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Lens Protocol: An Overview and Analysis

Let's learn about Lens, its users, activity and engagement...

AnalysisDataApps
February 29, 2024
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Tristan TaoCEO, Co-founder
February 29, 2024

(You can find the DataApp this post references here)

What is Lens?

Lens Protocol is a cutting-edge social networking framework revolutionizing the way we think about digital interactions and content creation. Deployed on Polygon, it offers a decentralized platform where users retain full control over their content, connections, and data. Unlike traditional social networks, Lens Protocol empowers creators and users by ensuring interoperability, transparency, and user sovereignty. This approach allows anyone to build their own social clients on Lens.

Intro

The goal of the blog post isn’t to give you a definitive idea of “where is Lens going,” but instead to allow the readers to explore the data and arrive at their own conclusions. The reality is that they haven’t followed a hockey stick growth, but the communities remain quite active. We’ll cherry-pick a few things that we noticed, and let you do your own exploration :)

Lens Users

In total, we found ~146k user profiles as of the end of February 2024. Using the slider, I selected all periods up to the end of 2022 (realistically from May-Dec 2022). That showed roughly 107k total users added over that initial period. They’ve continued to trickle in users but no other periods saw as significant growth of users as following the initial launch in the middle of 2022.

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Interestingly, that trend doesn’t track when it comes to the rollercoaster in engagement.

Quick side note:

Lens announced that they were going permissionless just as we were authoring this blog post. We saw, in real-time, their profile count go up! This may be part of a migration but it’s worth watching! Here’s the specific page for that analysis.

Comments/Posts

Despite the bulk of user acquisition happening in 2022, the majority of engagement (post/comment/follow) occurs in early to mid-2023. This shows that the users who were acquired in the summer of 22’ remained active through Spring 2023. This is also corroborated by the active user chart which shows them peaking in Feb 2023, and again in May 2023.

Follows

The top 25 followers accounted for 1,391,586 of the total “followers” on the platform. Given that there are 14.3m total “follows” in the ecosystem, this feels like a healthy distribution. We plot the following distribution here (via some quick interactions) and can confirm a healthy distribution. We don’t include this in the shared DataApp as it didn’t fit in the designed view, but feel free to reach out to get a demo and learn more ;)

A quick plot of the distribution of the profile follows. Not currently included in the DataApp, but if you’re interested in the full power of the platform, reach out!

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Executors

One of the interesting design elements of Lens is Executors. These are the wallets that are initiating transactions against the protocol. The actual concept of “Transaction Executor” (and logging of such info) was introduced in V2. As far as we can tell, they’re leveraged as the account that pays the fee for the transaction; if you’re a client provider, you’d pay for your users’ on-chain fees so that they can have a seamless experience.

With that knowledge, we can look at which client is driving the most traffic. While you’re still able to execute your own transactions and posts (this is web3 after all), we found that out of almost 25k unique executors, only 11 of them had made more than 1k transactions total. We looked at some of the content and were able to deduce that 0x57b7bf6f792a6181ec5afb88ce7bce330a9d1b67 belongs to Phaver. With that assumption, we can see that they’ve driven the most traffic on Lens since V2 migration (despite only getting on the Transaction Executor in mid-Dec as opposed to an earlier date compared to others). Great work, Phaver!

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V1 → V2 Migration

Lens continues to undergo upgrades - they most recently migrated from V1 to V2 with some significant infrastructure changes. For this blog post, we won’t get into the details other than the caveat that we’ve removed all activity / migration-related events as part of the post.

Next Steps

We’ve also been busy indexing Farcaster data. They went through a recent bump in users and activities and it will be interesting to see how they compare.

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As a reminder, you can find the DataApp this post references, on Lens Protocol and its activity here. And also take a look at a DataApp that introduces you to how DataApps work and how to navigate them.