Friend.tech fees and transactions tumble just weeks after the crypto social app debuts on Coinbase’s Base
After rising rapidly in popularity and garnering support from high-profile people in and outside of crypto, the latest blockchain-based social media app, Friend.tech, has declined dramatically.
The app, which launched in closed beta earlier this month, recorded $1.68 million in fees last week (a gauge for the number of people using it), propelling it briefly into the top three decentralized applications by fees, just below the Ethereum network. Yet, on Monday, the app fell out of the top 10 applications by fees, with just $161,000 collected over 24 hours, according to DeFiLlama. The number of transactions on the network also fell Monday, to just over 25,000, compared with a peak of half a million a week ago, according to Dune.
Friend.tech launched on Coinbase’s layer-2 Base blockchain and quickly gained traction with social media influencers and others with big followings. The app allows influencers to sell “keys” linked to their X (formerly Twitter) accounts that allow their fans to message them privately.
Notable people like YouTuber Ricky “FaZe Banks” Bengston reportedly raked in tens of thousands of dollars from Friend.tech thanks to a revenue split where 5% went to creators and 5% to the platform every time a key changed hands. Fueled in part by a new feature that allows influencers to send photos via private message to their Friend.tech followers, the app also attracted a flurry of OnlyFans creators, who were charging many multiples more for one of a few keys on Friend.tech compared with a subscription to their content via OnlyFans.
Lisandro Rodriguez, a payments risk manager at Coinbase, said in a thread on X (formerly Twitter) over the weekend that Friend.tech failed because after the initial hype of influencers promoting their keys, all that was left was a platform with lots of bots and a subpar user experience.