friend.tech Crosses 100,000 Users As Crypto Community Debates Its Longevity
Social Trading App Rebrands Shares as Keys
By: Owen Fernau •Crypto News
The question asked of any new craze in crypto is — will it last?
The latest hot app is friend.tech, which creates tradable tokens corresponding to users’ profiles on the X social media platform. Owning someone’s token grants access to a private chat room with them.
The project has surpassed 100,000 users less than two weeks after its launch, according to a popular Dune dashboard.
DeFi Dave, a well-known educator in the crypto space, thinks friend.tech may demonstrate true durability. “It’s not the token part,” he told The Defiant. “What makes it sticky is that people are so active in the chat.”
friend.tech stands out from other recent trends in crypto like liquid staking tokens (LSTs) and real-world assets (RWAs) in that it’s as much social as it is financial. Arguably, memecoins, another major trend of 2023, are primarily a social phenomenon, but no app or subsector has successfully focused on individuals to the degree that friend.tech has.
This isn’t the first attempt at tokenizing social media — experiments in token-gated communication have been in the zeitgeist for years. Balaji Srinivasan, the former CTO of Coinbase, started an app called Earn.com in 2018, which allowed users to “cold email” influential VCs and CEOs, who could respond for a price. Coinbase acquired Earn.com in 2018 before phasing it out in late 2019.
Other experiments like Bitclout have assigned tokens to individuals but struggled to gain traction.
friend.tech has generated some of its hype from a weekly airdrop campaign launched on Aug. 18. OKHotShot, a well-known on-chain analyst, thinks that interest in the application may fade once the airdrop is complete.
“Most of the time you get a pump up and then it’s down only from there,” he told The Defiant.
DeFi Dave thinks that friend.tech’s users may be sticking around for more than an allocation of tokens. “If the people on your platform are solely airdrop farmers then you've done it wrong,” he said, adding that friend.tech’s core offering was the chat, not the financial aspects which have spurred developers to create tools to trade the social tokens.
“The apps built around friend.tech are built for traders by traders, but friend.tech itself is not a trader app,” he said.
friend.tech may be trying to downplay its financial side. On Aug. 21, the project renamed shares – the tokens representing profiles – as keys.