Understanding the Impact of Social Shares Applications in Web3

Table of Contents
In the evolving landscape of Web3 technologies, a captivating concept has taken center stage—social shares applications. One of the recent examples of this trend is friend.tech, a platform that has swiftly risen to prominence within the realm of decentralized social interactions. With its innovative approach to tokenizing crypto personalities and facilitating interactions, friend.tech has ignited discussions on the potential and controversies associated with this emerging field.

I. Web3 Social Shares: Concept and Popularity

Concept of Web3 Social Shares Apps

The concept of Web3 social shares applications revolves around the tokenization of crypto personalities, enabling users to buy and sell fractional ownership in the fame of these individuals. Unlike traditional social media interactions, these applications offer a novel way to engage with creators, while also fostering financial speculation.

Emergence and Popularity of friend.tech

Launched on August 10, friend.tech has rapidly captured the attention of the Web3 community. With an astounding volume of over 7,000 ETH within its debut week, the platform has demonstrated its resonance with users seeking unique modes of interaction with crypto personalities. At its core, friend.tech allows users to purchase and trade tokenized shares of these personalities, with prices determined by a blend of popularity indicators from both the platform and external sources like Twitter.

II. friend.tech: Novel Crypto Personality Approach

Core Functionality of friend.tech

At its heart, friend.tech offers a distinctive avenue for users to access and engage with crypto personalities. Owning shares of these personalities grants users the privilege of direct interaction through private chats within the app. This integration of financial ownership and personal interaction marks a departure from conventional social media paradigms.

Tokenized Crypto Personality Trading

The cornerstone of friend.tech's appeal lies in the trading of tokenized shares. Each share embodies a fractional stake in the fame and presence of the associated crypto personality. This approach aligns with the decentralized ethos of Web3, offering users a direct and tangible connection to the creators they admire.

Pricing via Popularity Metrics

friend.tech's pricing mechanism is a reflection of its commitment to democratizing fame. Prices of tokenized shares are shaped by a blend of factors, prominently including the individual's popularity metrics on the platform and external platforms like Twitter. This approach not only rewards creators for their engagement but also enhances the app's inclusivity.

Unique Interaction: Private Chat

An intriguing facet of friend.tech is its provision for private interactions. Shareholders are endowed with the privilege of engaging in direct conversations with the crypto personalities they hold shares in. This dynamic interaction model has spurred engagement and innovation within the platform's community.

3. Learning from BitClout's Precedent

BitClout (DeSo) and Creator Tokens

The trajectory of friend.tech evokes reminiscences of BitClout, a precursor that ventured into creator tokens. BitClout, now rebranded as DeSo, pioneered a similar concept by enabling the trading of creator tokens. However, its journey was riddled with legal and ethical complexities.

Legal-Ethical Controversies

BitClout's launch in March 2021 was not without controversy. It preloaded users onto the platform without their consent, drawing legal scrutiny. The ethical implications of trading shares in individuals, akin to a "human-stock market," prompted profound debates about privacy and commodification.

BitClout's Investment and Engagement

Despite its controversies, BitClout secured substantial investments from prominent venture capital firms, including a16z, Pantera, and Coinbase. The platform garnered hundreds of thousands of user accounts, underscoring the appeal of creator tokens and the willingness of both institutions and retail investors to engage with this emerging concept.

4. User Growth and Sustainability

Post-Peak User Adoption Analysis

Following its meteoric rise on August 11, friend.tech experienced a slowdown in user adoption. This dip, however, occurred during the platform's beta testing phase, leaving room for the introduction of new features and rewards to reignite user interest.

Impact of Upcoming Features and Rewards

The forthcoming introduction of rewards points and other features offers the potential to rekindle user engagement. Leveraging the lessons from the platform's beta phase, friend.tech can fine-tune its offerings to cater to the evolving demands of its user base.

Disrupting Subscription Platforms

The allure of social shares applications extends beyond direct interactions. By enabling subscribers to benefit from the popularity of creators, platforms like friend.tech are positioned to disrupt traditional subscription-based content platforms, redefining the relationship between creators and their supporters.

5. Controversy: Tokenizing Individuals

Influencer Tokenization Debate

The ascent of platforms like friend.tech has illuminated a contentious debate within the realms of social media and crypto: the tokenization of individuals, particularly influencers. While these platforms offer a novel way to engage with creators and potentially monetize their popularity, they also raise fundamental questions about the commodification of human presence and identity.
The underlying premise of influencer tokenization rests on the idea that fame and influence can be quantified and represented through blockchain-based tokens. In this model, users invest in fractional ownership of a personality's perceived influence, hoping to benefit from their future growth and engagement. This introduces a unique form of financial speculation that adds a layer of complexity to the dynamics of online interactions.

Ethical Concerns and Negative Effects

At the heart of the influencer tokenization debate lie ethical concerns about the financialization of human relationships. Reducing an individual's essence to a tradable asset raises questions about the moral implications of such practices. The pressure to maintain or enhance the value of one's tokenized persona may push individuals to prioritize their market value over their genuine interactions, potentially leading to inauthentic behaviors and diminished authenticity in their online presence.
Moreover, the speculative nature of these tokens introduces stress and anxiety for individuals who feel their self-worth is tied to market fluctuations. The constant awareness of token prices can lead to a preoccupation with financial performance, diverting attention from authentic engagement and content creation. As individuals grapple with the pursuit of value in the tokenized realm, they may experience burnout, compromising their overall well-being.

Stress and Burnout from Speculative Tokens

The very act of attaching financial value to an individual's likeness can lead to an unhealthy obsession with market dynamics. As token prices surge and plummet, individuals may find themselves entangled in a cycle of emotional highs and lows, mirroring the volatility of the cryptocurrency market itself. This stress can infiltrate personal lives, causing emotional strain and undermining the original intent of engaging with an online community.
Furthermore, the pressure to cater to the speculative interests of token holders could divert individuals from their authentic creative pursuits. Instead of focusing on meaningful content creation and fostering genuine connections, they might find themselves making decisions based on short-term financial incentives, potentially diluting the quality and integrity of their interactions.

Conclusion

While the emergence of platforms like friend.tech highlights the innovative potential of Web3 technologies, it simultaneously underscores the ethical and psychological complexities associated with the tokenization of individuals. As the debate continues, it is essential to strike a balance between innovative financial models and preserving the integrity of genuine online interactions. The risks of stress, burnout, and the erosion of authenticity should be carefully considered as we navigate this uncharted terrain, seeking to harness the benefits of Web3 while safeguarding the well-being of those who contribute to the digital landscape.
Conclusion
In the realm of Web3 social shares applications, friend.tech has emerged as a compelling experiment that marries financial interaction with personal engagement. While it treads a path rife with ethical debates, its potential to reshape the dynamics of social media engagement and monetization is undeniable. As the platform navigates the challenges and possibilities ahead, it serves as a testament to the power of Web3 technologies in redefining the contours of online interactions.

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