This edition is sponsored by Purple, a DAO whose goal is to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem. Interested in sponsoring a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Farcaster News and Links
This week's big piece of app news: You can now head over to the Google Play Store to download Farcaster 1.0 for Android. Dan shared the scoop on Thursday. Here's the direct link. (Pro tip: Dan recommended to back up your recovery phrase before uninstalling the APK version of the app.)
Dan was the featured guest in an episode of Bankless that dropped Saturday, Jan. 28. "I want to build a protocol that has a billion plus people using it, but I want to do it in a way that doesn't compromise on the decentralization and the sovereignty at the user account level," said Dan. "Maybe it's a fool's errand but that's what we're trying to do." The full episode is absolutely worth your time. Topics covered include: Farcaster's features and protocol thesis; unique properties of decentralized social platforms; incentive mechanism and token discussion; Farcaster's on-chain footprint; spam prevention; discoverability; identity; and more. (HT @rsa)
After the episode came out, Dan also took to Farcaster seeking feedback. Don't you love to see web3 founders talk the talk and walk the walk? Dan asked - what resonated? what was unclear? "Bankless brought me here," said new user @supercounter. "your tone and perspective of the space was pragmatic and realistic," said @pdr, a.k.a. Peter Rood. Farcaster user @betashop, a.k.a. Jason Goldberg, offered the most substantial response, highlighting how the episode brought Farcaster to a new audience and praising Dan's tone and the Farcaster team's understanding of how hard it is to build an audience/community. Goldberg also pinpointed an emergent question in the ecosystem, what exactly will Merkle Manufactory's long-term role be with respect to clients? Although a rugpull like we've seen as of late with Twitter is not possible due to the protocol's decentralized and permissionless nature (RIP Tweetbot, miss u), builders may have questions about Merkle's longterm product roadmap. As Goldberg put it - "As a dev building on Farcaster, I don't want to have to compete with the 'official client' with every feature."
Continuing the theme of feedback, Dan also mentioned that he's looking for impact stories related to Farcaster. Have you found a cofounder or a new job through Farcaster? What about connecting with an investor, or alternatively a founder, regarding funding? Maybe you've just received feedback on your project. Send Dan a DM. He would be @dwr on Farcaster, but guessing you already knew that.
Kelly Kim, developer evangelist at Pinata, put together a kickass video tutorial on using the IPFS service and Farcaster protocol to build a Vine (!) clone. The demo was a joint collab between Kim and Justin Hunter, VP of Product at Pinata. Find Hunter's original blog post here. Education, permisionless building, the potential for hilarious 6-second clips. What's not to love? (HT ccarella.eth)
A squad formed inside the Definitely Crypto hacker community (a.k.a. DEF) presented a demo recently of Defcaster Feed. Using the DEF membership token (which itself was built by Farcaster user @samking), the team of @jonbo, @codyb, and @cj developed an automatically filtered feed of casts from DEF members. Watch the demo here. Next up for the team? Forking for other communities based on other tokens, mashup communities (e.g. everyone in DEF who holds a Manny), and the ability to cast from site. Also, shoutout to Farcaster user @varley who produces these very slick demo videos. You can test drive the feed here. (HT @matthew)
Part of our job here at TWiF is documenting emergent Farcaster lore - the little decisions, micro memes, and other cultural details that evolve alongside the protocol and app ecosystem. One question that stood out to us recently: Why doesn't the Farcaster client support threads natively? (Threads were officially added to Twitter in 2017.) The answer comes from Dan himself: "I don’t like them personally. Another client could implement them. :)" Decentralized social, FTW. Don't be surprised if the MM outlook on threads shifts at some point though; Dan noted later that his opinion on threads is on the way up.
Nat Emodi tapped the Farcaster hivemind to put together a list of low-key great places – what he describes as "small-ish towns (that) punch way above their weight." The travel list includes spots in every continent but Antarctica. Your humble editor will gladly accept invites to any of the places on the list, but especially Pāʻia. You provide the pad, we'll pick up lunch at Mama's.
Colin Armstrong, cofounder of Paragraph, started a conversation about the minimal definition of a Farcaster client. Perhaps the most common definition was anything that reads/writes to the protocol, but there's a lot of nuance in the answers and the whole exchange is worth reviewing.
Farcaster Chess (aka @chessbot) held its first tournament! According to creator Kevin O'Connell, the first victor was Farcaster user @gambid.
Farcaster cofounder Varun Srinivasan (aka @v) continued his video series about Farcaster's direct cast encryption and break-in recovery system. Monday's clip talked about the use of a double ratchet algorithm, an approach that makes break-in recovery simpler (and the system more secure in general) by using automatically rotated public and private keys based on users' root keys.
Swagcaster is live! After Dan gave his blessing for Farcaster user @j4ck to use the logo for apparel, it wasn't long before Swagcaster.xyz was live and ready to take orders. As @j4ck put it in the intro cast: "Farcaster Logo Classics, Limited Edition Swagcapsule 1, and Limited Edition ETH Denver items are available NOW 😎" Your editor snagged a dad hat; what's on your wishlist? (P.S. If anyone goes for the $212 mystery item, let us know what you get!)
@borodutch (a.k.a. Nikita Kolmogorov) launched season 2 of Farcantasy.xyz on Sunday. Coming next: An arena mode where you can fight other people's cards. Take note that you will need at least 10 cards to enter and there won't be any more seasons until the arena is launched. The website also now features a list of available cards. A number of users – including @dwr, @barmstrong, @balajis, and game creator @borodutch himself are currently listed for sale on OpenSea.
Looking for something to hack on this weekend? Since Farcaster is being developed in the public, you can actually contribute to the project directly and help Hubs get here faster. Who knows, a certain lilac-tinted DAO might even reward you for your efforts (Purple may give you 0.2-0.5 ETH for finishing a task 💜). Dan shared the link to the "help wanted" issues on the Hubble repo and this is the best place to dive in. (Be warned, though, you may find the experience of contributing to be quite enthralling. As @landon casted: "I did it once and now I want to solve every issue open.")
In case you were wondering about the status of Hubs, Farcaster cofounder @v (a.k.a. Varun Srinivasan) shared a roadmap update. Hubs are on track, he said, with one expected by March 1, 10 expected by April 1, and "no limits" on Hub count by May 1. (Naturally, there's already a meme.) Varun also said that contract migration to mainnet is expected in the second half of the year, with an audit to precede the migration. Varun shouted out @pfh @adityapk @sds @deodad and @kc for their work on the project. Later in the week, Varun shared a video talk about how hubs sync delta messages with each other; watch it here.
By the way, if you'd prefer working in Solidity and chasing that Foundry flow state, @v also pointed out this week that there's a corresponding list of "help wanted" issues in the contracts repo. "If you're looking to sharpen your solidity skills, we're still looking for some help with our contracts," he casted.
@ertan, a.k.a. Ertan Dogrultan, an engineer at Slingshot, debuted his new Golang client for Farcaster, go-farcaster. According to the repo, the project was inspired by the Rust and Python client implementations, and Ertan also gives coauthor credit to GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT. Still to come: tests and comments. (HT @dan)
GetPurple.xyz launched a live feed of every cast on its homepage. "Maybe there are better models for discovering & curating Farcaster content?," wondered @betashop, a.k.a. project founder Jason Goldberg in the launch cast. More info on the global feed feature is available here. The app previously launched an AI-powered browsing and search experience.
Merkle Manufactory is experimenting with a lower threshold for highlights. Dan said that users should see twice as many casts in the highlights tab compared to the previous threshold. His ask: "Try it out for a few days and share feedback!"
@nonlinear, a.k.a. Jonny Mack, announced an experiment with @ncbot, which will recast the first five casts of any new casters. As of Saturday morning, the bot was at around 500 followers. Mack's message to newbies? " It might seem like you’re casting into the void but a lot of Farcaster OG's follow @ncbot and will engage in good faith, don’t be a stranger!"
On a related note, @betashop, a.k.a. Jason Goldberg, shared a PSA for everyone in the ecosystem, urging them to show some love to new users. "Take some ⏰ and reply to some new users' casts," encouraged Goldberg. "Nothing breaks my 💜 more than seeing new users join, cast, get no engagement, and give up." Goldberg noted that both GetPurple.xyz and Discove have live global feeds of new casts.
@matthew shared a couple updates on @event, a.k.a. Eventcaster: The app now supports signing in with a wallet, and Telegram channels can now be added to events and communities.
Did you know that a16z curates an awesome-farcaster repo? If you build something Farcaster-related, make sure to submit it. Pull requests encouraged! (HT @dwr)
@v made a guest appearance on Unlonely, the Farcaster-integrated web3 tv app. You can watch the interview here. (HT @briang) One piece of news (among tons of other interesting tidbits): Merkle Manufactory is working through a name change for its Farcaster clients, so that in the future "Farcaster" will refer unambiguously to the protocol.
@billzh.eth, who we featured last week in 'Meet Purple,' debuted AlphaCaster, the DAO-aware Farcaster client he's working on with @16. "Only works for Purple now, but can see DAO member casts and governance updates," he shared in the launch cast. Check it out at alphacaster.xyz.
@mason, a.k.a. a16z engineer Mason Hall, launched a Farcaster bot template. "Have an idea for a Farcaster bot?," he asked in the intro cast. "It's never been simpler to make one." Hall also added support for streams of recent casts, notifications, and users to the farcaster-py library.
Farcaster By the Numbers
Powered by Farcaster.network
Weekly Active Casters: 1.5K
Monthly Active Casters: 2.7K
Total Casts: 432K
Total Users: 8,739
Average Casts per Day: 2,362
New Users Per Week: 247
Sponsored by Purple
Purple is a DAO whose goal is to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem. The DAO operates on Nouns.Build, Discord, and Charmverse.
This Week in Purple
This week, Purple approved Proposal: PRPL 8 Purchase a BuilderDAO Token at Auction this week with a vote of 21 FOR, 7 AGAINST, and 3 ABSTAIN. This proposal allocates a maximum of 2.5 ETH to buy a BuilderDAO token. BuilderDAO is the organization that created Nouns.build and controls its Governance.
This Proposal had a healthy debate with the AGAINST votes arguing that it does not contribute to Purple's goal "to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem, while the FOR Votes argued that Nouns.build is critical software for the DAO and we should have a voice in its Governance.
Right now, the DAO is debating concepts for its next Prop House Rounds. Here's a look into the initial post for the DAO discussion, which is taking place in Purple's members forum on CharmVerse. If you want to get involved, keep an eye on the auction!
Get to know Purple
This week, meet Purple DAO member maxpetretta.eth.
TWiF: Why did you want to join Purple?
More than any other product in web3, Farcaster has a real sense of community. This seems obvious; a social network protocol should have a strong culture around it, yet it still feels unique. There’s a DAO for just about every app or protocol now, but the ones I’ve visited have all lacked purpose. There’s a real need for a DAO like Purple, that has a real mission: fund developers, artists, and builders, and support them to help Farcaster grow.
TWiF: What excites you most about Farcaster?
I’m most excited about the fact that I keep coming back. Farcaster has held my attention longer than any other social media platform (excluding maybe Reddit). There are definitely similarities there. On both Reddit and FC, people can really deep-dive into topics and discuss nuance, without being completely drowned out. Real discussions are happening! This has a lot to do with the culture that Dan, V, and we have built. I’m optimistic that we can maintain that vibe as the network grows. 🙂
TWiF: Can you give us a few recommended follows on Farcaster?
Of course! Some of my favorites: @cameron, @vgr, @pugson, @greg, @payton, and @borodutch.
Upcoming Dates of Note
Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. PST - Chapter One HQ
Mountain View IRL Farcaster Meetup
Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. PST - Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant
ETHDenver 2023 - Farcaster Attendees
Thursday, Mar. 2, at 10 a.m. CST - River North Art District
Nothing yet! Have a job listing we should add to a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Farcaster Posts of the Week
This newsletter is published with Paragraph.xyz. The format of this newsletter was inspired by Week in Ethereum News. With questions, comments, or other feedback, please send a reply to this email, or access the "farcaster-weekly" channel in Purple's Discord.