• The Web3 social platform built on the Polygon blockchain is powered by NFTs
  • Lens Protocol designed to allow users to fully own their data

Software development company Aave has launched its Web3 social platform powered by NFTs that aims to be an alternative to traditional social media platforms. 

Called Lens Protocol, the open-source tech stack allows developers to build Web3-powered social media apps, marketplaces and recommendation algorithms.

Social media has remained relatively unchanged over the last decade due in part to user content being owned by a company, Aave CEO Stani Kulechov said in a statement. Elon Musk’s bid to purchase Twitter shows people are ready for a better experience, he added.

“Lens will be the infrastructure that will give rise to the golden age of Web3 apps,” Kulechov told Blockworks. “For the first time since the internet has been born, people can finally own their accounts and all of their content without an intermediary.”

The protocol enables each user’s followers, community and content to be linked to their NFT (non-fungible token) profile — and can be ported into any app powered by Lens.

Signers of the Lens open letter will be able to mint their profile to begin interacting with the first protocol-powered apps on Polygon, Aave announced Wednesday. Roughly 50 applications have been built on Lens so far, including social apps and creator monetization tools.

Lens Protocol created its Twitter account in January, and Aave detailed the protocol’s features the following month. Kulechov had over the past year hinted at an offering that decentralizes social media.

In a Feb. 5 tweet, the CEO predicted that Web3-native social media will “kill” Twitter.

Dan Keeler contributed reporting.

This story was updated on May 18, 2022, at 10:00 am ET.

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  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro and crypto-native funds, financial advisors, structured products, and the integration of digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) into traditional finance. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism. Contact Ben via email at [email protected]