Analysis

SocialFi's Second Coming with Friend.Tech v2

Friend.Tech v2 and redefining crypto's Social + DeFi trend.
David C David C Apr 16, 20245 min read
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SocialFi's Second Coming with Friend.Tech v2

With a newly revamped Friend.Tech right around the corner, SocialFi has once again become a big subject of discussion across crypto. 

The term SocialFi may bring back memories of BitClout and DeSo, the crypto-native Twitter alternative that had its 2021 moment in the sun. Failing to gain real traction, though, BitClout quickly faded away, eclipsed by DeFi, NFTs, and DAOs, leading many to say SocialFi was still too early. 

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Yet, certain NFT projects and DAOs currently stand as the best examples of successful SocialFi, creating social networks imbued with DeFi that have had incredible staying power and, arguably, set the stage for this cycle's memecoin SocialFi.

As Friend.Tech v2 approaches, let's take a look at where SocialFi is right now, what's missing from the sector and if Friend.Tech's imminent release can move the dial 👇


Friend.Tech v1 and Memecoin Fever

Friend.Tech, launched in August 2023, enables users to buy and sell "keys" linked to Twitter accounts. 

These keys function as access passes to private in-app chatrooms and exclusive content, effectively monetizing social interactions. Within two weeks of its launch, the platform attracted over 100K users and generated approximately $25M, marking a significant achievement in user adoption and financial performance.

While monetizing social interactions isn't entirely new, Friend.Tech’s implementation via a social token system presented a fresh iteration of SocialFi.

Friend.Tech’s keys not only tokenize access but also harness the natural human tendency to rally around charismatic personalities, effectively merging potent forces of social coordination with economic incentives to create a uniquely powerful mechanism for community engagement and cohesion.

Yet, despite the impressive initial traction, Friend.Tech fell into the background last October, yielding low activity and revenue until a recent resurgence ahead of its v2 launch.

Interestingly enough, during this lull in Friend.Tech activity, memecoins took the industry by storm, planting dogs, cats, and hats across all available timelines and headlines. 

These tokens have predominantly flourished on Solana and, to a lesser degree, Base, where faster transaction speeds and lower costs allow all to participate — something Ethereum L1’s cost may prohibit many from doing. 

Turning on memeability — an inherently social act — memecoins swapped Friend.Tech’s SocialFi with a sillier, arguably more fun type, but nonetheless still SocialFi. Memecoins have long been compared to NFT collections, I believe because they both create the same distinct social networks on our timelines. Dogs and hats, and dogwifhats, show holders as a distinct population, much like how Milady PFPs and their crazed tweeting style identify their holders as a distinct population. 

Other parallels between these two asset classes can be seen in the more recent launches of DEGEN’s L3, followed by the announcement of Azuki and BAYC’s L3s. Memecoins have even prompted initiatives quite similar to those seen from DAOs last cycle, the WIF crowdfunding for the Las Vegas Sphere being reminiscent of ConstitutionDAO and its crowdfunded auction attempt.


The Second Coming of Friend.Tech

While SocialFi has taken different forms over the years, it has always been here.

The fragmentation of SocialFi across different blockchains — with NFTs on Ethereum and memecoins on Solana — hindered its traction as a dominant trend. While each blockchain has nurtured its own unique form of SocialFi, the lack of a unified platform has prevented a cohesive growth trajectory and led many to dissect them as separate trends rather than as slices of SocialFi. 

Friend.Tech can still change this.

Launching on 4/29, its v2 comes packed with features that seek to combine the magic of NFT communities, DAOs, and memecoin social trends.

As a participant in Friend.Tech founder Racer’s chat group, crypto investor John Wang summarized many of the new features that v2 will bring to enhance user engagement and personalization. Let's take an early look at what's in store.

For Groups

Room owners can customize their chat spaces aesthetically and functionally with options like polls, raffles, and visual themes. 

They can create Money Clubs, enabling groups to manage shared treasuries and mint tradable onchain collectibles, memecoins, and extensive amounts of other media — thus generating additional revenue for the group. To support this, Friend.Tech will also have a native DEX, a hub to trade all these assets — arguably its biggest upgrade.

Chatrooms will become more dynamic overall, with reactions and tagging introduced, enhanced notification systems, pinned messages, raffles, and a referral program—the latter perfectly fitting how crypto grows and engages with people. 

These tools are designed to increase interaction within the platform and keep users active and invested in their communities.

For the Platform

The platform will also be improved with a new discovery feed, enhanced keyword search functionality, personalized recommendations for key purchases, and other user-specific suggestions.

Given how crucial security remains in crypto, v2 will also feature integration with cold wallets for enhanced security and 2-factor Authentication. Coupled with performance enhancements like faster loading speeds, this will expand the market that Friend.Tech can service, potentially leading to increased adoption.

Overall, v2’s updates offer an improved user experience and a comprehensive environment to unite all the successful iterations of SocialFi thus far — NFTs, DAOs, and memecoins — in one distinct ecosystem. 

Tying all these verticals together under Friend.Tech’s umbrella will show people how NFTs, DAOs, and memecoins already exemplify instances of SocialFi and potentially give SocialFi a dedicated environment that could solidify its status as a trend here to stay.


Redefining SocialFi

SocialFi's journey through its various manifestations — from Ethereum NFTs to Solana-based memecoins — demonstrates its already pervasive yet fragmented presence across multiple blockchains. 

Each iteration, while successful in its right, has been limited by these environments’ separations, hindering a unified advancement of SocialFi as a coherent trend. But with the introduction of Friend.Tech v2, this could all change.

By providing a comprehensive platform, Friend.Tech v2 can potentially consolidate these scattered assets into a cohesive and robust network. This unified environment could serve to firmly establish SocialFi as a dominant trend in our industry. 

That being said, with a highly anticipated airdrop right around the corner, Friend.Tech will need to maintain traction in its wake to achieve this goal. Given the suite of upgrades v2 will bring, though, I personally believe it will. 

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David C

Written by David C

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David is a writer/analyst at Bankless. Prior to joining Bankless, he worked for a series of early-stage crypto startups and on grants from the Ethereum, Solana, and Urbit Foundations. He graduated from Skidmore College in New York. He currently lives in the Midwest and enjoys NFTs, but no longer participates in them.

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