Friend.tech, the decentralized social media platform that went viral after its launch, is now facing the heat from critics, who argue that its latest move to punish users for using competitor apps goes against the ethos of decentralization.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the Friend.tech team said that users moving to forks or copies of its platform would automatically opt out of earnings points and forfeit existing ones.
We expect @friendtech clones and other types of copies will emerge.
To make sure loyal users are rewarded fairly during our beta, users moving to forks and copies will automatically opt out of earning Points and forfeit existing points. They will be able to use the app normally pic.twitter.com/C1rTEQQr17
— friend.tech (@friendtech) August 28, 2023
While the Friend.tech team claims that the decision was centred around fairly rewarding its loyal users, market participants took aim at the platform’s attempt at gatekeeping users from other platforms.
“You have first mover advantage. Just build the best product and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Threatening / penalizing users for trialing other platforms is completely against everything this industry stands for,” wrote X user “@CryptoKaleo.”
"we can turn off your earning power at our discretion"
— Jeff Kirdeikis (@JeffKirdeikis) August 28, 2023
Friend.tech has been airdropping reward points to its beta users every Friday, with a total distribution of 100 million points to be sent over 6 months. The platform is yet to disclose what accumulating these points will entail, but has hinted that they will have “a special purpose once the beta period ends.”
The platform also seems to have lost traction just as quickly as it gained users early on, with the number of transactions having declined by more than 90% since its Aug. 21 peak of 525,000 transactions.
August 2023-August 2023💀 pic.twitter.com/Fb0bh23Fyo
— Beanie (@beaniemaxi) August 26, 2023
Data from Dune shows that daily inflows are down to $1.6 million, a far cry from its peak of over $16 million earlier this month. The number of active buyers and sellers is also down from over 1000 to under 300 at the time of writing.