A Beginner’s Guide to Decentralized Social Media


Before learning more about Decentralized social media let’s understand why we need it in the first place

𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐃𝐨 𝐖𝐞 𝐍𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐃𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞𝐝 𝐒𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐌𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚?🚀✨

Decentralized social media platforms offer several potential benefits over traditional centralized platforms:

𝟭. 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲: Decentralized platforms are not controlled by a single entity, so they are less vulnerable to censorship or interference by governments or other authorities. This can create a more open and free environment for users to share their ideas and opinions.

𝟮. 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗰𝘆: Decentralized platforms are often designed with privacy in mind, using technologies like encryption and blockchain to protect user data. This can make it more difficult for third parties to access or misuse user information.

𝟯. 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗹 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗮: On decentralized platforms, users often have more control over their content and data. They can choose to share it with specific individuals or groups, rather than having it automatically shared with all of their followers or the general public.

𝟰. 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗹 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺: On decentralized platforms, users often have more say in how the platform is run and governed. They may be able to participate in decision-making processes or contribute to the development of the platform.

𝟱. 𝗣𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗰 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀: Some decentralized platforms use cryptocurrency or other tokens to reward users for contributing value to the platform. This can create economic incentives for users to participate and create high-quality content.

𝟲. 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲: Decentralized platforms are less vulnerable to failure or disruption because they are not reliant on a single server or infrastructure. This can make them more resilient to attacks or other disruptions.

𝟳. 𝗭𝗲𝗿𝗼 𝗗𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲: As blockchain is running on thousands of nodes, it is impossible for its server to go down. There will be no downtimes on the network.

Some of the biggest players at work in this space right now are Lens, Farcaster, DeSo, and Mastodon. Now let’s take a closer look at each

Lens Protocol 🌿

Lens is a decentralized social media platform built on the Polygon blockchain. It leverages the use of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to create a decentralized social graph that gives users full ownership over their social identities. This means that if a user’s profile is banned on one Lens app, it does not affect their social graph as it exists on the Lens Protocol’s database in the form of NFTs. The use of NFTs makes the social graph fully interoperable and allows users to jump to another Lens app with their social identity intact.

Lens enables developers to build apps by plugging in a variety of Web3 and Web2 tools, on-chain and off-chain data, all tied together by the LensAPI. This allows for customization of both the creation and consumption experiences for both developers and users. For example, an app can choose to use decentralized options for image hosting or traditional options like AWS.

Lens has ~98K total users with ~35K monthly active users as of December 2022. Despite its growing user base, the platform’s current centralization risk lies in its multisig governance.

In conclusion, Lens is an innovative decentralized social media platform that enables both developers and users to create and consume content in any way they want. The platform’s backbone is a complex mixture of data generated within Lens Protocol, on the blockchain and off-chain data, to render a unified Lens experience.


Farcaster is a web3 protocol that takes a minimalistic approach to storing data on-chain. The protocol is permissionless, meaning any developer can build customized clients (apps) on top of the Farcaster data layer. The creation of a profile on Farcaster generates a seed phrase and identity on the Ethereum Goerli testnet. The user identities, also known as the global data registry, are stored on-chain, while everything else in the social graph is stored off-chain on centralized servers referred to as Hubs.

At present, there are over 30 apps built on the Farcaster protocol, ranging from analytical tools to social media networks. The Farcaster network operates as a peer-to-peer network of Hubs, similar to Ethereum nodes. The decentralization of the protocol relies on the permissionless nature of anyone being able to create and run a Hub honestly. Content moderation is done on the client layer and is subject to the subjective decisions of the client-layer developers.

Farcaster has 6.7K users with an average of 3.5K monthly active users as of December 2022. The team plans to open source the Farcaster Hubs data and APIs by January 2023 and migrate to the Ethereum mainnet by February. The main differentiation of Farcaster from other web3 protocols is its minimalistic approach to storing data on-chain, which its founders refer to as “sufficient decentralization”.


DeSo is a decentralized social network built on a custom-made L1 blockchain. It was designed as an “infinite state” blockchain, meaning it can store a large amount of data on-chain and index it quickly, making it more efficient for social applications. Unlike some other social networks, DeSo uses gas for every transaction, but due to its design, transactions are nearly costless, making it ideal for experimenting with on-chain hyper-financialization. The most popular app on DeSo, Diamond, allows users to monetize their followings through creator coins that can be bought with DESO, DeSo’s native token. The DESO token has a fairly distributed supply, with the top owners holding no more than 3.12% of the total supply. The DeSo chain uses proof-of-work consensus and plans to shift to proof-of-stake in the near future. DeSo has a higher monthly active user count than its competitors, with over 50 apps being built on its platform.


Mastodon is a social network launched in 2016 as an alternative to Twitter. It uses the open source ActivityPub protocol and allows anyone to build third-party apps. The architecture of Mastodon is federated, where thousands of privately-operated and crowdfunded servers, known as “instances”, host data and choose to communicate with other instances or stay private. Users must choose an instance to join, resulting in a fragmented user experience. Unlike Farcaster, Mastodon user accounts can be censored or banned by the operators of any instance, rather than being hosted on an immutable smart contract on Ethereum. As of November 2022, Mastodon has 1.02 million monthly active users.

Authors: Chandan, Sourin

About BuildBear:

BuildBear is a platform for testing dApps at scale, for teams. It provides users with their own private testnet to test their smart contracts and dApps, which can be forked from any EVM chain. It also provides a Faucet, Explorer, and RPC for testing purposes.

BuildBear aims to be building an ecosystem of tools for testing dApps at scale for the teams.

If you appreciate what we are doing, please follow us on Twitter, and LinkedIn and Join the Telegram group if you haven’t done yet.

And please give us a clap 👏 if you like our work.

Let’s get started then, Shall we?