Today, we are unveiling the details of Lens Protocol V2, which bring us closer to our vision of an open and decentralized social layer for the web. When we began building Lens, we wanted to inspire a new generation of social use cases, experiences and collective value share models that benefit all social media stakeholders – builders, users, creators and brands.
We recognize that to create this type of positive, virtuous circle in which everyone benefits, Lens must be highly composable – a two-way street between any type of web application and Lens.
Over the past year, we collected valuable feedback from creators and builders to understand what decentralized social networks might look like in the future. Much of this went into this V2 update, resulting in greater composability, value share opportunities, increased configurability, added trust and safety standards and enhanced profile security.
These are early days in web3 social. We hope Lens Protocol V2 gives applications and integrators maximum flexibility to create whatever use case and consumer experience they envision.
Lens Protocol V1 was purposely built and launched without a user interface. We provided the tools and open design space for the developer community to build consumer apps of any kind. Our goal was to encourage creativity and participation in the Lens ecosystem. Since the launch of Lens in 2022, multiple social media applications have been built and launched on Lens, including Lenster, Orb, and Buttrfly – all developed by community members passionate about innovating new experiences and monetizing.
Countless tools have been built by the developer community to help the ecosystem grow – from algorithms that predict follower growth to discovery tools to find new friends, content and experiences.
With the recent launch of Momoka, the data scalability solution for decentralized content storage, Lens became more scalable for mass adoption. Momoka enables Lens to expand beyond the known limitations of blockchain, scaling content storage without compromising ownership, control and portability.
And most recently, we introduced Lens Improvement Proposals (LIPs), a path towards decentralized governance. We recognize that the future of Lens depends on the community’s insights, creativity, participation and collaboration.
We are excited to share and celebrate Lens Protocol V2 – the next chapter in the evolution of Lens. V2 brings even greater control to builders and integrators as well as people exploring web3-powered experiences.
The entire Lens V2 codebase was rewritten, refactored and optimized for readability, open source contributions and developer experience. The upgrade makes it easy to add web3 actions to any application – whether a web3-native experience or a consumer-facing experience. With Lens V2, every application can turn on web3 social features.
Lens V2 retains its characteristic open design space that gives developers and integrators the choice to use Lens Protocol however they want and the opportunity to collaborate in this shared social network.
Open Actions: Open Actions creates a more native user experience for Lens applications that want to execute external actions directly on Lens. With Open Actions, users and developers “bring-your-own-smart-contracts” to enable any external smart contract-action on a Lens publication - and this can even be extended to cross-chain actions with an oracle support (such as actions on Ethereum and L2s).
For example, through an OpenSea “mint” Open Actions, users could simply click ‘mint’ on a Lens post and it will mint an NFT via the OpenSea contract directly on Lens. Applications can integrate with a variety of third-party marketplaces and protocols to be executed as an open action within a post a user creates.
All beneficial actions can be rewarded or shared among the Lens collective value share chain, so that value can be shared among people, applications, algorithms or other services who add distribution, amplification, curation or other types of value. By plugging into any web3 social application and supporting two-way integrations, Lens Open Actions extends the composability and modularity of Lens itself. As a result, many types of innovative internet projects and monetization models can be developed where social networks collaborate, increase the total value of their audience and content and reward each other.
We created an Open Action that allows creators to mint an NFT collection drop directly on Lens as an example to demonstrate the benefits this feature enables for builders in web3, who can benefit from a shared network.
We encourage you to get creative by creating an Open Action that can be used across the whole Lens network within the applications and enabling visibility on your innovation. Open Actions can be proposed as a LIP and built together.
To inspire you, we list below just a few of the types of Open Actions that you can create. Imagine the possibilities….
Follow (directly on publication) 🤝
Mint external NFTs directly on Lens 💿
Buy and Sell ERC-20s or NFTs 💳
Join a DAO
Donate with Gitcoin 💰
Buy land from Sandbox or Decentraland 👾
Join Whitelist ✅
Pay-to-Play a Game 🕹️
Receive paid DM 💬
Supply liquidity to a DeFi Protocol 💵
A shared network with a well-designed monetization layer creates a boundless, self-perpetuating economy; participation is rewarded, provenance is respected and all participants benefit individually and collectively.
With Lens V2, we have increased value sharing opportunities between users, algorithms, curators and apps. Each can share revenue and reward synergistic actions. For example, someone can post on Orb; another user can comment and yet another can collect it – perhaps on another app such as Buttrfly, where an algorithm surfaced the content to a curator, who brings additional audience. In this situation, the original publisher may want to share revenue to reward users, applications and algorithms who contribute to each step of the value chain, thus reinforcing the value chain and strengthening ecosystem partners and their business models.
This new programmable monetization layer can be extended to reward any user or app that adds value to the action. It gives people the choice to implement monetization models that reward beneficial actions and altruistic behavior, which in turn, support collaboration between networks and sustainable ecosystem growth on a shared network.
ERC-6551 Powered profile as a wallet: Lens Protocol V2 reintroduces the power of composability by providing out-of-the-box support between profiles and the ERC-6551 token standard. With V2, value from ‘mints’ and ‘collects’ can be accrued to profiles instead of to their owner's address.
This functionality gives NFTs their own social relationships, voice and monetization opportunity. For example, CryptoKitty can own a Lens profile, follow other CryptoKitties and publish content, creating its own value chain. Similarly, with the virtual gaming world Sandbox, you could buy virtual land (a tokenized NFT) and that land could own a Lens profile and open a mailbox to communicate with other virtual land.
Profile as core identity for all actions. The ‘follow’ relationship changes in V2 from a relationship between a profile and a wallet, to a relationship between profiles. This change means that all the social actions occur between profiles. This improves developer experience on Lens actions by excluding wallet-based actions.
New ‘Follow’ architecture. With V2 Profiles, all ‘follow’ relationships are attached to a profile and not to the follower. If you move your profile from one address to another, your social network moves with your profile. NFT tokenization is optional now.
Open Namespaces. With Lens V2, profiles are treated differently than handles and people can transfer their handles without transferring their profiles which both are tokenized as NFTs.
Profiles can be minted without a handle, changed to another available handle or attached to multiple handles, which can be the canonical.lens namespace or any other namespace. In the future, open namespace will be accompanied by the Namespaces Modules to create community interaction features based on handles.
The new Profile Manager feature allows Lens profiles to delegate social actions to a different wallet. Profile Manager improves the security layer for Lens profiles, allowing users to store their profile directly on hardware wallets and use them with any other wallet. This feature also enables DAO or community profiles to be stored on a smart contract while being used from one or many other addresses. Social actions can be delegated to applications to improve the user experience on gasless and signless transactions. Users can also set an address that follows the Account Abstraction standard as a Profile Manager unlocking exciting new use-cases for profile management.
Some of the more security-related functions such as burning profiles and profile transfers that require asset management, are excluded from the Profile Manager to encompass an additional security layer. Profile Manager allows you to build different configuration presets, with rules for different use cases and switch between them. These rules can be adjusted through a LIP proposal.
Lens Protocol V2 introduces a native way to enable Quoted Publications. This feature will enable greater engagement and creates a simplified standard to implement these across the protocol.
On-chain blocking. Lens Protocol V2 allows Lens profiles to block actions on their profiles. On-chain profile blocking means that the blocked profile cannot follow a profile, comment, mirror, quote, collect or conduct any open action on your content. This feature helps users enforce Trust & Safety across Lens clients, where they would honor the on-chain blocking by default standard.
Improved profile security. LIP-4 introduced the Profile Guardian, which improved profile safety and minimized phishing profile takeovers. Profile Guardian requires a 7-day cooldown period to transfer a profile. Using the Profile Manager feature together with Profile Guardian, users can store their Lens profiles on a hardware wallet. This allows safe operation from an application-level wallet.
You can now dive into the Lens Protocol V2 Open Source Codebase in Github and contribute suggestions directly or through the V2 dedicated Lens Improvement Proposals.
A public Code4rena smart contract security contest will be hosted to invite the community to discover bugs and improvements within the protocol and share findings directly on Lens. To learn more about Lens Protocol V2 architecture head to the docs.
We encourage you to be among the early adopters to get a Lens profile by joining our waitlist. Once Lens V2 is on Mainnet, we will gradually onboard new profiles based on web3 and social media footprint. Current Lens profiles can migrate seamlessly to Lens V2 upon launch.
With Lens V2, our goal is to ensure that Lens supports a more social internet, where people retain ownership, control and portability wherever they choose to engage on the web. V2 is another step towards this goal, making Lens more composable and supporting individual and collective monetization.
We hope you choose to develop or integrate Lens and explore the new V2 features. We would love to hear your feedback and encourage you to contribute by reviewing the code, suggesting improvements or making direct code contributions into the new Lens Protocol V2 modules. You can also propose and build a new Open Action through LIPs.