Ethereum Blogging Protocol Mirror Embraces Farcaster in Social Media Pivot - Decrypt

Ethereum Blogging Protocol Mirror Embraces Farcaster in Social Media Pivot – Decrypt

Ethereum Blogging Protocol Mirror Embraces Farcaster in Social Media Pivot - Decrypt PlatoBlockchain Data Intelligence. Vertical Search. Ai.

Mirror, the Ethereum-based decentralized blogging protocol, announced today that it is merging with once-rival Paragraph, the tokenized publishing and newsletter platform. 

The combined Mirror/Paragraph entity will live on Farcaster, the decentralized social media protocol that Paragraph has been built upon for years. The company will be led by Paragraph’s founder, Colin Armstrong, and supported in part by a new $5 million fundraising round led by Union Square Ventures and Coinbase Ventures. 

Meanwhile, Mirror’s founder Denis Nazarov plans to take the Mirror team, and with it, launch a new entity called Kiosk. Kiosk, which is also built on Farcaster, will allow users of the crypto-backed social media ecosystem to more easily discover, collect, and trade crypto assets and NFTs within a social media feed. It will also allow users to observe the crypto and NFT-related habits of fellow users. 

Kiosk has raised $10 million in a funding round led by Electric Capital with support from Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square, and Variant. 

Building a social media layer focused on trending digital assets sounds a far cry from Nazarov’s work on Mirror, which began as an exclusive club for crypto thought leaders to share intricate ideas in wordy essays. 

But the founder says Mirror was fundamentally about unlocking the power that smart contracts can bring to consumer experiences—and Kiosk will be, too.  

“We did that for long-form publishing,” Nazarov told Decrypt. “With Kiosk, our goal is to do that for the mobile social experience.”

If Thursday’s fundraising news signals a victory for Mirror and Paragraph, it just as much marks one for Farcaster, the upstart protocol that has attracted both the combined Mirror/Paragraph entity and Kiosk. 

Started in 2020 by two Coinbase alumni, Farcaster remained a fairly obscure decentralized social media alternative until late January, when the protocol’s novel Frames feature exploded in popularity. 

Frames allow users of apps on the Farcaster network to perform numerous functions within social media feeds—like playing games, making online purchases, and minting NFTs—without having to exit the app for a third party. In effect, they are a slightly simpler version of the intricate in-feed functionalities that Kiosk now seeks to build. 

Immediately following the launch of Frames, the number of daily active users on Farcaster surged tenfold, according to data from Dune Analytics. It has since grown by another 50%, to about 40,000 daily users.

That’s a far cry from the hundreds of millions of active users on platforms like Twitter. But builders like Mirror’s Nazarov feel that Farcaster has finally hit a near-critical mass of users able to sustain it as a sturdy hub from which to innovate and finally make decentralized social media a reality. 

Twitter was once an essential component of Mirror’s business model, Nazarov says; Mirror posts that went viral on Twitter used to drive “a ton” of traffic to the site. 

But times have changed. 

“I think now, there’s a much more natural integration potential for distribution through the Farcaster ecosystem,” he said.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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