Aave's Web3 social network plans to take on Facebook and Twitter by giving users control

Aave's Web3 social network plans to take on Facebook and Twitter by giving users control
Who's gonna win it?Canva
  • Aave’s Web3 social media platform has been in the works for a few months now.
  • Dubbed ‘Lens’, the decentralised social network plans to provide users an alternative to Facebook, Twitter and others for interacting online.
  • The platform is currently in testing and is likely to go public between April to June, later this year.
Decentralised finance (DeFi) platform, Aave, has officially stepped into the world of social media with a new platform called ‘Lens’. The new platform is amongst the first Web3 social media platforms out there, hoping to take on established ones like Facebook, Twitter and many more.

Lens is hosted on homegrown platform Polygon, which just announced fresh funding of $450 million through a private token sale.

The company described itself as a “a permissionless, composable, and decentralized social graph that makes building a Web3 social platform easy.” It sounds like a take on the Graph API that platforms like Facebook are built on, but in a more decentralised manner.

According to Aave, the aim isn’t to simply bring on as many users as possible but to create a “great experience.” However, it’s not open to just anyone yet. Still in testing, it’s likely to go public sometime between April to June, later this year.

What does Lens do?

The Lens Protocol claims to allow users to create their own NFT-based profiles,which should mean that the user will own and control their profile, instead of having the platform change it as required.


The profiles will be able to store posts, follower history and more. “When you follow someone, you’re granted a follow NFT. Each of these NFTs has a unique token ID that comes with innate rarity & utility,” the company explained in its series of tweets.

Lens will also have revenue-sharing features for users who post content on it. This can be anything from pictures to music to videos or digital art. Others, in turn, will be able to collect these publications from the people they follow.

Even resharing a post comes with a kind of finders free. If anyone collects content via a user’s repost, that user gets a ‘mirror fee’.

A grants program has been launched for developers who want to build applications on the social network. “The cool part is that every app will expand the social graph. Essentially there is less need for developers to growth hack for users, instead the focus can be shifted towards better and more humane user experience,” Aave founder Stani Kulechov told CoinDesk.

Lens will host a Twitter Spaces on Wednesday at 4:30 a.m. Indian Standard Time (IST) to introduce the platform and share more details.

What's the big deal about decentralised social media?

The Lens Protocol isn’t the first time that the idea of a decentralized social media platform has been pitched. The idea itself can be traced back to platforms like Mastodon, which allowed anyone to create their own Twitter like platforms.

The difference, however, is that while Mastodon didn’t plug back to the central servers of one large corporate entity, the platform in question would be owned by the user or a group of users who created it.

In comparison, decentralised social media platforms seek to remove the central entity from the equation. The idea is to give users more control and autonomy, instead of having a Facebook or Twitter monitor content and determine what is right or wrong.

However, this does have its down side. When you’re giving freedom of speech to everyone, it includes bullies and hate groups. Individual users may have the ability to block these users but, without a central authority, there is no mechanism to stop them from engaging with the network altogether.

Moreover, decentralised platforms don’t require users to create accounts that necessarily link back to their real world identities with email addresses or phone numbers — a feature that many governments around the world, including India, have asked large social media platforms to enforce.

Mark Cuban-backed Polygon raises nearly half a billion dollars from 40 VCs led by Sequoia