In the evolving blockchain and Web3 landscape, a new player emerged with a bang—Friend.Tech. Launched on August 10, this platform is no ordinary social media site; it aims to change how people interact online through social tokenization. Within days of its release, the platform attracted an impressive 100,000 users. High-profile community members like NBA player Grayson Allen and crypto influencers Cobie and Gainzy joined the bandwagon, boosting its initial credibility. However, things haven’t gone to plan.
Friend.tech is a decentralized social platform where your circle of friends, or their connections, transform into Shares or Keys. You have the option to invest in someone’s social network, or in a group of users, to convert their reputation into tokens.
Each user functions as a form of social currency. You have the option to purchase this social token, sell it at a higher value, or continue to own it as its worth rises along with the user’s credibility. Conversely, owning these shares (now called ‘keys’) grants you entry into exclusive chat rooms tailored to specific influencers and access to premium content and additional perks.
To join Friend.Tech, you’ll need an invitation, creating a sense of exclusivity and, consequently, a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) among potential users. Once invited, you download their app, log in with an Ethereum wallet, and deposit Ethereum (ETH) into a Base account. The platform lets you buy or sell ‘keys’ to chatrooms, allowing you to interact directly with other users.
However, it’s not all smooth sailing. Users have reported bugs and issues with the platform, specifically with the bridges used to deposit Ethereum into Base accounts, which are sometimes slow and occasionally broken. This has led to some frustration among its user base.
Financial Dynamics and Controversial Moves
The numbers tell an interesting story. Friend.Tech saw its protocol value plummet from $16.8 million on August 21 to a mere $1.6 million just a week later— a drop of over 90%. Transaction volume has taken a nosedive, too. Some community members have shrugged off this decline, attributing it to the typical ups and downs of crypto ventures. Others have accused top influencers of hyping up yet another fad.
Moreover, Friend.Tech announced that users exploring other platforms would be penalized, triggering an immediate backlash. The platform has rewarded its beta testers with “Points,” intended to serve a “special purpose” upon the official release. But the decision to strip these points from users who venture outside Friend.Tech has been met with criticism.
Amidst this controversy, it’s worth noting that Friend.Tech has received seed funding from Paradigm, raising speculations about a future native token airdrop. The platform’s policy towards penalizing users has also ignited debates on its long-term viability, especially with the imminent release of a similar platform named Shares.
An Uncertain Future
Friend.Tech had an explosive start, but its journey has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Whether it becomes a sustainable social platform or ends up as a short-lived experiment remains to be seen. Its controversial policies and technical glitches indicate growing pains. Still, they also raise questions about the platform’s long-term vision and management. In an ever-competitive and rapidly evolving Web3, Friend.Tech has much to prove if it wants to solidify its place in the social tokenization sphere.