What is Connect3?

Even though the crypto industry is always stressing the benefits of decentralization, and the downside of centralized big tech platforms, still most of our activities rely heavily on Discord and Twitter. It's pretty ironic, isn't it?

Fortunately, there are a variety of efforts to enable a social layer in the web3 space. One of the companies working towards that is Connect3. It's focused on building the social engagement layer, and a decentralized networking platform. Current social networks suffer from data ownership issues, questions about content distribution, and how to reward content creators.

Connect3 offers users:

  • ID: unified id and profile across web3, enabling them to curate their own experience, interact with others socially and share their achievements in the form of NFTs
  • monetization: the option to turn your influence and to follow into a source of income.
  • social content: the ability to stay connected with your favorite people in web3 without relying on centralized tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Whatsapp.

Connect3 is a recipient of a grant from the NEAR foundation, which the team invested in developing their app and launching a test version. Social networking is also recognized by the team at NEAR as a huge opportunity, or as NEAR Co-founder Illia Polosukhin puts it: "Social networking is one of the highest-potential growth verticals in Web3. We are excited for Connect3 to expand their profile offerings to creators and fans in the NEAR ecosystem and to integrate with more projects."

Using connect3

The test version is already live and allows anyone to connect using their blockchain wallet. Connect3 supports Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and NEAR.

Once signed in, you can customize your profile with a profile image (upload or pick an NFT you hold), a header image, and your bio. Another exciting feature is that you can create your own c.world link, which is similar to customized bit.ly, and enables you to share your profile with your friends easily.

On your profile, you'll be able to see your feed and display your NFTs and posts. There is even an option to change the layout of how NFTs can be viewed.

And if you want to share your NFTs through Connect3 to other social media platforms, you can. It even generates a preview including a QR code so people can check that you're actually the owner.

UI and UX are pretty straightforward, and connecting and setting up my profile was easy. However, currently, there seems to be no home screen as I'm used to from other social media platforms (probably under development), and I have yet to figure out following people. These are perhaps on the roadmap. Overall, I think it's a neat platform; I'd just like to read a bit more about how all the data is served and especially how, eventually, feeds will be curated.

It's worth highlighting that the team publishes an update every week to share the latest progress they've made with the product — an effort that is not typical.

Being able to share and curate NFTs without having to rely on Twitter or finding some alpha on Discord is definitely a worthy mission — and once there is more functionality on connect3, I might come back.

Ultimately, as a social layer, the challenge for connect3, as for any other team in the social networking space, will be to attract a sufficiently big enough crowd to get people to join. You might get some crypto people, but will all of their friends suddenly start using it?

Social networks are interesting to grow because you need to hit a certain amount of people, and then they take off because all of your friends are on them, and no one wants to be left out.

From the post section in connect3, it seems that you can also pull in posts from other platforms. I'd like to see that when it's a complete feature. Personally, I'd love to have some sort of aggregator for all social media eventually — but make it web3.

Another thing I do wonder is, what will be the long-term plan for the protocol team? Do they just create this protocol and then give it to the community? Or is the plan to eventually add a token?

Anyway, I guess we just have to wait and see 👀

So long, if you want to see the 3 NEAR NFTs I own, you can check them out on my Connect3 profile. The benefit of being early is that I could secure my name as a handle: https://c3.world/@naomi.

Or maybe there's just no other Naomi in the near ecosystem 😆

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Naomi Oba

Naomi Oba

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Writer in Crypto — passionate about financial education, blockchain, books, and food.