Understanding Friend.tech, hailed as 'the marketplace for your friends'

It promises to combine social engagement with investment opportunities


Over the years, Web3 decentralised platforms have been trying to pose a credible challenge to Web 2.0 platforms, which include the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium and the Wikis, but with limited success. However, a new decentralised social media (DeSo) app is here to make a difference and challenge the traditional social media platforms, if the internet chatter is anything to go by.

Built on Base, an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) chain launched by Coinbase that allows users to build decentralised applications on the Ethereum network, Friend.tech is a social media app that allows users to come up with tokenised “shares” of their social media accounts and sell the shares to anyone willing to invest.

While the platform, which promises to combine social engagement with investment opportunities, mostly intends to target influencers, users can purchase shares of their friends, and not just influencers, on the platform.

The beta version of Friend.tech was launched on August 10. It had a great initial pull, as it registered over 30,000 transactions in the first 24 hours after the launch. The enthusiasm died down a bit then, but over the past few days, as people like Richard “FaZe Banks” Bengtson II of the e-sports community FaZe Clan and NBA player Grayson Allen joined the platform, Friend.tech saw a flurry of activities as users bought tokens worth nearly $20 million (11,100 ETH). According to Coindesk, Friend.tech gained more than 1,00,000 days after its launch.

Built by a pseudonymous developer named Racer, the platform, which calls itself “the marketplace for your friends”, offers an opportunity for influencers to leverage their social media presence and followers. If the influencer decides to opt for a revenue-sharing programme with their followers who have his/her shares, there is indeed more monetary benefit for the followers.

When a user purchases another's shares, the two can send private messages to each other. A chance to directly communicate with one's favourite influencers might appeal to a large number of users and is expected to cause bidding wars and auctions on the platform.

Friend.tech, according to cryptocurrency platform Publish0x, could help create a fair and equitable social media landscape and grants people an opportunity to create more value from their social connections.

Of course, not everyone is impressed, with many saying that the hype is not likely to last much longer. Some users on X and Reddit flagged the possibility of pump-and-dump schemes—artificially inflating the share prices by issuing statements that are misleading and then selling them for huge profit—by influencers. Concerns have also been raised about data privacy as the platform was launched by someone—Racer—whose identity is not known.

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