How Web3 Solves The Discoverability Dilemma For On-Chain Creators
Yesterday, I discovered a new app called Interface. Its promise is simple: Becoming a distribution tool for on-chain creators & collectors.
In other terms, they are here to fuel the new creative era.
And I’m all here for it.
I stumble quite often upon apps helping online creators, and rare are the ones who live up to the expectations.
But this one is different.
They crowd-funded $92,000 back in 2022, and trust me; if I had been aware of this, I’d have definitely sent them some of my Ether as well.
I believe Interface is a game-changer for Web3 creators and the crypto ecosystem as a whole. They might be on track to solve one of the most pressing problems creators face today:
Getting their content discovered while retaining full control over it.
Whether you are a creator trying to grow or a reader always on the lookout for new content, this is an opportunity you surely don’t want to miss.
Get ready; this is going to be a fun one.
1 | The Discoverability Dilemma
For the past few years, the question of ownership vs. distribution has been at the heart of discussions for content creators.
As a writer myself, this is something I spent countless hours thinking about.
When I decided to self-publish my first book, I was torn between selling it on my website and taking care of the marketing, printing, and distribution myself, or giving full access to my content and data to Amazon.
I chose the latter, and in exchange for sharing all my data with Amazon, giving them a 70% commission, and letting them do whatever they wanted with my content, they helped me sell over a thousand copies and took care of the shipping.
~ What a deal ~
If you call me a fool here, remember you’re doing the same kind of trade-offs daily.
When posting on Twitter, Substack, or Youtube, you’re accepting seeing your content disappearing when one of these apps explodes, getting your content showed in the wrong context or even getting banned.
Yep, welcome to the fantastic world of today’s content creation.
But the truth is, despite this obviously disastrous situation, we’re all doing it.
Because there’s not a single platform allowing us to retain ownership AND that have enough momentum to get our content widely discovered at the same time.
Two years ago, when I first discovered crypto, and more specifically decentralized publishing platforms like
Mirror, I thought we finally had our solution.
There were finally people standing against the status quo, fighting for creators’ rights, and promising through a new technology called NFT, the best of the two worlds: ownership & better distribution.
The experience was clanky, but creators finally owned their content, and readers were so optimistic they went the extra mile to support new Web3 writers.
Of course, I was all in.
I started posting there multiple times a week, and in a couple of months, I had more than 50 articles on-chain.
Fast forward two years, and sadly, it’s clear those platforms failed to turn this opportunity into something sustainable.
Despite now having 100% ownership over their content, and with a hype fading, creators quickly realized that switching to those platforms with no network effect, no discoverability engine, no SEO, and until recently, no subscribe button would still come at a cost:
The cost of discoverability
Back to the starting point… or not exactly.
I believe their efforts have not been in vain and that those platforms were, and still are, an essential part of solving the decade-long discoverability dilemma.
Because for creators to get better discoverability, they needed better ownership.
For the past two years, those platforms have allowed more people to create and collect content on-chain easily.
They’ve stood up to their mission to onboard thousands of creators on the decentralized internet, letting creators publish their content easily while owning it, and helped solve one part of the equation.
But the main problem had yet to be solved.
We were still lacking an application that would leverage this new paradigm to finally productize, for creators, the possibilities Web3 is unleashing.
I believe those days are over, and that we are finally witnessing the birth of such application.
It is called Interface.
2 | Trying Interface for the first time
I have installed and deleted a lot of social applications in my life.
Trying them all, I can confidently say there hasn’t been a real breakthrough in experience for creators or fans for the past 10 years.
For each new social media application I signed up for, whether Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram, the experience has always been pretty much the same.
First, I had to spend a few minutes setting up my profile.
Then, I was usually suggested to follow a few supposedly “famous” people that I had never heard of, friends I hadn’t talked to in years, or choose from a list of pre-selected topics that I didn’t specifically relate to.
After that, I had to “train the algorithm” for hours to get suggested content I was actually interested in.
And no matter the number of hours I’d spend handpicking the people I follow on Instagram to get the perfectly curated feed, I’d always have to start all over again from scratch on Twitter, Linkedin, or Youtube.
I have to say, despite getting used to it and accepting the situation, this was far from the perfect experience…
Then yesterday, I tried Interface for the first time.
When I downloaded the app, I got to sign up with my crypto wallet.
In a couple of seconds, the app fetched my on-chain data, and because I had purchased the on-chain domain name “Eliot Couvat” on ENS, Interface had my name, my profile picture, and my bio.
Everything was already filled up. I just had to confirm to move to the next step.
Then, because I already had an account on Lenster, a decentralized social network, the app found my friends and suggested I follow them.
It wasn’t random or supposedly famous people, but friends I actually knew.
After that, Interface recommended I follow members from the Friends With Benefits community, a group I’m part of and which I have tokens from.
Again, it wasn’t people out of the blue but friends I interact with daily.
Finally, I went to my profile, and my content was already there.
Yep, you read it well. All the articles I had posted on-chain, all the content I had collected, whether songs, videos, arts, or articles, everything was there.
In total, it took me less than a minute to get set up.
In a few clicks, I connected with my friends, had a profile ready to go, a feed full of relevant posts, and my content already posted.
It simply felt like magic.
3 | The Power Of Interoperability
Despite feeling magical, it wasn’t Magic at all.
All this experience was very real, and possible thanks to a new paradigm:
Since all the on-chain data are freely accessible on an open ledger, Interface was able to fetch them and let me follow friends from across platforms to see their activity appear in a single feed.
By fully leveraging the bridges established between platforms that ensure a sustainable data flow, Interface created the perfect onboarding experience.
But the onboarding was just the beginning of the full experience.
And after browsing around for half an hour, I started fully realizing the power of the application I had in my hands.
For creators, Interface means that no matter the decentralized platform they choose to post their content on, they can be sure their fans have one place to see it all, a place where they can be sure to never miss a new piece of content again.
Without. Any. Extra. Step.
Yep, you don’t have to post anymore.
Your on-chain actions appear automatically in your feed, and this works no matter if you’re minting an article on Ethereum, Optimism, or any other chains.
Forget about ever having to repost your Youtube, Spotify, or Substack content on Twitter or other centralized platforms, not controlling the visibility of your posts.
In the Web3 world, your fans will have all of your content in one feed without ever having to quit the app, reducing the friction to access your content and with the major advantage of you retaining full ownership of your content.
The best part?
Creators and collectors own and distribute content simultaneously.
In this new paradigm, we come from a top-down model where Twitter control who sees the content to a bottom-up model where every fan collecting an NFT help spread the word and support the creator.
Did someone collect your article on Mirror? It shows on Interface.
And by simply owning the content, fans help the creator get discovered.
This means finally having content curated by real people, not algorithms.
Interface might be the super-discoverability engine we’ve all been waiting for.
An app of apps in sort, where content once scattered across multiple platforms and protocols are now synchronized in one place and where our collective preferences become pools of relevance where value aggregates.
Interface has created a beautifully-designed app that makes abstraction of the technical aspect of crypto, lowering the barrier to entry for newcomers and creating the perfect social experience for non-technical users.
And no matter if you’re collecting an NFT or an ERC-20 token, an article, or a video, you’re on-chain content will always appear there.
4 | We’re Just Scratching The Surface Of What’s Possible
Now, I can’t say the app is perfect and the solution to all creators’ problems.
Despite my obvious enthusiasm, Interface is still at a very early stage.
As Annoushka, the founder of Interface, told me, they’re still “experimenting with introducing various features for different audiences and trying to see what sticks.”
But I believe that, now that the foundations have been laid, this is only downhill from here, and there are a couple of features that would 10x the experience.
First of all, for now, the app is mainly in view mode.
You discover content, but this is pretty much it.
You can’t collect directly from the app what your friends have collected, nor are you directly redirected to a minting page when you click on it. You can’t comment, react or build on top of an on-chain action. You can’t organize your content on the app once you’ve collected something, which I think will quickly become essential as the number of users increases.
In short, the interaction component is still missing.
Second, I believe the team could go even further in leveraging Web3 capabilities.
Most (if not all) creators struggle today to create meaningful conversations around their content, and the comment sections on Substack or Youtube are not the best place to do so.
Creators and communities alike are looking for better ways to control their fans’ experience, and some communities like Friends With Benefits actually just launched their app exactly for this reason.
I believe there’s finally an opportunity here to get rid of the feed, leveraging NFTs or ERC-20s creating a new space to share deeper context.
Third, the team could create a better experience for creators directly in the app.
When someone collects your content, you get to see if the person is a newbie or an expert by looking at the number of transactions in their wallet. This allows creators to create content in consequences. It also allows to see in which communities fans contribute, whether a community for marketers or growth leaders, revealing their passions and deeper interests. Finally, when someone collect on-chain, creators get to see which other creators their readers are fans of, giving them insights on which creator they should collaborate with.
Starting with a simple dashboard in the same style that the Bello one would, in my opinion, facilitate the creation process, and help creators distribute the perfect content.
5 | Closing Thoughts
Interface is a game changer.
Before Interface, creators had a hard time sharing their work without relying on Twitter or other centralized platforms. Fans were creating and collecting content but had nowhere to showcase their belongings. It was difficult for newbies to understand the true power of Web3, and difficult for creators to grow their audience while owning their content.
Finally, we have a platform that takes on the work started by Mirror or Paragraph and leverages ownership not for its own sake but as a way to solve the discoverability dilemma creators have been facing for so long.
With Interface, we now have an app that has a good chance of helping creators better distribute their content.
This article has been written and prepared by Eliot Couvat, and re-published with permission by the GCR Research Team. Eliot’s thoughts on internet communities can be found at his substack, “The Modern World Builder”.
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