Aave, an open-source decentralized finance platform for borrowing/lending digital assets, has launched a protocol for creating and building decentralised social media platforms called the Lens Protocol.
In simple terms, the platform will function like any other social media platform, but the user will be in control of their information and data rather than a big corporation, like Facebook or Twitter, collecting the data and using it at their discretion.
Unveiled on February 8, the company said that the Lens protocol is a ”permisionless, composable, and decentralised social graph,” that aims to make it easier for developers to build a web3 platform. The company wants devs to focus on user experience than scaling the user count of their platforms.
By being permissionless, the open network will be available to anyone who wants to build a web3 social media, and for users it will require no permissions to join or interact. By composable, Aave refers to the concept of being able to use technologies to build custom products or services anonymously.
Lens, the company said, will allow users to create profiles that will store posts, publications and follower history. It will also have revenue-sharing features for content hosted on the platform. Lens will provide a built-in governance mechanism for groups that require regulations.
The company is currently providing a grant application worth $250,000 for users who wish to build a decentralised social media system based on Lens. Aave also plans to build its own social app to demonstrate what can be done with the protocol, which it said will be coming soon, most probably in the first quarter of 2022, according to media reports.
To be sure, the concept of a decentralized social media platform isn’t particularly new. In November 2019, shortly before the global lockdowns, backlash against Twitter had led many users to build their own social media platforms using the open source Mastodon protocol. At the time, Mastodon was also said to be a decentralized solution.
However, the primary difference between a web3 platform like Lens and Mastodon is on who controls the data. While Mastodon, too, removed the large corporate from the equation, users who created their platforms would still set the rules of discourse and content sharing. On web3 platforms, however, the control is supposed to remain with users, though whether the Lens Protocol actually achieve the same is yet to be seen.