Web3 social seems to be one of the rising narratives across crypto, and it might very well be driving crypto markets in significant ways over the next 12-24 months.
We've seen the recent hype around friend.tech, a mobile app that aims to gamify social interactions by allowing users to buy and sell "keys" (initially called shares) of individuals they are familiar with or follow on Twitter.
It remains to be seen whether the Friendtech hype will endure. For now, the app has experienced spikes of success in the days following its launch, with subsequent lows and highs depending on the new features introduced.
But Web3 social is much more than just Friendtech.
The infrastructure that has been built over the past few years is slowly maturing. The apps built on top of this Web3 infrastructure promise to revolutionize many aspects of online interaction through the integration of on-chain data.
We’ll discuss five Web3 social applications that you can try and use today. From livestreaming NFTs to collective purchasing to curating a digital identity, let's see what Web3 can bring to the table.
Described as “your cozy space on the internet,” Unlonely is a live-streaming app that's especially active within the Farcaster community. If you're unfamiliar with Farcaster, it's a social media protocol which is now open to everybody.
Unlonely offers the fundamentals of a live streaming platform, similar to the ones you might have used before, but integrated with several Web3 features:
Non-Fungible Clips (NFCs): Users can generate NFCs from streams, capturing their favorite moments. NFCs are, in fact, NFTs collected in users wallets. If you go to the Unlonely website, you can explore NFCs previously minted by other users.
Creator Tokens: Unlonely creators can create their own tokens on the platform. Fans and viewers can then acquire the token and spend it on the text that displays on the stream, tipping or making the streamer take some funny actions.
Streamer Leaderboard: Token stats, like price and number of holders, are also used in a leaderboard to rank streamers on the platform, introducing an interesting competition and gamification layer.
Stream Schedule: You can quickly catch up on what’s happening on Unlonely by checking the stream schedule available on the website.
Betting on stream outcomes: Lastly, the team has been working on letting fans bet on stream outcomes live during streams. This feature has to be enabled by creators.
You might be asking yourself, "What's different between Converse and a traditional messaging app?" The gist of it is that Converse leverages your on-chain data to personalize your messaging experience.
Wallet-based messaging: Converse lets you send messages to any Ethereum address, provided it has been activated on the XMTP protocol. You can search for any address or ENS name and send them a message right away.
Recommendations: This is where things get interesting. You can browse from a list of suggested friends sorted based on the NFTs that you hold in your wallet. Let’s imagine you’ve attended a digital or offiline event and collected POAPs there. Participants in the event will automatically be surfaced in the list of potential people to connect with.
Enriched profiles: When you open a conversation, the NFTs you have in common with a person will be displayed. This provides context to the conversation. Coupled with Zerion’s new phishing protection features, this provides another potential way to deflect scammers and ensure you're chatting with the right person.
Cross-app messaging: Converse users can access their messages across apps, provided these apps utilize the XMTP protocol. This is becoming more common as projects like Interface and Orb are either integrating XMTP or directly integrating Converse as their preferred messaging service.
Broadcasts: as a creator, you can broadcast messages to your NFT holders or to any allow list through a dedicated Broadcast tool designed by the Converse team. This tool is beneficial for creators or brands aiming to manage their relationship with an on-chain audience and maintain a private channel to update them with important news.
Lore offers tooling to people who want to pool resources together in order to purchase NFTs. Anyone can join the platform, create a collective, and invite their friends.
Some examples of existing collectives include the Dead Birds Society, a collective of Moonbird collectors aiming to raise media awareness about biodiversity loss. The Dead Birds Society grew from 30 members to 96 members over its history. Or 824, an nft squad of 24 friends who focus on investing in NFTs and growing their vault’s value as much as possible.
Lore provides a comprehensive suite of features that facilitate the purchasing, holding, and selling of assets as a group:
Fundraising: Members can contribute ETH to the collective vault and receive a proportional equity share. Funding rounds can be executed multiple times as new members join.
Membership management: Assigning roles to members and compensating them. For instance, some members might be required signers on transactions while others might not.
Equity management: This includes the valuation of the vault and distributions to members.
Transactions: This encompasses buying, listing, bidding, and minting NFTs on behalf of the collective.
Typically, collectives will establish a vault and set governance rules, then invite the initial members. After this, they'll raise funds and execute transactions, for instance, to purchase NFTs, expand their vault, and distribute returns. Successful collectives might even attract new members and secure additional rounds of funding.
You might already have collected the Zerion Subscriber OG NFT we released in March on Mirror. Mirror is one of the first Web3 publishing platforms used by many projects and tech-savvy individuals. It's also one of our favorite communication tools here at Zerion, and we are big believers in Onchain Brands.
So, how does it differ from other blogging or newsletter platforms like Medium or Substack? Simply put, Mirror focuses on integrating on-chain media assets with your writer or reader experience.
Writing NFTs: As a writer, you can turn your posts into Writing NFTs that can be minted by readers. These can be limited or open editions. You can also price these NFTs to generate revenue from your writing and monetize your creations.
Web3 integrations: Mirror offers integrations with major NFT platforms, allowing you to embed any NFT seamlessly as part of your article, similar to embedding a GIF or YouTube video on traditional platforms. Readers can even collect NFTs minted directly from your article’s page.
Profiles: As a reader, you can collect NFTs and support your favorite creators or brands by doing so. The NFTs you collect will appear on your profile under the collections tab. This also creates an open graph, which can eventually be used for recommendations, similar to how the Converse app does with other NFTs.
Seam is a social media app that lets you create a personal profile using modular blocks and curate your digital identity by integrating information from both your web2 and web3 social profiles. For instance, Seam allows you to add blocks for Spotify songs, as well as on-chain media assets like artworks, music NFTs, or even traditional websites.
Today, Seam is experimenting with a few features:
Themes: Within the app, various retro visual themes are available for selection based on your personal taste and the vibe you prefer.
Social Feed: Seam also features its own internal social feed and graph. You can begin following your friends' pages and engage with their posts through likes and replies.
Quests: The app has a series of quests that you can complete during onboarding. Actions like selecting a profile theme, making friends, and utilizing various website features will earn you XP. The specific purpose of XP is not clearly stated.
In this post, we explored five different Web3 social apps. While they offer some of the familiar social features, they aren’t simply trying to build decentralized versions of Twitter or Facebook. Instead, they experiment with entirely new features that are enabled by NFTs and other Web3 technologies.
The best part is that exploring most Web3 social apps is free — and in this space, it often pays to be early.