What is Friend.Tech?

The viral crypto-based social app, explained

Good morning. A 2009 essay by Y Combinator founder Paul Graham has been circulating among creators like Tim Ferriss and Cleo Abram. It articulates the differences between so-called makers and managers—and suggests creatives should operate on a non-traditional schedule. Now over a decade later we wonder...does it still hold up?

P.S. Congrats to the winner of Colin and Samir’s first Discord Weekend Film Fest, Tonio Guajardo. Wanna join the next one? Check out the Discord here.

Viral Social App Friend.Tech, Explained

Cryptocurrency app Friend.Tech has made $1 million in transaction fees since Monday / Illustration by Moy Zhong

If you’ve been on X (formerly Twitter) this week, you’ve likely seen someone post about Friend.Tech, the decentralized social app catching the attention of crypto investors, NBA players, FaZe Clan, Nadeshot, OnlyFans creators, and more.

What it is: A social app with a crypto twist. Users can tokenize their likeness by selling “keys” of themselves to their followers, who then become shareholders and gain access to exclusive group chats. If followers decide to leave that group chat, they can sell their keys to other users.

Friend.Tech by the numbers, since its launch less than two weeks ago:

100,000+ → how many users have signed up, according to a leaked database

$25 million → how much the app has made in revenue by taking 5% of each transaction

$1+ million → how much the app has made in transaction fees over the last 48 hours

Zoom out: An enthusiastic start doesn’t always guarantee sustainable scalability. Take Threads or even BitClout, which had a similar goal of becoming a decentralized social network in 2021. A rocky launch and legal trouble kept it from entering into the mainstream.

TikTok News Roundup: The U.S. Demands Unprecedented Control

The latest TikTok news includes the U.S. government demanding increased surveillance of the app, the development of a TikTok-linked music app, and an increase in self-diagnosed dissociative identity disorder / Illustration by Moy Zhong

Even as questions about a potential TikTok ban in the U.S. linger, the platform continues to make news.

Some headlines we’re watching:

  • The U.S. government demands unprecedented control over TikTok. The platform and government regulators have allegedly been negotiating a deal for over four years to allow TikTok to continue operating in the U.S., Forbes reported on Monday. A draft agreement from 2022 would have allowed the government to examine TikTok facilities with minimal notice and block changes to the app’s U.S. terms of service, though given the radio silence on negotiations since March, it’s unclear what happened with that potential agreement.

  • TikTok Music executive details new Spotify and Apple Music competitor. TikTok’s new paid music streaming service, which is currently in beta in Brazil and Indonesia, plans to build a “full loop” that allows users to listen to their playlists in the TikTok Music app and then switch over to TikTok to create videos with that music as the soundtrack. “The young fans, they want to engage with the music beyond just listening full-length,” TikTok Head of Music Development Ole Obermann told Semafor.

  • Doctors face a rise in patients self-diagnosing dissociative identity disorder (DID). As DID creators open up about their experiences with the condition—producing videos that have attracted more than 5 billion views on TikTok—clinicians and advocates differ over whether the emergence of these online communities are a net benefit.

Sponsored by Spotter

The AI Tool Colin and Samir Trust to Brainstorm Better Ideas

Colin and Samir here. 👋🏻👋🏽 Earlier this year, we hosted an in-person workshop for top creators. What came out of that event is a tool that’s now one of our favorite brainstorming partners.

It’s called Title Exploder and it’s part of a suite of YouTube-specific generative AI tools by Spotter.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, type in an idea for a title.

  • Next, it’ll give you choices for workshopping your idea: reverb, rephrase, shorten, or explode.

When you click one of the options, the AI will generate variations of your title based on your channel and the best titles on YouTube. You can keep iterating until you find the best title.

Title Exploder is exclusively for Spotter-Funded Creators, but we’ve partnered with them to give 20 YouTubers access to the tool.

Spotter is on a mission to accelerate creators’ careers with capital, knowledge, and tools. They’ve paid out over $775 million to creators like MrBeast, Dude Perfect, Deestroying, Kinigra Deon, and 400 more.

Interested in testing out Title Exploder? If you’ve reached at least 1 million long-form views in the last month, apply here.

Kick’s Latest Signing: Soccer Journalist Fabrizio Romano

Sports journalist Fabrizio Romano signs an exclusive deal with streaming platform Kick / X

Journalist Fabrizio Romano, who is known to his over 40 million combined followers across platforms for breaking international soccer news, signed with Kick on Monday.

Romano brings over a decade of experience covering soccer for outlets like The Guardian and CBS Sports, and his first Kick stream on Tuesday involved answering viewers’ questions about the player transfer market.

Zoom out: Romano’s trademark “Here we go!” catchphrase has become synonymous with confirming when a player transfers to a new team—landing him endorsement deals that blur the line between journalist and influencer, The New York Times wrote in 2022.

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