In our Reflecting on EthCC report, we mentioned how most of the crypto discourse has been about the infra layer as opposed to the application layer. Friend.tech, a new social app launched on Coinbase’s rollup Base, has proven to be an exception to this trend. Since its launch on August 10th, Friend.tech has not only attained significant user traction but has also taken crypto Twitter — deprived of fun, social apps — by storm.
Friend.tech is a mini-app. Its core feature is token-gated private chats. Users link their Twitter accounts to onboard, upon which each user gets to create a group chat where they are the “creator.” Other users can search for creators and join their chats by minting the “keys” of that creator and becoming their key holder. For as long as they own a single key of the creator, they can participate in the chat.
While FT got off to a hot start, activity has cooled down a bit as it starts to settle into a new floor. Active users were ~8k/day before the Paradigm announcement and >40k at the peak, and have since settled at ~20k/day more recently. As users who have already onboarded don’t have any incentive to leave, we imagine TVL will be fairly sticky here at least until the airdrop. As for the actual usage of the app, the average in-app minutes/day is actually below where it was at the start and is an important metric to keep an eye on moving forward. The bull case for FT, just isolating it to people on crypto Twitter, is that all of the “alpha” is shared on FT, a sort of exclusive club for people with high signal information that you don’t want to miss out on.
So, is Friend.tech just a fad or does it have staying power? Let’s find out.