Today’s announcement confirms what we previously reported: Lens Protocol is a new social media effort from the team at Aave, the money market that first launched on Ethereum.
The announcement says that “the purpose of the Lens Protocol is to empower creators to own the links between themselves and their community, forming a fully composable, decentralized social graph.”
The first thing everyone wants to know about any new protocol is: when token?
Well, the new Lens Protocol from the Aave team mentions a “fair launch” in its announcement post, so there must be something on the way…
So, if that’s top of mind, join their Discord and get on the #FairLaunch channel, but it’s also worth getting into what the protocol actually is: a permissionless social graph that will permit any developer to build on it. What’s more, no one can kick anyone off it.
Social Media Application
Aave founder Stani Kulechov told The Defiant over Telegram, “Lens Protocol helps developers to build web3 native social media, without creating the user base from scratch. Any application built on top of Lens expands the social graph and benefits all the applications in the ecosystem.”
The Aave team will launch what Kulechov called “a flagship social media application” in Q1 in order to give other developers an example.
There’s no actual product out for users to start trying, but the post seems to suggest that Lens is more of a back-end that other social media products can be built on. We’ve seen similar versions of this before. The STEEM blockchain served as an underlying data layer for a number of different products.
Lens will run on the Polygon network, with support for IPFS, the decentralized file-sharing protocol from Protocol Labs.
Lens opens up many ways for content on a social network to be experienced. One of the frequent complaints about Facebook and Twitter, for example, is their use of algorithms to decide what content users see. The content is chosen based on what will drive the most engagement, regardless of whether that engagement is positive or negative.
If those sites exposed their underlying social graphs and the associated content, other developers could take that data band build websites that worked differently. One could make a version of Facebook that shows users the posts of everyone they follow using nothing but a simple reverse chronological sorting mechanism. Another could build a version of Twitter that puts the focus on photos rather than text.
Ownership of a Lens profile is represented by an NFT, which is the key primitive of the whole network. “Composable, non-custodial, and permissionless, these dynamic NFTs contain the history of all posts, mirrors, comments, and other content you generate,” the post explains.
Individual pieces of content will also be collectable, which means they will also be tradeable, which Kulechov confirmed. In fact, when a piece of content is shared (or “mirrored” in Lens parlance), it’s possible for the person who shared it to earn a cut if their Mirror yields a sale.
If a profile gets big enough and wants to start managing its community, it can be turned into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and use Lens’ governance features to manage it.
The Aave team is inviting developers to start building on Lens now, and there’s a grants program for those who need support to bring their idea to life.