January 5, 2023

Lens Protocol Activity & Growth: What Does the On-Chain Data Tell Us?

GM DOers,

This is the launch of our flagship product: Web3 Academy PRO 🚀

The days of quarterly earnings reports for public companies are soon over.

In a few years, we will laugh at the fact that we had an “earnings season” where we waited to jump on a conference call each quarter and hear self-reported numbers about our investments in these public companies. 🤷

Though, it’s not just about investing.

For example: Think about how many creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses rely on social media platforms like Meta (Facebook & Instagram), Google (Search, YouTube), and Twitter.

Imagine building a business on top of a platform without any insight into its performance. No way of knowing if their user base is growing, if they’re generating revenue, or what they plan to do in the future.

Twitter has been a perfect example of this recently. It’s madness! 🤯

But this is vital information when deciding where to unpack, declare a home base and start building.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for our internet to become more open and transparent.

Blockchains allow us to do just that—this is precisely what we are demonstrating with Web3 Academy PRO, our new on-chain analysis newsletter that combines on-chain data with industry insights to understand which web3 business models and technologies are winning.

We’re taking the concepts we talk about in Web3 Academy and uncovering what the data says. We no longer need to trust, we can simply verify. ✅

In this first edition of Web3 Academy PRO, we’ll show you exactly what we wish we could see for Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

Instead, we’ll do it for Lens Protocol, a web3-native protocol that we believe may become the future of social media.

In this report, we dive into the activity and growth of Lens Protocol while sharing charts and data which come directly from the blockchain.

Our aim? To show you what’s possible with a permissionless blockchain and on-chain analytics.

Before we get into the numbers, I’ll share a quick reminder of what Lens Protocol is… in case you’re new here or haven’t been paying attention. 😉

But first… A quick heads up 👇


These PRO reports will be behind a paywall by the end of the month, but we wanted to share what we’ve been working on and what’s possible in web3 first.👉 Because you’re an early reader, you can get lifetime access to Web3 Academy PRO for 50% off right now! But don’t wait, because this offer is only available to the first 100 DOers that sign up. For context, there are 5,000+ DOers reading this right now—29 of them have already gone PRO before this first issue was even released. 🤯

Safe to say that those 100 spots won’t last long, so hurry! 🏃‍♂️💨

P.S: Substack may require your email before letting you upgrade your subscription!

Okay… Let’s dive into the long-awaited report. 👇

What is Lens Protocol?

Lens Protocol is a composable, decentralized social graph that any application can plug into.

Rather than building your social reputation individually in each application like in web2, Lens allows you to do this across any application. 

Imagine if your followers, reviews, ratings, subscribers, purchases, and connections could be combined and used across various applications like Instagram, Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, Amazon, Starbucks, Slack, and more. 

That’s what Lens Protocol is enabling for the internet by leveraging blockchain technology via Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). 🚀

Your content, followers, profile, and data are all in the form of NFTs, allowing you to own your social graph and take it with you across many applications.

At Web3 Academy, we believe the implications of this technology are profound yet still not completely understood.

Lens Protocol is still very new, launching only recently in March 2022. However, we believe it has the potential to disrupt the social media industry. Now, let’s take a look at the growth and user activity on Lens and see if it’s heading in the right direction.

User Activity and Growth

First, a quick thanks to Web3 Academy DAO’s @iamyakuza.eth for building one of the most comprehensive Lens Protocol Dashboards on Dune for this report. From it, we can see some very interesting numbers regarding the retention and activity of users across Lens Protocol.

It’s important to note that Lens Protocol is not yet open to the public as it’s still in an invite-only beta phase. Most of the users were whitelisted or invited via partnerships with other communities across web3.

This means that currently, the users of Lens are very much web3 natives. From this report, however, we can take a look at the early trends and set a baseline on the numbers before Lens opens to the public.

At that point, we’ll create follow-up reports to this one and compare Lens’ progress.

OK, let's check out the numbers. We’ll start with just some basic ‘total’ numbers to get some context of the size of the Lens ecosystem.

Since their launch in March 2022, there have been 107,838 Lens profiles minted (similar to accounts created on Twitter or Facebook).

Of those Lens profiles minted, 96,250 are in single-profile wallets, meaning each wallet only owns one Lens profile handle. This gives us a better indication of how many of the profiles are unique people, but it’s not perfect as anyone can have more than one wallet (though not as easy when a whitelist is required).

What we want to understand however is how many of these profiles are actually active. We can see from the data that roughly 54% (58,232) of Lens profiles have posted at least one time.

This accounts for more than 942,000 posts in the entire ecosystem.

…and over 337,000 comments.

Cool right? Try doing that for Facebook… 😂

This is nothing yet. What we really want to understand are the trends over time. That’s the true power of on-chain analysis.

If we look at the chart below we see the monthly breakdown of active lens profiles. Meaning, those who make at least one post, comment, or mirror (like a retweet) within each month.

What’s interesting however is the large spike in monthly active profiles in Q4 of 2022. Especially when we consider the chart below which shows that in Q4 there were significantly fewer new profiles minted than in the previous quarters.(FYI: Lens minted fewer profiles by design as they wanted to focus on engaging the existing profiles rather than bringing in new ones)

Despite fewer new user profiles minted, user activity was still increasing across the ecosystem (except for a minor drop in December). Could this be a sign that engagement on Lens may be beginning to heat up? 🔥

Only time will tell.

We can take this a step further though…

Let’s dive deeper into the Lens ecosystem and explore activity from the application layer rather than from the entire protocol.

Lenster is the most popular social media app built on Lens, with a look and feel similar to Facebook. The difference is that it was built using the Lens Social Graph, and thus all posts and mirrors are minted as NFTs.

This means that we can access the activity data!

Posts and mirrors on Lenster have more than doubled since October. Interestingly, Lenster even saw growth in activity through December, even though the ecosystem as a whole saw a small dip.

Useful information for a brand or creator deciding which applications they should spend their time creating content for, isn’t it? 👀

We can even pull the data to show on a daily basis in case we wanted to get really granular and look for specific trends happening around events or certain days of the month or week.

Again… think about how beneficial this would be for a social media manager scheduling their brand’s content.

When everything is on the blockchain (which it will be in the future), the data and insights we can glean from it become endless! In saying that, there isn’t a ton of relevant data or trends to be found across the Lens ecosystem yet, as it’s still less than one year old. But I’m going to show you a few more dashboards and charts so you can see what else is possible here.

For example, on-chain analysis makes it as easy as ever to find who are the most active accounts across the ecosystem or on a specific app.

We can also look at who are the most followed users across the ecosystem. Then we can even take it a step further and see what communities or DAOs these accounts are part of or what events they attend by analyzing the account’s walletsThink about how valuable this information is if you wanted to uncover the above information for all of your existing followers on Twitter.

That’s what’s possible in Web3. 💪

Want to understand who is earning the most on a specific platform? Or what type of content generates the most revenue? We can look at that too.

On Lens, posts can be “collected” for a fee, posts can be paywalled for a fee, and even follows can be paywalled! All of this occurs on-chain and can be seen. Though that analysis is out of the scope of today’s report.Hint: Music NFTs are doing the best across the Lens ecosystem currently. And yes, we have a Web3 Academy PRO report on music NFTs coming out soon too. 👀

Last but not least, we can even look at the on-chain revenues and expenses for the applications built on Lens, or even of Lens Protocol itself!

Below you can see the gas fees Lenster paid to the Polygon blockchain to facilitate all transactions within its app in 2022.

Lenster doesn’t have a revenue source yet, but if they decided to take a cut from any collects or follows which occur on their platform, we could track that too. 📈

We’re Only Scratching the Surface of On-Chain Analysis

My hope is that this report opened your eyes to what is possible with on-chain analysis.

This initial report has only exposed the tip of the iceberg on what is possible here and as more of what we do occurs on the blockchain, this data is going to become ever more important. 💎

That’s why we created Web3 Academy PRO, your guide and resource for understanding the trends of web3—no guesswork necessary.

As the biggest brands in the world continue to build on blockchains, Web3 Academy PRO will give you the on-chain details to understand what’s working and what isn’t.

As new blockchains, layer 2s, and other tech launches across web3, these PRO reports will share the insights you need to understand where to build (or even where to invest).

Remember, you can get lifetime access to Web3 Academy PRO today for 50% OFF. This is available only to the first 100 people who sign up. And we can tell you that these spots are evaporating as we speak… 😬

Web3 Academy PRO members get access to weekly on-chain reports, a discord channel to speak with Kyle and the Web3 Academy PRO team directly as well as live monthly Q&A sessions with the PRO team.

If you’re here to stay in web3, then PRO is going to be a resource you do NOT want to be without.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to having all of you along for this journey as a PRO member.By the way, as a PRO member, you can comment on the post below to share feedback, ask questions, or ask the PRO team to do an on-chain analysis on your favorite business or web3 project.See you in the next one, frens! ✌️


Kyle Reidhead

Founder of Web3 Academy and Impact3

Find him: Twitter