Metaversal is a Bankless newsletter for weekly level-ups on NFTs and the onchain frontier
Dear Bankless Nation,
The crypto social scene just got a huge level up.
That’s because Farcaster just introduced Frames, which can turn any cast—Farcaster’s equivalent of a tweet—into an interactive app.
This new feature offers awesome new possibilities for the Farcaster ecosystem, ranging from in-cast airdrop checkers to one-tap gasless NFT mints.
That said, a Frames boom is clearly on the way, so for today’s post let’s get you up to speed on the basics here and cover how you can explore some for yourself!
The 101: Built atop Ethereum and Optimism, Farcaster is a social protocol that anyone with an Ethereum wallet can sign up for.
Why it matters: Farcaster emphasizes user control over data, contrasting with traditional web2 platforms, and allows for the portability of social data across different apps within its ecosystem.
Where to begin: Farcaster’s design philosophy promotes a decentralized approach to social media, so you can get started by trying the apps built on it, like Warpcast, a Twitter-like interface, and Farcord, a Discord-like platform. See a full list of Farcaster clients here.
Signing up: Right now, people with U.S. phone numbers can sign up for Farcaster for free, otherwise the account creation transaction currently costs $5 on Warpcast.
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What’s new: Rolled out last week, Frames are a new Farcaster feature built as an extension of the Open Graph protocol, a content standard initially developed by Facebook.
How they work: Similar to social media embeds, Frames display content as static or animated images, but they can additionally facilitate interactive elements through buttons, enabling dynamic user responses.
Bottom line: From games to quizzes and beyond, Frames offer limitless possibilities and are a fresh new avenue for creating more engaging and crypto-centric experiences around the Farcaster ecosystem.
Activity boom: The arrival of Frames have catalyzed a Farcaster activity surge—reactions (comments, likes, and recasts) have gone up more than 100% since the weekend, and sign-ups have exploded past the 70k mark.
The Frames scene is brand new, but we’ve already seen an explosion of experiments here toward a wide range of different ends. To illustrate the variety of applications that are possible, here are 10 examples of early Frames that have generated buzz:
♟️ Chess Trainer — An interactive chess puzzle.
🍪 Girl Scout Cookies — For ordering your favorite cookies in one click.
👾 Nethria — A text-based game where players attempt to conquer a monster.
🎨 NFT Gallery — Browse collections in a feed via Gallery.so.
✅ NFT Mint — A gasless NFT drop directly on Farcaster.
📊 Poll Creator — A DIY Farcaster survey system.
🪙 Product Credits — Mint an NFT to claim free product credits.
🎧 Song Drop — A music NFT mint via Sound.xyz.
🎬 Tenet — A scene-by-scene click-through of the Christopher Nolan film.
🧵 Threads — For creating content threads within a single cast.
Note, different Farcaster clients will approach surfacing Frames in different ways. If you’re starting on Warpcast like most people are, you can find and engage with new Frames by checking the Trending Frames page or the Frames channel, which is akin to a subreddit.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into Farcaster and Frames, these helpful resources can guide your way:
I’ve also seen some great reads on Frames over the past few days. If you’re still trying to wrap your head around the implications of this new feature, be sure to check these posts out:
The integration of Frames into Farcaster is the biggest happening in the crypto social scene so far in 2024. It shows how decentralized social networks can offer rich, interactive experiences while tapping into the rails of the cryptoeconomy and maintaining user security and autonomy.
For the NFT ecosystem in particular, Frames have forged a fresh avenue for showcasing, minting, and engaging with NFTs directly within a social media feed. They provide creators with a new channel to distribute their work and collectors with a new way to discover and interact with NFTs.
These NFT possibilities and beyond make fertile ground for novel user experiences. If even just a few of these experiences can get breakout traction, that might catalyze broader acceptance and integration of blockchain tech in everyday online interactions.
In the meantime, look for tons more Frames experiments to arrive and more DIY no-code tools to launch that will make posting your own Frames easy.
Also, consider making the most of the early momentum here by becoming an active poster on Farcaster and engaging with other interesting accounts and casts. If Farcaster does end up being a huge success story, you’ll have gotten in on the ground floor!
Explore Mantle. It’s time for mass adoption of decentralized & token-governed technologies with Mantle Network, Mantle Treasury, Mantle Staked ETH, and other token holder-governed product initiatives.
Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.
Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.