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Web3 Social is Heating Up

Farcaster to Optimism & Goes Bonkers

GM DOers! 😎

As you know, we’re HUGE fans of decentralized social media, and have been for a while now. 🌐

It’s why we’ve been on Lens Protocol for over 1 year, and why we’ve joined Farcaster recently.

If you’re on Farcaster, make sure you follow us @web3academy! And if you’re on Lens follow us @web3academy_

Despite being fans of the concept of decentralized social, we must admit that right now, the UX sucks. 🤮

  • You need a wallet 🪙

  • You need to sign transactions 📝

  • It’s slow 🐢

  • There aren’t many people on these apps (Lens, Farcaster, or 🤷

And worst of all, most apps are in beta, which means you need a whitelist or invitation to join, something most people don’t get… unfortunately. 😔

But that’s all okay. Decentralized social media only started approximately 1 year ago. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? 

Well, the tipping point of growth toward mainstream adoption may be coming soon because things are heating up. 🔥

  • Farcaster is moving to Optimism, as they’re working to open the app up to the public. 🔴

  • launched, and it amassed over 100,000 users in days. 🤯

  • Recently, Lens announced its v2, an upgrade that would ramp up the UX & allow for more things to be built upon it. ⚒️

  • DeSo is teasing a big announcement. 👀

  • Reddit might do even more web3 stuff on their platform. 🤖

These might not tell you much and they might not sound like big moves. But they are! 

And we’ll explain each of these in more detail below. Let’s dive in. 👇

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Farcaster is Launching on Optimism 🔴

Earlier this week, Dan Romero, founder of Farcaster, announced that the app is moving to the Optimism mainnet.

The reason? To ensure enough scalability so that Farcaster can enable permissionless sign-ups (aka opening to the public). 🚀

With this rolling out now, we can expect to have a public decentralized social media app in the next couple of months. Here’s the stack that Farcaster uses:

But keep in mind that once Farcaster opens to the public, it’ll probably cost a small fee to get an account. 

They’re charging $5/year to create revenue & reduce bots on the platform, which we think is great. 

However, we also think that web3 social will have multiple revenue streams in the future and ads will be one of them. (Noooooo) 😫

Don’t worry. We actually think the web3 format will be different from web2. Users will be able to opt-in to ads and will receive token rewards for doing so. A much more sustainable model.

It’s exciting to follow Farcaster in this launch and we’re rooting for them to succeed. Why?

Because by opening to the public, Farcaster will put immense pressure on its competitors (looking at Lens, DeSo etc...) to open up as well. 

This will create a positive flywheel of innovation and will speed things up. 🚀 Goes Bonkers 🤯 (FT) took the web3 industry by storm as it launched about 2 weeks ago. We wrote about what is and how it works here.

We also talked about FT on the podcast with Liam Herbst. Check that out on your favorite podcast platform:

YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Since its inception, FT has managed to attract over 100k users…

That have conducted over 2 Million transactions…

And some celebrities count among the people that jumped on FT…

This activity blows Lens, DeSo & Farcaster out of the water, despite being around for weeks vs. 1+ year.

Now, it’s important to note that there’s a speculation component to FT that attracts a lot of degens. This is a big factor to why it’s gotten so much attention. 

We wrote a thread about who’s making money on FT. Check that out here: 

To be clear: I’m not bullish on FT or its concept. I think that this is most likely a fad & the hype will die soon.

Why? Because the way FT is built is for the protocol & the influencers to make money, while the users are solely speculating. Hype cycle alert. 🚨

Paying to be part of a private group chat isn’t anything new. We already have that in OnlyFans, Patreon & Substack – which makes sense.

But in this case, the utility just simply isn’t enough to justify the increased price from the bonding curve. 🤷

I’m worried many people will lose money gambling in the FT hype. As always, with a hype cycle, a few with profit from the many who lose. 

However, the concept of ‘betting on your favorite influencer’ shouldn’t be overlooked. And if this concept has some legs, we expect developers to fork the FT code & create different variations of FT-like apps.

Changing the UX, the bond-curve, the fees and so on to create a sustainable app where every party can benefit. 

If this happens, that's the signal that we have something of substance here and that will speed innovation up in the decentralized social sector. PRO Report Coming Up 👀

We’re looking to whip up a PRO report for you guys on FT, where we’ll break down:

  • The value paid to

  • The value being paid to Base to use its blockspace

  • The value being paid to Ethereum from Base to resell its blockspace

And much more… We’ll explore if this app can actually scale sustainably and if it’s worth it for you to dig for investment & building opportunities there.

Want to receive this report to your inbox in the coming weeks? You know what to do…

Did you think that was all? Nah… I told you from the start that things are heating up in this sector…

About 1 month ago, we wrote about Lens v2 here.

The main takeaway: Every application can turn on web3 social features by building with Lens. Even those that aren't web3-native. 🤯

To understand how that’s possible, go back & read our newsletter. 👆

Plus: There are some big UX upgrades coming with Lens v2 (which hasn’t been fully shipped yet). You can read about each new feature here:

Big step for Lens towards becoming ready to open to the public. 

And if Lens, Farcaster & wasn’t enough to get your hopes up, we’re also seeing DeSo teasing some big things coming up. 👀

And lastly, if we step out of the web3 world and into the web2 social world, let’s remind ourselves that Reddit overhauled their Terms of Service about 1 month ago.

They enabled the trade of virtual goods like avatars and community points within their platform, and did so right after Google Play’s policy tweak (which allows NFTs in apps).

We wrote about a potential collaboration between Google & Reddit about 1 month ago, and what that could mean for investors, creators & builders. 💰

You should go back and read about that ASAP. We believe that it’s just a matter of time until Reddit announces something big that’s web3-related.

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What’s Next? 🤔

A lot of things are going on in this space right now… But is any of it of substance? 

Yes! I believe that it’s a matter of months until we have our first decentralized social media app open to everyone.

It looks like that will be Farcaster (most likely within the next couple of months).

At that point, 2 things will most likely happen:

1. We'll be able to showcase the benefits of web3 to onboard new people

It’s always tough to sell someone on a thing, if you can’t show them the benefits. 

Every time I try to explain decentralized social to my friends, I get laughed off because they don’t get it. 

But as they actively use it, I think they’ll wake up to the main benefits of having web3 embedded into social media. 

2. Other competitors will rush to get to market.

If Farcaster opens up to the public, I think it’ll be a matter of months until Lens does it too. 

This is solely speculation. We don't know if this will happen for sure!

The first-mover advantage cannot be underestimated, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we had multiple social apps open to the public by the end of the year.

The only question is: Is the tech ready to support adoption? To find the answer, we suggest you head to our PRO Report from last week, on the onchain activity of Layer 2s.

Because if L2s are ready, then web3 social is ready to thrive on top of these L2 blockchains.

Either way, if you want to capitalize, you should do everything in your power to get on the most popular platforms. Right now, that’s Farcaster & Lens. 

Being among the first few users allows you to get a head start on building an audience.

And thanks to all web3 features embedded into these apps, you can monetize your content, just like we explained in our PRO report on Lens here.

Thanks for reading. And remember, you're strong, you’re powerful, you’re alpha! ❤️

See you soon. ✌️

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not financial advice. Conduct your own research and consult a financial advisor before making investment decisions or taking any action based on the content. 

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