The development of social networks globally gives power to technology corporations with centralized power that can abuse data, violate privacy, and impose censorship on users.
The current context of web2 social networks goes against the basic principles of the World Wide Web, which is large-scale information decentralization. A suitable social network for the web3 era requires criteria such as decentralization, non-censorship, and user data autonomy.
Social Graph – What is a social graph?
People build social relationships on social networks they participate in (friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, etc.). The set of these social connections forms a social graph.
Companies that own web2 social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, etc., also own users’ social graphs. They have full access to and make money from them.
On web2, users do not own their own personal social graphs, so when they move to another social network, they have to rebuild their connections from scratch.
To solve this problem, social graph protocols were created to help turnin social graphs into personal assets. Users can move from one social network to another while keeping their social connections (friends, followers, etc.), and partially control their shared personal data.
In addition, these protocols also serve as infrastructure for social Dapps to be integrated and developed on them.
It can be said that a Decentralized Social graph is the most important part for web3 social networks to develop.
Prominent social graph protocols
Team: Stani Kulechov, who is also the founder of Aave Protocol, a leading lending protocol in defi.
Investor: FTX venture, the specific amount is undisclosed
Lens protocol is the most well-known project in this area. The ecosystem has all the pieces from social media, tools, infrastructure, identity, etc.
- Lenster.xyz: “Twitter web3”
- Lenstube: “Youtube web3”
- ORB: Decentralized social media app
- Phaver: Share to earn platform.
Lens is currently leading the way in building web3 social networks on the blockchain.
Blockchain: Multichain (ETH, BSC, SOL, etc.)
Team: Wilson, Ryan, Shiyu, and Zhimao co-founded it in 2021. The team has experience in developing the Lino blockchain as well as DLive.tv – the largest live-streaming platform on the blockchain. During its peak, DLive had over 1 million daily active users.
Investor: Raised $15M in Series A round from funds: Multicoin Capital, Animoca Brands, Sky9 Capital, Delphi Digital, Binance labs, etc.
Cyber Connect started by building products that serve existing web3 users in the market.
Link3 – a social network similar to LinkedIn – is one of the first products Cyber Connect has launched.
Link3 Event Planner: A toolkit that helps projects organize and manage AMA, Communitycall, and issue WEST tokens (sounbound token) to users as proof of participation.
Currently, there are over 900 partners using these products.
Cyber Conect is starting to expand the ecosystem by collaborating with BNB chain to organize Social Hackathon, attracting Social Dapps to build on the protocol.
Deso – Decentralized Social
Team: Deso foundation, consisting of many members who have worked at major technology companies such as Google, Meta, Pinterest…
Investors: DeSo has successfully raised $200M from 22 investors including a16z, Coinbase Ventures, Sequoia, Winklevoss Capital, Polychain Capital, Pantera Capital…
This is the only project that has launched its own token and built on its own blockchain. $DESO is listed on Coinbase with a market cap of ~100M.
Like Lens, Deso’s ecosystem has relatively complete basic building blocks and has gained a stable user base.
- Dimond: “Decentralized Twitter”
- Deso chat: “Decentralized Telegram”
Deso foundation has also committed to using $50M from the investment to develop the ecosystem.
Some other Social graph protocols
farcaster.xyz, relationlabs.ai, gm.xyz, useorbis.com.
Although it has not attracted the attention of most investors, the Social token space has many builders with quality projects to serve the growing number of web3 users each year.
Social graph is the most important part, which can provide large investment opportunities when social tokens become a big trend like DeFi in the next uptrend season.