtime relationship will be built and it will be more than just the Benjis that brings people to steemit.
As for the delay and difficulty in account opening the team is aware of it and more hard forks is on the way to change things.
Steem the way it is now, can not go mainstream for various reasons not just the difficulty of account creation. But the account creation problem will be somewhat halved in the next hard fork which is hard fork 20.
In that network update, Steem will restructure the account creation system. A new function called "discounted account creation" will be added which will allow Steem to onboard a lot more users than at its current rate.
Steem will also add a new system of resource credits which will be used to allocate network resources to new Steem accounts.
You can read more about this feature in Steemit's official blog: https://steemit.com/hf20/@steemitblog/velocity-hardfork-account-creation-guidelines
H20 (Hard Fork 20) addresses this issue and I believe will be implemented soon which will enable new users to sign up instantly without draining any STEEM.
Will it go mainstream because of it? Well that all depends on advertising and a cleaner application of use.