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Niche is a new Web3 social network created by these Facebook and Tinder veterans - TechThop

Niche is a new Web3 social network created by these Facebook and Tinder veterans

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There are no longer as many huge, advertising-based, general-purpose social networks as there used to be, as Facebook's recent "growth" numbers would suggest. Short-form videos appeal to many consumers more than sharing memes and clicking "like" buttons. A new restriction on tracking users has made targeting ads on social networks harder for mass-market brands.

Niche is a new social network that caters to communities formed around specific hobbies and interests, such as creator businesses. Niche CEO Christopher Gulczynski, a co-founder who invented Tinder's "swipe" feature when he worked at Tinder, is credited with inventing the social network's first wave: connecting everyone en masse -- your high school friends, your family members. Currently, however, social networking is getting smaller, more intimate around the relational status of everyone in the group."

Niche develops, it will host groups based on a wide variety of topics, including music artists and business events. Zaven Nahapetyan, Niche's CTO and former Facebook senior engineering manager, points out that Niche won't make money by showing ads to people in its groups. Niche makes money by helping creators make money, or by helping users find valuable creator content.

We need to build an app where revenue comes from the value that people create, whether it's digital content an artist or musician sells or value from communities," Nahapetyan says. People may organize events or plan things through different types of professional networks or fan clubs.

Niche's founders are building their social platform on the blockchain since creating and exchanging things of value is central to what they do. Creating communities on the blockchain as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) allows members to own, control, and monetize their content.NEAR is a layer one blockchain technology that allows Niche to issue ownership tokens to members of a community. In addition, creators, such as artists, writers, or musicians, can issue NFTs representing their work, which group members can buy and resell. A niche can take a small percentage of sales from financial tokens created and exchanged on the platform because a DAO is a smart contract.

However, Nahapetyan explains that much of the blockchain stuff will be handled in the background, and community members won't need to be Web3 experts to use it. In a way that people don't realize it's a DAO, we make it very easy to spin up a DAO and add new people. In Niche, you receive a token representing your ownership of a fraction of a club. Nahapetyan explains that the sign-up process is simply a text link that one clicks to get to the app. There is no cost for the token, and the app creates a free wallet in the background to store it. It is Nahapetyan and Gulczynski's belief that groups will become more valuable as they add more members and content.

As these groups get more popular or more in demand, their value rises, especially if there's a fixed supply," Nahapetyan says. The people who got in early can then sell their tokens on the open market for a higher price if the 200-person rock climbing group becomes popular. It's not the first social network to organize communities around creator content.

One such network is Mighty Networks. Nevertheless, Niche is unique in its use of the blockchain to underpin its economy. The success of Niche will depend on whether creators gravitate to the platform. To market their content, many creators use specialized platforms such as Substack and Patreon. Gulczynski points out that creators also use general-purpose networks like YouTube and Instagram, which weren't originally designed to meet the needs of creators.

The niche could gain traction if it enables creators to connect with paying consumers. Users' interests are tracked by the app, not for advertising, but to suggest content and creators to them. Gulczynski explains that the idea is to codify an interest graph and then match people with that graph intelligently.

On the back end, we can tell content creators, "Well, we have X groups with X more people looking for content creators."The company, which now has 10 employees in Los Angeles and New York City, recently raised $1.8 million from MetaWeb along with Alumni Ventures Group. NEAR Foundation, its blockchain partner, also gave it a grant.

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