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OCT 12, 2023

#SoFi: A Glimpse Into the Future of Social Networks?

by Meta Investor

Discover the future of social networks with #SoFi. Explore platforms like Friend.tech and Post.tech, and see if they're the next steps.
The name itself, "Social Finance," suggests a merger of social and financial interactions. And that's precisely what it is.
Platforms like Post.tech, Friend.tech, and others are leading this wave, suggesting a transition from traditional ad-revenue models to a direct subscription-based system.
Online version of this article.

Background

In theory, Web2 socials rely heavily on advertising revenue and selling of users' data.
In the Web3 version, creators are closer to their followers, leveraging a direct subscription model, and also a way to speculate on individual creators through ownership of their shares.
But what started as an interesting evolution of Twitter-like platforms, ended quickly as a flood of bots and airdrop hunters hoping to extract quickly as much value as possible.
Source: https://dune.com/cryptokoryo/social
Source: https://dune.com/cryptokoryo/social
Above you can see how people rotate from one platform to another, quickly jumping for some early airdrop points and speculation, then dumping it and moving forward.
Let’s explore the 3 main platforms.

Friend.tech

Paradigm-backed project Friend.tech, or FT, was the first to attract a significant wave of followers.
The concept is slightly different from others, since here creators don’t post on the walls like on Twitter, Hey.xyz, Facebook, etc., instead they use a token-gated chat where they can engage with their communities.
While an interesting way to be closer to your followers, it is facing issues with expensive keys of the bigger and more popular accounts, which often have a price tag above 1 ETH.
Another challenge comes with engagement and the flow of the conversation.
It introduces a switch from the current models where creators share something and people can react to that piece of content. Instead, it’s more of a group chat.
Results? Speculative gamble on the creator keys, sniping early users and selling the keys as soon as more people jump in, and a lot of empty accounts.
What’s worse, people were reporting SIM swap attacks on their Friend.tech accounts.
SIM Swap attack is when a hacker tricks your service provider into connecting your phone to the hacker’s SIM card.
@darengb was robbed of 22 ETH and warned that every doxxed Twitter account (you use the real one) with your phone number can be exposed.
The team quickly started fixing these issues, but there is always a risk of hackers finding new ways to damage users of these platforms.
Source: https://twitter.com/friendtech/status/1692671761794687310 
Source: https://twitter.com/friendtech/status/1692671761794687310 
Regarding airdrop - I don’t feel it’s worth it anymore.
I bought keys of 200 people and got 6 airdrop points. Seems it’s not just about the number of keys/transactions, but the ETH volume. Other actions count, like referrals and activity.
Might make sense for BASE airdrop hunters, but I would prefer linking my own wallet to the app.

Post.tech

A quick answer to the previous social platform was introduced by post.tech.
The idea is more Twitter-like where we share posts, comment, re-tweet, and engage.
Keys/shares work similarly, you buy them and get premium access to the content, plus % of the fee from that person’s trades.
Due to the transparent airdrop rules, like 5 posts/day and 25 replies/day, people quickly turned this platform into one big spam machine. With good content being hard to find.
After playing around and following some people it got better and now my home page is only about 60% spam.
Engaging with followers is difficult because notifications are flooded with trades, making it nearly impossible to react to people’s comments on my posts.
Airdrop is transparent, which makes it much easier to farm the points and build the strategy around it.
However, it feels to me the token won’t have much value today. This puts pressure on the team as they need to think about lock periods and bringing at least some utility for the token so people won’t dump everything on Day 1.
What I did - Quickly you realize it’s about trading the shares rather than spamming around, so I have traded a little over 250 shares, got an estimated airdrop of over $1,400 from the 2nd Epoch, and now I’m not farming anymore.
It would make sense to farm this airdrop with a bot since they will snipe you anyway, but that’s something I won’t do, so for me the airdrop is not worth spending too much time on.
I will explore the platform a bit more from the creator's perspective to see if people start showing more interest in legit content.

Stars Arena

Initially, I was pretty optimistic about this option, since Stars Arena is the only one that doesn’t require a funded wallet to use, which represents a better way to build trust with users.
But instead, it caused me a lot of pain. I was struggling for 2 days to even download it and log in. When I did, the servers were completely clogged and it often took over a minute to make any action.
When trying to make screenshots for this article, the arena was down for maintenance.
As mentioned, this one doesn’t require a funded wallet, you can go ahead and explore even without. It’s similar to the other platforms, you can buy shares of creators, and the interaction is Twitter-like.
Another difference is AVAX instead of Base (friend.tech) or Arbitrum (post.tech).
Airdrop is there, but again I would not spend hours manually farming these airdrops. There are other, more promising projects that require less time and rewards could be higher.
👉 To sum up, I’ll keep exploring post.tech, but I’m not farming the airdrops, and won’t follow the hype to yet another SoFi platform. If one of them shows stable numbers, I will test it as a creator, not an airdrop hunter.
To offer an alternative, the team at Access Protocol is doing a remarkable job. I recommend anyone interested in new platforms to create content on to check this one out.
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