[Web3 App Review] Interface.Social

When I first came across Interface last week, a mobile app available for iPhone and on the Google Play Store that lets users follow and track the onchain history created by other ETH addresses, I downloaded it in a second.

Installation & Onboarding

Setting it up took like an hour though. Being mobile-only presented some challenges linking my ETH address since they don’t make it easy to link a desktop MetaMask address. I ended up needing to use two different mobile devices so I could download, install and import my ETH wallet seed phrase on one mobile wallet on one phone to generate the QR code that I could scan to log in to the Interface app on the second phone.

Perhaps I’m a dunce though and missed a super obvious step, but I feel like the lack of a web app made the initial signup/login flow way too complicated.

But I digress.

After I saw that my wallet history met the criteria to join (new users need to have a minimum baseline onchain history based on things like setting up an ENS handle) I was legit stoked. I couldn’t wait to start following other crypto art collectors and builders, but then I got hit with a list of potential addresses to follow.

When I say list I mean the longest most undifferentiated list of literally every ENS name (with or without profile pics set - more on that later) and hexadecimal addresses ever created. It was overwhelming and not really helpful.

Sure, the addresses indicated the number of followers on Interface, but it could really benefit from some segmentation.

Grouping addresses & ENS handles based on actionable insights derived from their onchain histories (e.g. art collectors, NFT traders, shit coin traders, builders, etc…) would not only improve and expedite the onboarding process, but it would also condition users to better follow the types of folks they want to see living onchain histories of.

First Impression: Kinda Bad

Once I created my follow list I was taken to the main feed: a reverse chron view of the onchain activity of the folks I followed.

At first, I was disappointed by what I saw, mainly because of unclear labels. I saw that someone I followed bid on something somewhere. I tried to use Etherscan to dig a little more, but to no avail.

To be honest, Interface just felt like a less powerful version of Etherscan with a glossy coat of paint on it. At first.

Many labels still force me to piece two and two together. For example, when folks “receive” something that means they actually collected or bought something. You see a lot of folks who “did something” which usually means they bought something or interacted with some smart contract in some regard. Swapping something for WETH means selling into WETH bids.

Folks that have used crypto tax software are used to this sub-par labeling issue and can probably grok what the Interface labels mean reasonably quickly, but for everyone else, this will remain a non-trivial barrier to surmount if not addressed soon.

This probably reads like nitpicking - and it is - but better transaction labels will lead to better insights for users in addition to unlocking second-order actions like the ability to sort or customize one's feed using more accurate labels. You can’t do that on Twitter, or anywhere else really.

Current Impression: Good (Actually)

At this point, I feel like I’m kinda falling in love with Interface. To be clear: I’m not in love yet, but I can feel myself falling for it.

First of all, since Interface leverages a bunch of different onchain protocols and services, it’s an amazing tool to learn about what those protocols and services can actually do.

The best personal example for me is learning about some amazing updates to ENS that I totally missed.

After I joined Interface, I noted a grip of folks had profile pics set. When I went to try and set my own profile pic I was greeted with a helpful tool tip that let me know Interface simply pulls usernames and profile pics that users set to their ENS handles. Wtf! I had no idea I could add a profile pic to my ENS!

Way beyond those sorts of second-order effects, the alerts I get when folks I follow do something onchain keep me checking the app with decent - but not overwhelming - regularity.

Despite my complaints regarding the current quality and accuracy of many labels, I'm still able to glean insights into what folks are doing. Based on recent onchain history surfaced for me in Interface, PartyDAO seems to be winning, cheap/free claims are keeping folks active (including an intro to $WLD coin lmfao), and generative art continues to be a thing many folks love to collect.

The images that pop up in the feed really make the experience of scrolling through onchain history a joy tbh and are clickable in the best way. You can click the titles above every image to check top-level collection info and the specific NFT edition info below to dig into edition history.

Interface is more than the main onchain history feed though; and this is something I was not expecting at all.

At the bottom of the app you’ll see a document icon that pulls onchain writing originally published via the mirror protocol.

This is fucking brilliant. Almost deceptively so.

You’re served onchain articles in a native interface (note: not taken to mirror’s site) that folks you follow have either written or collected in addition to currently trending onchain posts.

The reason I wrote this review on mirror (my first mirror post ever btw) is a direct result of knowing that Interface will pull this post and serve it up natively in their app. This is the permission-less onchain pub-sub model I’ve been waiting for.

Thoughts on the Future

The onchain writing tab immediately made me wonder when they’ll add an onchain music tab.

Onchain music definitely has felt like the future for a minute (shoutout Cooopahtroopa and BlockchainBrett), but my main critique of onchain music today has been that it hasn’t made it easier to interact with the music. An onchain music tab in Interface that surfaces what folks I follow are buying or (much more ideally) listening to would be a 100x improvement for onchain music ui/ux.

But why stop at onchain music? What if there was a service that let folks create lite onchain entries that reflect the podcasts or offchain music they listen to on Spotify or other podcatcher apps that could be surfaced on Interface?

Pulling even harder on this hypothetical thread, I wonder if it would make sense for Interface users who linked additional social profiles to their ENS handle (e.g. Twitter and Discord) to have interactions from those accounts copy-minted onto some low-cost L2 or their server-level actions on discord (e.g. X-user joined or left or was active in a specific server) served up on Interface…

Anyways, big shout out to the Interface team and what they’ve built so far. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they continue to build out this extremely interesting and compelling example of a properly native web3 social app.

Cover Image: 👟:://:: httpxx :://:: 👟 by Max Osiris

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