This edition is sponsored by Purple, a DAO whose goal is to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem. Interested in sponsoring a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Farcaster News and Links
Warpcast broke ground this week with its new "Mint" feature for NFT collections. @dwr, a.ka. Farcaster cofounder Dan Romero, announced the feature on Tuesday. "As an NFT creator, past your Zora or Highlight URL and the NFT embed will automatically link to the mint web page," said Romero. The feature works by extending Open Graph tags with a new "eth:nft:<property>" convention that lets webpages offer hints on how to interact with them onchain. Romero said that he will be publishing a doc to make implementation easier for other developers. The "Mint" button is only a visual indicator; the actual contract interactions still take place on the mint web page. In a separate thread, @v, a.k.a. Farcaster cofounder Varun Srinivasan, said that the team was also working on some improvements which may extend this convention to voting on a DAO proposal.
Alphacaster.xyz, the DAO-aware Farcaster client, updated its bot, @alphabot, to cast any proposal votes as replies to the original proposal cast. "Keeping all votes in one place is really nice," noted @ccarella on the bird site. Also this week, Alphacaster received a 9 ETH retroactive grant from BuilderDAO in a proposal that saw 34 'For' votes and 8 'Against' votes. "Alphacaster is a useful tool built for the ecosystem," said @jacob. "Projects like this increase client diversity which is crucial for a healthy protocol over time. Excited for continued development and further exploration of how deeply integrated Farcaster and Nouns Builder can become over time." (HT @ccarella)
@pugson is working on "a Farcaster client with a fundamentally different experience" and launched a 0.212 ETH mint which will give NFT holders priority access to the beta, as well as underwriting development. You can mint Farcaster Vision here.
Merkle Manufactory's Warpcast clients now feature badges for Purple holders on profile pages. "More to come in this area," teased Romero.
Srinivasan shared his usual weekly update from the Merkle team's Warpcast Changelog. Shipped this week: mint button in NFT display (mentioned above), Purple DAO member badge (also mentioned above), suggested users in the web sidebar, and a bug fix for incorrect counts, prices, and volumes on NFT collection pages. Also launched this week on the Warpcast web client: user bio previews when hovering over an avatar and an unread notification dot in the favicon.
Hashcast.xyz, a hashtag explorer for Farcaster, now has a popular tags module. "Next, I'd love to make the tagging a little smarter," said creator @pal. "Right now it naively indexes words that have been tagged before."
Jam now supports casting two photos at once. @betashop, a.k.a Jam founder Jason Goldberg, announced the iOS and Android client update on Thursday. Goldberg explained via longcast that both photos will be submitted to hubs, so other clients can render them (however, if you are using a longcast, then only the first photo will be submitted, as the other of the two available embed slots would be taken up by the longcast itself). The release includes some other features, including notification anchors (so you are taken to the specific comment on a thread), URL previews while drafting a cast, and the ability to zoom in on photos via the Jam client.
Follows or Amps? That's the question being explored right now via a Farcaster Improvement Proposal on "decentralizing the social graph." Srinivasan said that the team is "looking for feedback from devs to decide between the options." Srinivasan outlined two possible solutions in a comment on the FIP. Follows are very familiar conceptually to social media users, but present some unique technical challenges on Farcaster's decentralized architecture. Amps – described as being like "a recast of a user" – has a bigger conceptual hurdle for mass adoption, but works better on the decentralized architecture. "If you're building a Farcaster app or are considering building one, please consider weighing in on whether you would like see us pursue follows (well-trodden) vs. amps (much riskier, but potential upside)," said Romero. The full discussion is worth a read by anyone building on the Farcaster protocol.
The meta-proposal on how to write Farcaster Improvement Proposals has been finalized. FIPs will move through a four-stage process: Idea → Draft → Review → Finalized or Rejected. You can read the full process description on Github. (HT @v)
The biweekly Farcaster dev call was held on Thursday, April 27. Here's the agenda and you can also watch a recording here. Srinivasan said permission hubs and permissionless signups remain the two biggest priorities for the team right now. The conversation touched a number of topics, so it's well worth a listen for builders (or even better – join in realtime) but a focus was on hearing any concerns or questions from those building on the protocol. "Our ideal situation is that there's no sort of like 'special data' that Warpcast is providing that applications need in ordered to be successful," said Srinivasan, segueing into a conversation with builders including @betashop and @df about any complications they've run into so far building out Jam and Discove, respectively. The conversation follows an exchange that occurred last weekend around how the Farcaster core team can better support ecosystem development. The next dev call will be held on Thursday, May 11.
Farcaster has a new docs site live at Farcaster.xyz. "Lack of clear documentation was the biggest pain point for devs in last week's survey," said Srinivasan. "This site is a step in right direction, but we'd love your feedback on how we can make it ever better." This week Srinivasan also shared an internal doc with a more comprehensive plan for improving Farcaster's developer experience. Srinivasan said the docs site was inspired by @jxom and @awkweb's viem docs, and that the site has also been open sourced.
Srinivasan is gathering feedback from devs on whether they'd use a "Hub Indexers" utility, which would make it easy to sync Hubs data to a postgres table. "Would you use it?," asked Srinivasan. "If so, please comment in the Github issue with your use case."
Srinivasan shared a post about account thinking, which he said might be "a prerequisite to unlocking social apps on Ethereum." Srinivasan said that a version of this has been implemented in Farcaster, but "maybe it should be a standard."
Ideas worth sharing
If you're reading this, it's too late. Romero shared a final PSA for any dormant casters to dust off their accounts prior to Thursday's final migration to Hubs. "If you know someone who has a Farcaster account but hasn't been active recently, ping them to make sure they're on the latest version of Warpcast and logged in," said Romero. "Otherwise, they're going to have their data purged as we finish the migration to Hubs." Romero said messaging had been going out for a few weeks prior to the migration.
Romero shared a self-assessment this week on the Farcaster protocol's strengths, weaknesses, and current fixes. "Getting to 100% permissionless Hubs, mainnet and 100% permissionless sign ups is our priority," said Romero. "Allows for different growth strategies."
@matthew has started a crowdfunding effort on Fabric to underwrite Farcaster community meetups. @matthew said that once the 5 ETH goal has been hit, any caster who organizes a meetup of at least five people will be able to apply for a grant to cover costs ($20/caster), up to $500 total (25 people). The funds will be managed through a multisig controlled by @matthew, @j4ck, and @cryptpal. Contribute or learn more here.
@df, a.k.a. Discove founder David Furlong, wrote a post on whether apps built on permissionless social protocols can have lasting moats. Furlong identified a few strategies, including incentivizing app usage through additional distribution, post boosting rings, hiding/nerfing mentions of the competition, and proprietary targeting or preference data. Read the full post here.
Srinivasan and Romero hosted their latest Clubhouse room on Thursday evening. As usual, the conversation was a mix of protocol, product, and strategy discussions. "If there's one thing we're working on right now that a year from now that we say, 'Wow that really started to make Farcaster feel different from Twitter,' outside of the people on Farcaster the protocol, I think embeds are going to be a good first step," said Romero. Meetups also got a shoutout in the conversation, including a nod to @matthew's meetup crowdfunding effort (mentioned above). "The more meetups we have on the protocol, the stronger the bonds are on the protocol," said Romero, adding that meetups will help the culture scale. You can listen to the full recording here.
Farcaster By the Numbers
Powered by Farcaster.network. Change calculations based on last week.
Weekly Active Casters: 1,600 (-25 compared to 4-wk avg.)
Monthly Active Casters: 3,300 (+100 compared to 4-wk avg.)
Total Casts: 627,000 (+16,000 week over week)
Total Users: 12,000 (no change week over week)
Average Casts per Day: 2,634 (+81 compared to 4-wk avg.)
New Users per Week: 205 (-69 compared to 4-wk avg.)
Sponsored by Purple
Purple is a DAO whose goal is to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem. The DAO operates on Nouns.Build, Discord, and Charmverse.
This Week in Purple (Two Open Proposals)
Voting open PRPL 25 Sponsor the Forefront Newsletter would see 1 ETH spent to promote Farcaster and Purple on the Forefront Newsletter for the month of May. Voting ends later today. The Forefront Newsletter has ~10,000 active subscribers and an email open rate of ~45%.
Voting open PRPL 26 Bot Developer Prop House would see 5 ETH used for a Prop House round to incentive developers of existing Twitter bots to migrate them to Farcaster. The requirements would be that the developer is currently operating a Twitter bot, and according to the proposal, preference should be given to bots that provide useful, amusing, or engaging content. Voting ends tomorrow.
Purple Prop House winners @greg, @les, @dylsteck, @tadas, and @cameron joined host @toadyhawk for a Twitter Spaces conversation this week. You can listen to the recording here.
@billzh, a.k.a. Bill Zheng, prompted a discussion about whether Purple should shut down its Discord and move convos to Farcaster, as well as Charmverse. "Half of us hate Discord, the other half hate telegram. So why don't we just do FC," asked Zheng. No decisions have been made at this time, and the question remains under active debate.
Get to Know Purple
This week, meet Purple DAO member @j4ck.
TWIF: Why did you want to join Purple?
I spend a lot of time on Farcaster, and I co-sponsored the NFT NYC event through my company, Icebreaker. I'm really invested in the community and enjoy meeting folks I'd likely not meet through any other platform. I remember when the DAO launched and I just didn't get my act together to win a token auction, and after the NFT NYC event I decided it was finally time. I'm looking forward to contributing toward IRL events and merch.
TWIF: What excites you most about Farcaster?
I love that it's sufficiently decentralized, full of builders, and the manual slow growth keeping the vibes intact. I hope I'm using farcaster for the next 10-20 years. Of course I also love NFTs and am excited to see more clients develop in that space on top of Farcaster.
TWiF: Can you give us a few recommended follows on Farcaster?
Shoutout to @matthew @tayyab @ted for their help with getting my wife a birthday cake at the NFT NYC meetup, that was really special. There are really too many to list here. But top of mind: @cassie @df @greg @briang @cameron @tldr are a few!!!
Upcoming Dates of Note
June 10-11 - Boston, MA
Have an event we should add to a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Staff+ Distributed Systems Engineer (Merkle Manufactory)
Merkle Manufactory cofounder Dan Romero said that he's looking for a staff+ distributed systems engineer to work on Farcaster Hubs. Send Romero a direct message or direct cast with your GitHub or LinkedIn if interested.
Senior Engineers (Discove)
According to founder David Furlong, the ideal hire "already uses Farcaster, believes in it & wants to see it succeed 💜." The stack includes React Native, Next.js, and TypeScript. For more information, DM Furlong at davidfurlong.telegram for more info.
Have a job listing we should add to a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Casts of the Week
This newsletter is published with Paragraph.xyz. The format of this newsletter was inspired by Week in Ethereum News. With questions, comments, or other feedback, please send a reply to this email, or access the "farcaster-weekly" channel in Purple's Discord.
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