New Social Media Platform Turns to NFTs for Digital Ownership

Lens Protocol launches after Aave founder Stani Kulechov’s public push to decentralize social media

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Stani Kulechov, Founder and CEO of AAVE | Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel

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key takeaways

  • Aave introduced a new protocol as an alternative to traditional social media platforms
  • The Lens Protocol, built on the Polygon blockchain, is powered by NFTs

The team behind DeFi liquidity protocol Aave is unveiling a new way for social media users to own and control their content.

The Lens Protocol is “a permissionless, composable, and decentralized social graph that makes building a Web3 social platform easy,” according to a tweet Monday by Lens Protocol.

The protocol features traditional social media functions, including profiles, comments and sharing posts. Here’s the twist: it is powered by NFTs that allow users to own their content, according to an Aave blog post Monday. The Lens Protocol will be built on the Polygon blockchain.

Baked into the NFTs are a user’s social media history, including posts and comments. Following someone triggers a corresponding NFT to be minted.

A user can also create photos and music through a publication feature, as well as collect publications from accounts they follow.

Stani Kulechov, founder and CEO of Aave, has over the past year hinted at an offering that decentralizes social media.

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

An open letter drumming up support for Web3-driven social media came out before that, when people were encouraged to cryptographically sign the letter with their wallet.

“We spend time building unique selfhood across these Web2 media platforms, even though we know they are antiquated, centralized systems,” the letter stated. “Web3 brings forth a renewed hope for what social media can be. It offers the ability for us to control how our content is used.”

The Lens Protocol Twitter account went live last month, and Kulechov teased the protocol at the time.

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The Aave team also revealed in the Monday blog post a $250,000 grant program to accelerate the growth of Lens Protocol. 

The post did not specify a mainnet launch date. An Aave spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.


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