Friend.tech is a decentralized social (DeSo) network launched in August 2023. Users can buy shares of any other user on Friend.tech through the Ethereum blockchain of the Base chain. This grants users the ability to communicate directly with the user whose shares they own, as well as the opportunity to trade those shares. 
Friend.tech was built by pseudonymous developer Racer and launched on Base, Coinbase’s layer-2 network, on August 10, 2023, by opening its invite-only beta test. The decentralized platform calls itself “the marketplace for your friends” because the app allows users to tokenize their social network. 
According to a tweet from Yuga Cohler, senior staff software engineer at Coinbase, friend.tech users create a profile to sell “shares” of themself to their followers. Buying someone’s share grants owners the ability to exchange private messages with them. 
"friend.tech is a decentralized social media app that tokenizes crypto personalities:
- You can buy and sell "shares" of people
- Ownership of a share grants you access to a private chat with that person
- Share price fluctuates according to supply and demand" - Yuga tweeted
On August 11, 2023, the network reached 136,000 daily active users. 
"It's exciting to see apps like friend.tech bring a new spin on social media to Base. I think innovation and decentralization in that space is critical, and I'm definitely curious to see what new features friend.tech will roll out in the future." - Cohler told CoinDesk.
On August 22, 2023, Friend.tech announced the renaming of 'Shares' to 'Keys'. 
"We've renamed Shares to 𝗞𝗲𝘆𝘀. The original name was a placeholder during development and we think Keys better illustrates their purpose as in-app items used to unlock your friends' chatrooms" - Friend.tech tweeted
Friend.tech generates over $1M in fees
Friend.tech decentralized social network generated over $1 million in fees in 24 hours on August 19, 2023. The protocol reportedly charges a 5% fee on transactions, with the spread from trades representing the owner’s profit. 
Talk.Markets founder Lux Moreau pointed out that as shares are sold, their prices increase significantly, potentially encouraging smaller groups in the platform or alt-group creations.
"As shares get sold, the prices also significantly increase. For example, the 500th member pays around 15.6Ξ, the 250th member pays 3.9Ξ, and the 100th member pays 0.625Ξ. This encourages smaller groups or alt group creations."
Database Leak Controversy and Response
On August 21, 2023, the team behind Friend.tech refuted a report that claimed that the personal information of more than 100,000 of its users was leaked. The now-amended report, first posted by The Block, suggested that data posted by Banteg, a pseudonymous developer for Yearn Finance, was “leaked” information. 
The Friend.tech team, however, clarified that the information came from scraping its public API.
"This is just someone scraping our public API that shows the association between public wallet addresses and public Twitter usernames. It’s like saying someone hacked you by looking at your public Twitter feed." - Friend.tech tweeted in response
The post also received input from X’s (formerly known as Twitter) Community Notes contributors.
“The underlying data is public and anybody can work it out reading a block explorer: if you buy a share, 5% goes to the creator’s wallet and he will have needed to fund his wallet. The database only scraps that public info,” - the community note reads.
Did you find this article interesting?