Top Social DAO Projects Building on NEAR
Blockchain is reinventing the social internet. In Web2 worlds, apps like Facebook or Instagram control access and the data generated by users. For the first time, users are free to write the rules of engagement for the benefits of themselves and their communities.
Just as crucially, the builders and users of blockchain social projects do this all while respecting data privacy, cultivating collective governance, and creating new ways to monetize their work and products. Even Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley’s largest venture capital fund, is reportedly helping projects build DAOs to realize the above goals.
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After launching in 2020, the NEAR ecosystem quickly became host to a number of social projects. And with the launch of NEAR’s Simple Nightshade sharding protocol, which is supercharging transaction speeds and security, there has never been a better time to help the world rethink the internet’s social realms through Web3 technology.
This October, NEAR launched a $800 million global ecosystem funding initiative, which will help social projects, DeFi apps, NFT marketplaces, and other industries get into blockchain and build on NEAR.
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To inspire developers thinking of building social apps on the NEAR ecosystem, and give readers a sense of what’s already happening socially on the protocol, we’re taking a look at the top social projects currently building on NEAR.
Astro is the DAO infrastructure on NEAR that empowers groups from across the world to make decisions together, collectively. Think of Astro as a social platform for decentralized on-chain communities (OCC), where users can gather, vote, and govern.
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On Astro, OCCs allow groups to prove identity and membership but also coordinate decisions through a system of smart contracts. Each vote within these social communities is verified by the NEAR blockchain, and funds are dispersed based on these democratic votes. Just as many dApp and appchain projects now implement DAO based governance structures, Astro removes the overhead of building a custom DAO for each project, significantly simplifying the process of launching a project on NEAR, Aurora, and Octopus Network.
Beyond voting, Astro users can meet other people that share their values and fund their collective goals. Astro’s treasury is shared, meaning funds are held and always distributed through a community-defined process. The DAO’s governance is optimized through voting, allowing groups to calibrate exactly how their community will operate on the blockchain.
Compared with existing DAO platforms in crypto, Astro comes with a range of new features, easy to use UI and UX, and a great deal of flexibility. Anyone, even without any prior experience, can create a DAO in a few minutes, set up how you want to govern it, and add features like logo, cover photo, and links to the website and social media accounts. What’s even more impressive is that all of these can be accomplished by paying only 0.3 $NEAR in gas fees and depositing 5 $NEAR as a bond.
The Astro Team said: “Astro is one of the most socially-advanced DAO platforms out there because it allows people with almost zero knowledge — and in convenient and streamlined fashion — to get an actual on-chain ‘home’ for their communities and projects. The ability to discover the overall activity and variety of different communities under one platform is second-to-none in crypto at the moment.’
Feiyu is a picture-based social network on NEAR that allows users to share memes and GIFs on the metaverse. To aid with content creation, Feiyu comes equipped with a built-in meme generator and NFT marketplace, allowing users to easily create and share their memes and GIFs with others. Those who participate on the platform can garner rewards, like the native token or acquiring NFT items such as skins, weapons, etc.
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Feiyu recently held a “pixel art war,” during which users worked together on an artboard via chat rooms to develop NFTs. While working together on the artboard, users earned rewards in the form of pixels and Feiyu tokens, which fostered a high degree of collaboration during the NFT creation process.
By building on NEAR, Feiyu is able to hide the “crypto” part of the platform from its 1.5 million users. What this means is that users don’t have to register a wallet, pay gas fees for tokens at decentralized exchanges, and so on. Another way of saying it is that the crypto part of Feiyu just works — easily and seamlessly.
Xue Kai, Co-founder of Feiyu, said: “At Feiyu, we want to inspire everyone to create the most innovative and unique pieces of NFT artwork. These days, social media is by far the most popular means of interacting on a global scale — by building on NEAR, we’ve been able to make our very own social media platform come to life and realize the true potential of blockchain and its efficiencies.”
A multi-chain, social gaming metaverse, Reality Chain recently launched on Octopus Network, substrate-based appchain network on NEAR Protocol. OnReality Chain, users can level up their social and gaming lives through immersive 2D and 3D multiplayer functionality and a suite of features.
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Think of Reality Chain as a social metaverse — or, rather, platform for social metaverses. By staking $REAL native tokens, players can build a brand new metaverse. Reality Chain also envisions a Metaverse that allows users to walk from blockchain to blockchain as easily as pressing direction buttons or teleport triggers.
By minting and purchasing NFT avatars, Reality Chain players can interact with each other through voice and text chats. Users can also interact with a metaverse environment of in-game assets like NFT surfaces and objects.
Reality Chain’s newly created Metaverse Engine and DAO give $REAL token holders the right to vote on projects. After the game launches, the 3D engine will be upgraded to enhance the social metaverse’s visuals.
Adam Ardisasmita, CEO of Reality Chain, said: “For us, what is essential is to have a metaverse that is accessible to everyone. That’s why we focus on mobile-first experience, lightweight applications and design it to be easy to jump into the verse for everyone. Right now, the demo is live on UniqueOne, and we are aiming to have it live on Paras too. The goal was to gather as much feedback from the user as possible before we launched it early next year.”
On DAO-powered social platform t² (time²), users can explore a world of narratives “curated by time.” Think of t² as a social network that can host multiple self-generated sub-communities as subcultures. (The “subculture” is the ultimate generator of value or assets in the community.) . The t² team notes that it also functions as a “curation market,” in which community members achieve goals collectively and then profit together when their culture thrives, utilizing blockchain technology to empower the ownership economy.
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The first Web3 player to attempt to monetize human time via Proof of Attention, t²’s decentralized media platform cultivates an innovative humane incentive to create, curate, and propagate feature articles. It does this by way of a curation market where users can publish content and also “read to earn,” as the team writes in their t² white paper.
All t² users will be fairly rewarded for the network value they contribute. T²’s native token, TXT, represents value created from 1 hour of curated human attention in attention markets. The t² team believes this will break the boundary between intrinsic human existence (time) and a spendable, flowable social value (engagement).
As you can see, this model upends the current social media concepts of time spent on apps and user engagement, and gives users a chance to profit from it instead of that revenue going to centralized platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. In a sense, the reading experience on t² becomes a profession of sorts as well as a space where people can collectively achieve goals.
Mengyao Han of t² said: “Reading is such a beautiful thing but deep reading has become a lost art in the modern lifestyle. t² began with a simple wish: people can be paid to read or paid to learn. t² witnesses the reader’s contribution to the ecosystem and uses their attention to curate high-quality content and subculture. t² will be ready to launch in the second half of 2022 with the mission of achieving massive adoption from the traditional user base, changing how incentives work on the web.”
Picture an Instagram or other social platform with built-in NFTs. This, in a nutshell, is YouMinter. Using an iOS and Android app, YouMinter users can create, mint, and share NFTs with followers. In this social space, creators can build followers, fans can follow creators, and collectors can find and organize NFTs they want into collections.
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YouMinter simplifies the NFT onboarding process by making the entire experience mobile. All you need is a smartphone and the YouMinter app.
After creating an artwork, users simply upload it to their YouMinter account and use the NFT editor to mint it. YouMinter creators can set the price of their NFT, turn the minting into a special event, organize Augmented Reality (AR) exhibitions, and promote NFTs with special boosters like daily and weekly top-lists, email newsletters, team choice, etc.
The fans and collectors of NFT artists can organize their collections by artist, theme, hashtag, or in other ways. By creating folders, fans and collectors can share their NFT collection with the world. They can even buy NFTs with a story and history, which includes likes and followers. This makes it easier to resell NFTs on marketplaces, often for a higher profit.
If you’re a creator who is new to crypto and NFTs, you’ll be happy to know that YouMinter allows you to get paid on Apple Pay or Google Pay. And when you’re comfortable with how wallets and minting work, you can set up your Youminter account to direct NFT sales into your crypto wallet.
Joe Passion, Сo-founder of YouMinter, said: “It is critical for the YouMinter team to expand the opportunities for interaction in NFT for the crypto community as well as for influencers, enthusiasts, bloggers, and those who are not connected in any way to the industry. The social implication of YouMinter stands on two pillars. First of all, it’s the accessibility of NFT — it should work like your regular transaction when you buy a cup of coffee. You can create, collect, and sell NFTs even if you don’t know how it works technically. The second important vector of the project is that your 1,000 loyal fans can affect your share in the company. We make the NFT world accessible, free and open to anyone interested.”
Are you a current or potential Substack user but looking for a decentralized alternative — one that is resilient to censorship and unfair moderation? Then Capsule Social, a place for “decentralized discourse,” might just be the publishing platform for you.
Although Capsule Social, which uses NEAR for identity and login, is a place to publish thoughts, it’s also a place to share them. It’s a decentralized social media platform where people can share ideas without facing takedowns and other forms of silencing and intimidation. So, like Medium, Capsule Social is a hybrid publishing-social platform.
The Capsule Social team sees the dApp as being at the forefront of a “serious challenge to the centralized norm of self-expression online.” From now until their public beta (date: TBD), the team is thinking hard about how to best meet the needs of content creators and readers, as well as the wider community of Web3 enthusiasts.
Capsule.Social Founder and Research Director Nadim Kobeissi said: “At Capsule Social, we’re building a truly decentralized platform for writers without sacrificing user experience or content reach. We’re combining the best social aspects of a platform like Twitter with the diverse and high quality content that you would find on a place like Substack. By building on top of NEAR and IPFS, we guarantee a truly decentralized architecture. And by allowing writers to be remunerated via cryptocurrency and not just fiat, we guarantee content sovereignty and will allow writers to participate in the pseudonymous economy.”
Bridging Internet Users to the Blockchain
For blockchain to truly become the web of the future, bringing users over from the current internet everyone knows to Web3 will be absolutely vital. A bridge from Web2 to Web3, if you will.
NEAR can be that bridge.
With its fast transaction speeds, low costs, and Nightshade sharding’s almost infinite scalability, NEAR can support the onboarding of millions of new users. And NEAR can do this by hiding the more technical aspects of crypto behind a new, easy to grasp user experience.
NEAR is a high-performance blockchain that is designed to be super-fast, incredibly secure, and infinitely scalable. NEAR’s vision is to create a network that acts as an on-ramp for billions of people to access the next generation of the web.
NEAR is built by an award-winning team of engineers and entrepreneurs to be simple to use, inclusive and good for the environment. NEAR is backed by top VCs such as A16Z, Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain.com, and Baidu Ventures.
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