The concept of the online social graph at the beginning of the 21st century resulted in hyping the popularity of social media and innovation in the digital market. A distinct line has been drawn between the users of social networks and the places, people, and things they interact with by the specific data structure.
However, a number of disadvantages of social media platforms because of decentralization have been proven time and again.
The currently emerging Web3 projects are held responsible for the changes that are occurring in the digital world. Here is a comprehensive guide article that will help the readers to learn about the working pros and cons related to the Lens Protocol and how it can help users in the future.
What is Lens Protocol?
In early 2022, Lens Protocol was introduced, which became very popular among users in a very short time in the blockchain and crypto communities. This is because of the popular Aave team developing it and the revolutionary nature of the social networking product.
In the era of decentralization and Web3, in order to reshape a better future for the concepts on social media, an open-source social graph that is based on blockchain was created called Lens Protocol.
Lens Protocol is composed in a way that enables the people creating the content to have control over their data and own their bases. This helps them in owning the connections between themselves and the community without the quality being compromised.
This is distinct from the currently available platforms of social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, which are completely centralized and are always in need of a social graph that can help in creating connections between the users of different social media platforms.
Therefore, with the development of lens protocol, the decentralized social graph emerged on the screen that could be owned by the users. This also provides the opportunity for the users to control their links and information and to monetize their content with the features it provides.
Lens Protocol is one of the branches of an important lending platform in the Ethereum blockchain system and addresses the drawbacks and problems that are present in the environment of present social media.
It is succeeding in it, and the dedicated users of the Web3 community are also helping in achieving the goals.
Working of Lens Protocol
A graph database (GDB) is used to establish the social graph of lens protocol. Graph structures containing edges as connection points between things and places, containing individual nodes and other properties, are utilized by such databases.
The network members and the relationships between them can be easily predicted and shown by these graphs.
There is a distinct difference between centralized social media graphs and social graphs based on smart contracts of the Lens Protocol, as the data can be accessed only by using centralized services.
However, the third parties, the users, and all the projects that have the intention of getting connected with the services cannot get access to the services of the protocol. The connections, content, and profiles also cannot be accessed as they are kept by centralized operators and are locked up.
In case any of the servers cannot be accessed, the complete centralized service may become a failure as a whole. Any decentralized app or social media platform based on the blockchain can be integrated into the open architecture of the social graph of the lens protocol.
Based on the modulatory concepts, the design of the Lens Protocol is flexible and can be easily molded, dissimilar to the structure of the centralized services that are difficult to be customized and molded.
This permits the implementation of the latest fixes and features and also secures the content owned by the user and social relationships at the same time.
The environment-friendly protocol blockchain network called Proof of Stake (PoS) is used in order to build the lens protocol. Lens Protocol at the top of Polygon.
It stimulates interoperability across all the platforms and is found feasibly compatible with crypto wallets such as Argent, Gnosis Safe, and MetaMask.
Versatile Nature of Lens Protocol
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and modularity are two core concepts that provide unique traits to the Lens Protocol. The central function of the protocol is to establish the profiles of the users as nonfungible tokens.
The empowerment for the creation, maintenance, and owning of the content and profiles created through the nonfungible tokens is provided to the members of the decentralized social networks of the Lens Protocol by using it.
Moreover, all the data is stored by the layer 2 scaling solution of the Polygon, which has a comparatively lower fee.
The complete ownership of the content and full rights are transferred in the hands of the users by using such architecture. All the content that is posted is then available on-chain, whether it be a picture, a text, or any change of avatar. If availability, innovation, and connectivity are referred to as the property of a system, it is called modularity.
Therefore, for all the creators who are ready and willing to implement and propose any kind of new features, the social graph of the lens protocol is a sound opportunity for them.
Moreover, to agree upon the integration of the features in the most decentralized and open way is completely upon the members of the community, whether they endorse it or not.
This also helps in the maintenance of the freedom of speech among the communities and also leads to the emergence of new social media networks, as no central actor has the right to control the information because of these mechanisms.
Method of Using Lens Protocol
The context of Web3 and the root functions of blockchain, nonfungible tokens, and smart contracts have been replicated by the Lens Protocol in terms of social media functionality. Moreover, there are profiles that are owned by the network users. These profiles allow them to share, post, and comment on different types of content they like. In addition to that, they can also follow the profiles of opinion leaders and friends of their own choice.
Following are the steps that have to be followed while using Lens Protocol
Step 1: Creation of NFT Profile
To begin the journey using the Lens Protocol, first of all, the user has to create an NFT Profile. The user will be allowed to add content to it, can communicate and link with one another and have complete control over their data as he holds the ownership of the nonfungible token.
All the history of the publications of the users, their comments, the repost that are also knowns as mirrors and all the other content generated by them is contained in the NFT Profile.
Step 2: Track Other Profiles
The other profiles of users can be tracked by using a unique follow feature that is included in the Profile NFT. There is a slight difference between the traditional social media platforms on Web2 and the Lens Protocol platforms.
In order to record the connections, the logic used in Lens Protocol enables the different accounts to mint follow NFTs. The users of Lens Protocol are provided with a Follow NFT whenever they follow a profile with additional values that can be encoded by the communities and creators.
Collection to Monetize Content
The content can be monetized by the users of the Lens Protocol by using the Collect feature. Therefore, when the user posts any publication on their Profile NFT, it becomes feasible for them to set a Collect option.
As the content is completely owned by the creators while using Lens Protocol, thereby using the conditions that are determined by the actual creator, it can be purchased by the followers.
Interaction with Other Users’ Profiles
The smart contracts that have code running under the determined conditions refer to the modules and are an essential part of the Lens Protocol. The users are allowed to introduce the custom and unique functionality while using the features like Follow, Collect or Reference by using the modules in the Lens Protocol.
Moreover, it also permits the users to interact with the content of other users, their comments, and reposts.
Advantages of Lens Protocol
In the foundation of Lens Protocol and the principles of Web3, lie the advantages of this protocol. Some of the key benefits of Lens Protocol are mentioned below.
No External Interference
No interruption can be caused by any external entity because of the censorship-resistant environment of the Lens Protocol. It is a permissionless and independent network.
Neither any content can be removed nor censored, nor can any profile be banned by any third party, including the centralized authorities.
The content and data that are owned by the users of the Lens Protocol can be utilized by them over any decentralized app that is built on the top of the protocol or on any social media platform.
Moreover, using the Lens Protocol, the users can build an entire Web3 social media platform. The easily customized features, the profit from the modularity of the protocol, and the flourishing ecosystem of the applications based on Lens Protocol provide a great benefit to the users.
The blockchain is made efficient in energy and can be afforded easily because of the Proof of Stake algorithm being used by the Lens Protocol. It provides far greater benefit to the users than the Proof of work (PoW) protocol because of consuming a large amount of computational power.
Disadvantages of Lens Protocol
There are a few disadvantages that are integrated with the use of Lens Protocol that cannot be ignored by anyone.
Limited Storage Capacity
A limited amount of storage capacity on the chain is provided by the blockchains usually. As a result of it, not all the data, including the nonfungible tokens or content, is stored on the blockchain, and they require to look for other better storage options to fulfill the requirements.
A special content URI is integrated with the Lens Protocol publications that point towards the content that is contained by the publications. The content may include an image, a video, text, etc.
A distributed file storage system such as Arweave, IPFS, or other providers such as AWS S3 is used to store all the original files. This may result in the manipulation of the data and content of the users easily.
The security issues and storage problems have a deep connection with each other. The original files can easily be damaged or lost as they are not recorded on the blockchain network.
As it is very easy for cybercriminals and hackers to attack decentralized networks, the risk of the maintenance of nonfungible tokens and smart contracts may always prevail.
Challenges Associated with Lens Protocol
Though the introduction of Lens Protocol will provide control to the users over their data and will refrain them from the hold of the centralized platforms. However, there are some challenges that will come with integration with the decentralization of social media platforms. Some of them are mentioned below.
In order to build a decentralized social graph according to the need and requirements of the customers, the protocols that would be required to make it functional will be needed to get integrated with a number of chains for a considerably long period of time.
Scalability and Price
Though Web3 innovation and the projects such as Lens Protocol linked with it provide complete control and hope to the users about the ownership of the data.
However, a big challenge integrated with it is the scalability issue. Many Web3 technologies face a major issue of scalability and are still unable to tackle it properly.
In addition to that, the gas fee is another issue that comes integrated with Web3 technologies and its projects. Whether the users will have to pay a gas fee in case the project of Lens Protocol becomes successful and how this app will provide scalability is still a query to handle.
One should be aware of the fact that with the introduction of Lens Protocol and the decentralization in the social media platforms, not all the current social media users will leave these platforms and move towards the Web3 protocols.
The users will first have to be educated and trained about the Lens Protocol and how to use it, and it will require a lot of education and time.
However, the user will just need to interact with a single platform that will be using the social media graph in order to customize and have control over it.
Future of Lens Protocol
Social media platforms are used by almost everyone in all regions of the world and at all times in the 21st century. Due to the centralized nature of social media, there are a number of risks and threats attached to it.
The lack of the right to own the data that is generated by the user is one of the biggest problems of the current social media platforms. The platforms have the right to ban any profile or ban and censor any data in case anyone does not fulfill their policies.
By offering new patterns of customization and ownership to the user, the innovations of Web3 and blockchain for social media platforms will do wonders for content creators.
The community-owned social graphs that are owned by Lens Protocol and many other projects similar to them in the space of social media will also be accelerated by these innovations.
The users are empowered and given the ability and control over what manner they want to build and monetized their social graph. This approach will also bring considerable change and influence in the paradigm of communication.
Lens Protocol and Social Media Evolution
As social media is being used everywhere, but users cannot own their own content. The platforms censor the information that goes against their regulations and policies. However, the projects like Lens Protocol and Web3 will provide social media content creators an opportunity to customize their experience and create a transformation in the field of social media platforms that could enable users to have control over their data.
Lens Protocol is an approach that is trying to invent the possibilities and concepts of social media platforms again in the space of Web3. It wants to break down the shackles of centralization in the current social media platforms where the users do not have the hold and control over their own data and content, and the larger platforms manipulate it.
Lens Protocol will provide the opportunity for the users to customize their own social graph over the blockchain accordingly. It will also provide users who are interested in creating their own social media platforms an opportunity to do so in the Web3 space.