In the world of decentralized social media apps, friend.tech has gained attention and notoriety for its recent decision to penalize users who explore alternative versions of its tokenized social media platform. The official friend.tech X account took to Twitter on August 28th to announce that users who opt-in to forks or copycat versions would automatically opt-out of earning Points and lose any existing points they had accumulated. While the tweet did not mention any specific competitors, users speculated that it was in response to a new application called Shares, a DeSo or “SocialFi” app scheduled for public beta launch on August 31st.
The Points System
Friend.tech has been rewarding its beta testers with “reward points” on a weekly basis. Over a span of six months, the platform plans to distribute a total of 100 million points. The exact purpose of these points has not been revealed, with friend.tech only hinting on August 15th that they “will have a special purpose when the app enters official release status.” While some believe the points could translate to tokens for friend.tech governance, others speculate that they may hold financial significance for users. Additionally, there are expectations of a future airdrop of friend.tech native tokens, thanks to the seed round investment from Paradigm.
Friend.tech’s announcement did not receive a warm reception from the crypto community. Within the first hour of its posting, the announcement garnered hundreds of negative comments and reposts criticizing the app for its anti-competitive stance. Pseudonymous trader CryptoKaleo condemned the decision, stating, “Threatening/penalizing users for trialing other platforms is completely against everything this industry stands for.” Others expressed their disappointment, with one user anticipating an apology from friend.tech in the near future.
The controversy surrounding friend.tech comes in the wake of its public launch on August 11th. Since that time, the platform has experienced a decline in key metrics, including decreased activity, inflows, and volume. According to data from Dune Analytics, transactions on friend.tech have plummeted by over 90% from its peak of nearly 525,000 transactions on August 21st. As of August 28th, cumulative transactions on the platform were less than 50,000.
The Future of friend.tech
The backlash and decline in metrics raise questions about the future trajectory of friend.tech. The decision to penalize users for exploring alternative platforms is seen by many as contradictory to the principles of the industry and may damage the app’s reputation. It remains to be seen whether friend.tech will reconsider its position and address the concerns raised by its users. As the crypto community continues to evolve and embrace decentralization, projects like friend.tech must take into account the values and expectations of their user base in order to thrive in this competitive landscape.