#233: Metamask Gets Extensions

PLUS: 🤔 A roundup of interesting things - messaging's renaissance, details on FAIR's charity collection with celebrities, I'm on another podcast

As most of the tech world is talking about the Apple Event today and making memes about the revolutionary updates like USB-C and the iPhone 15 being 1 gram lighter than its predecessor, Metamask made an announcement of its own.

Metamask Snaps

Today, MM announced the Open Beta for Snaps. Similar to browser extensions that can increase the functionality of your web browser, Metamask is introducing Snaps — additional features that can be added to the browser extension.

In all seriousness though, this is pretty cool. TLDR on Snaps:

  • MM has been thinking and building Snaps for some time, with the vision of the developer community building on top of Metamask. The goal is for this ecosystem to be permissionless, but isn’t there yet

  • The MM wallet is now modular, with additional features and capabilities via Snaps based on a user’s unique needs

  • Snaps uses a permission-based model to protect user data with user consent. Snaps don’t have access to MM account data, and the Snaps that are currently available have been audited by the team and third parties.

  • The initial batch of approved Snaps are focused on the following categories:

    • Transaction Insights

    • Interoperability

    • Notifications

The Snaps Directory

Why is this good for Metamask?

MM can’t make all of its users happy. It feels like a new self-custody wallet provider pops up every month (don’t think I’m far off tbh), and the space continues to evolve at a rapid pace despite sluggish market conditions.

What MM can do is create an ecosystem that allows others to build on top of their product and support the wants and needs of their user base.

The risk of users leaving MM to a different wallet provider just dropped significantly while simultaneously increasing their product moat.

Why is this good for developers?

User acquisition, plain and simple.

Source

The 30M figure might be generous and loosely defined, but the point is the MM user base is large, diverse, and valuable.

Snaps can be a gateway for users to be introduced to new products and even ecosystems. Taking Solflare Solana Wallet as an example, the Solana ecosystem now has a new way to bring Ethereum users in without having to install another wallet extension. MetaMask is an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible wallet, and historically did not support Solana assets and apps. That changes with Snaps.

One of the reasons I haven’t explored other blockchains as much as I should have was due to the incompatibility of the various tools. Now I don't have an excuse 😅

Out the gate, there are Snaps for Solana, Bitcoin, Algorand, Aptos, Tezos, Sui, Cosmos, Starknet, Partisia, and more.

I’m looking forward to playing around with Snaps and seeing the next batch of developers and apps that appear here. The world of crypto and web3 is becoming more seamless 💪

PS: Shoutout to Silva in MVHQ for his dive into Snaps which encouraged me to dig deeper into the announcement. Appreciate you!

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Quick Hits (sorta) Roundup

Occasionally I like to go through a roundup of interesting things I come across in or related to the space. I typically include 1-2 of them per piece but the backlog is…backed up. I’ll try to keep it short, but you know I how tend to be 😉

The Creator Economy 2.0 winds are blowing

As some of you are aware, I’ve been spending a decent amount of time on friend.tech and that’s the new home base for the backlog.

Actively using the app as a creator and consumer has made me excited about FT and more specifically the new interaction and monetization models being introduced. FT isn’t alone in pushing these boundaries though.

Smoothie: Yesterday, the web3 product discovery and review platform announced rewards for reviewers. Users write reviews on the product, Smoothie verifies the authenticity of the reviews via blockchain data, and rewards are distributed based on the view count of the reviews (somewhat similar to X’s creator rewards model).

This takes the Yelp Elite designation or Product Hunt badges to the next level.

Kudos to Matt and the Smoothie team for launching this! It’s a great way to bootstrap the product review ecosystem, I wonder if there’s some sort of partnership opportunity with MetaMask Snaps 🤔

PS: I wrote about Smoothie over a year ago, time flies!

Tiktok: The social media juggernaut is not resting on its laurels. Among many initiatives it is working on, it seems one of them is around messaging.

  • One job posting for a backend tech lead on behalf of TikTok's messaging team acknowledges that TikTok's messaging experience is in "its infancy."

  • The job description said candidates will be responsible for leading a backend technical team "in the field of social function to explore and implement diversified social solutions."

  • They will also be expected to "collaborate with business teams and use unique features of various countries & regions to deliver a distinctive TikTok social solution such as messaging."

Specifically, this is from the lens of creator messaging to their fans/followers/community.

Clubhouse: The live audio social platform is now pivoting to voice chats with friends and smaller groups.

“You can listen to great conversations on podcasts, YouTube, TikTok, and a lot of other platforms. It’s about talking with people … and becoming real-life friends with your friends’ friends, and people you never would have met otherwise.”

Patreon: The creator subscription platform has added group chat functionality.

“We’ve learned, through early testing, these are group chats that are igniting friendships,” Haveson says. “To me, that’s quite special. That’s something that probably can’t happen in the comment section on TikTok. That’s what we’re trying to chase here.”

Tribes: The web3 wallet messaging app introduced tipping on messages. Following the logic that you can’t get paid with likes and engagement, this new mechanic broadens the definition of what a ‘reaction’ can be.

H/T Jeff from JUMP for sharing!

It’s interesting that I came across all these announcements and headlines in the past day or so, suggesting there may be a renaissance coming in the world of messaging and the implications for creators and contributors.

FAIR’s star-studded charity art sale

In last week’s piece on celebrities in web3, I stumbled upon FAIR’s mysterious announcements and deduced that it was related to a charitable cause with amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research).

I got FAIR’s attention and they reposted the mystery surrounding their (at the time) unannounced initiative with a snippet of the piece.

Fun times! What exactly is happening?

  • amfAR is releasing their first digital art collection with participation from artists, native pfp collections, and celebrities. 100% of proceeds will go to charity.

  • The collection will be part art part pfp, with a new Meera character

  • Character and background traits are either curated by celebrities, artists, and NFT collections

  • More details will be announced soon and mint will be on September 18th (next Monday).

Two things I’d be curious about with this collection release:

  1. Will these celebrities and famous artists promote the collection on their personal social accounts?

  2. Will there be utility or benefits associated with the collection beyond the art?

If the answer is yes to both, things will be more interesting. If not, the co-curation concept that involves celebrities is great, and this is all for charity!

I’m a guest on the HODL podcast

If you want to hear my thoughts about NFT creator royalties going to 0, industry regulation, or a recent favorite topic of mine — friend.tech, give the episode a listen!

Thank you for having me on Drew and Holder team. I warned you about going long, and I delivered. Rumor has it I’ll be on another episode in a couple weeks 😉

Alright, this roundup is running long. I’ll continue part 2 later this week.

See you Thursday!

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