What is it?
The new "Frames" feature launched by the blockchain-based social media app Farcaster has generated huge buzz in the crypto ecosystem for good reason. It allows developers to embed interactive experiences within Farcaster posts, known as Casts. These interactive experiences can range from minting NFTs to building casinos and games, or even integrating instant checkout links directly within the social media feed, eliminating the need for platform switching.
You can see a prime example in the girl scout cookies Frame which allows you to shop inside a Frame, then get a link to checkout via Coinbase. Expect a surge of these kinds of projects over the coming weeks and months as it's an enormous unlock. On that point, one of the easiest ways of keeping an eye on new Frame projects is using Launchcaster or if you use Warpcast (a Farcaster client), it has a view for trending Frames.
What impact is it having?
The impact of Frames has been notable, with Farcaster's daily active users skyrocketing past 10,000 immediately following the launch. This surge in activity indicates a strong interest and engagement with this new feature. The Optimism-based platform has seen consistent growth, registering over 73,000 total users, as reported by Dune and referenced in The Defiant. As for the famous cookies Frame...
Why is it working?
The Frames feature is a part of Farcaster's strategy to leverage the SocialFi trend in the crypto ecosystem. The app operates in a manner similar to Twitter but differs by not using crypto for onboarding. Instead, it utilizes crypto for in-app functionalities like tipping and other payment options, supported by a blockchain backend. The reason Frames work really well compared to other approaches is laid out really well by Farcaster founder, Dan Romero who summarizes an article by Patrick McCormick:
- Every Farcaster user has crypto keypairs under-the-hood
- Insanely simple yet powerful—it's Open Graph but with authenticated requests
- All the APIs are open and permissionless
- Distribution, distribution, distribution — a frame meets the user where they are already are.
This development is particularly noteworthy as it represents a significant advancement in the realm of decentralized social media, offering users more dynamic and interactive content within their social feeds. The feature's ability to embed various interactive elements directly into posts could set a new standard for how social media platforms operate, particularly in the context of Web3 and blockchain technologies.
How does it work?
For those interested in building on the Farcaster platform, it offers ample opportunities. Developers have already started creating diverse Frames, incorporating elements like games and NFTs into the Farcaster posts. This demonstrates the versatility and potential of the Frames feature for creating engaging and immersive social media experiences.
Importantly, getting started with a Frame is really easy. There's plenty of official documentation, but it's already being improved upon by the likes of FrameKit from Base and other community projects such as a-frame-in-100-lines. If you're looking to quickly understand how it works, this lifecycle diagram is super useful:
How can you use it?
There are a ton of different uses for Frames, but if you want an idea, this (screenshot below) is a good example of an image gallery combined with feedback in order to crowdsource design input. The below was actually achieved within 48 hours from idea to production by utilizing Bountybot on Farcaster, and the work was done by the wonderful user @complexlity.
The integration of Farcaster's Frames feature is set to catalyze a paradigm shift in the Web3 space, pushing the boundaries of how dApps interact with social media platforms. In the future, this could lead to a convergence of functionalities where social media platforms evolve into decentralized application layers.
Imagine a scenario where users engage in complex DeFi protocols, interact with sophisticated smart contracts, or participate in DAO governance directly within their social media feeds. Pushing it even further, given you can embed frames into frames themselves, who knows what is going to be built!
This seamless integration could facilitate on-chain activities, from token swaps to NFT trading, all within the context of social interactions. Additionally, the potential for incorporating advanced technologies like Layer 2 scaling solutions and cross-chain interoperability within social media platforms could further enhance the efficiency and reach of these integrated dApps.
Ultimately, Frames could be the catalyst for a more interconnected and multifunctional Web3 ecosystem, where the lines between social media, financial services, and decentralized governance become increasingly blurred. if you want to read more on the topic, we recommend the following community articles:
Lastly, if you're a builder, there are tons of open bounties for you!