Lens Protocol, now open to the public after a year of waitlist-only access, is a decentralized social graph on Ethereum. Since going permissionless, there has been a spike in the use of "Lens-native tokens" within the ecosystem. These tokens serve as tools for creators to engage with their audiences, incentivize them to do certain action and reward them for engaging in the Lens ecosystem. But what exactly are Lens-native tokens? How do they work and why do creators launch their own? Let's break down how they work and how you can create one.

WHAT IS LENS

Lens Protocol is a decentralized social graph built on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to own and control their content and social connections, offering a democratic and transparent alternative to traditional social media platforms. Launched in 2022 on a waitlist-only basis by the Aave team, Lens Protocol has attracted a dedicated user base from the Web 3-ready community.

A few weeks ago, Lens Protocol became permissionless, meaning that anyone can now create a Lens profile. The ecosystem is expanding, with various applications and tools being developed to enhance user experience and broaden the protocol's capabilities. Notably, there are many front-end applications for accessing Lens, such as Orb, Hey, Madfi, Kaira, and others.

As a decentralized protocol, Lens is fully on-chain. Profiles are NFTs that store their content, followers, and interactions. Each NFT is linked to a wallet address, allowing users to interact with each other and various applications built on the Lens Protocol.

Lens Protocol offers several benefits, including giving creators ownership of their content and connections, fostering a collaborative environment for developers, and promoting transparency through data and analytics. Unlike traditional social media platforms, all engagement data can be measured on Lens (follows, comments, posts, quote posts, shares, collects, etc.).

One major innovation of Lens is the concept of Open Actions, which are smart contracts embedded into a post. Open Actions allow for direct on-chain interaction between a user and almost anything directly from a Lens post. For example, a user could mint a Zora NFT directly from Hey.xyz (a Lens front end).

WHAT IS A LENS TOKEN

A Lens-native token (or Lens token), not to be confused with a hypothetical protocol token for Lens, is a token issued primarily for use within the Lens ecosystem. There have been several versions of such tokens, including $BONSAI, $POINTLESS, $FRIES by Jessy Fries, and $FISH by Carla Monni - the last two of which have been built using P00LS :).

With Lens going permissionless, we wanted to do something cool for the OG users, those active in the ecosystem. Since meme coins are popular right now, we launched $BONSAI with the idea of it becoming a sought-after currency for collections. And that's precisely what happened, with creators making art collectible with $BONSAI. The 'Premium' tab on hey.xyz showcases all this activity. What excites me the most is seeing how $BONSAI is used with open actions, like being able to swap or LP within the feed, or being rewarded with $BONSAI for your attention.
Carlos Beltran, summoner of $BONSAI

While it's still early days for the fully open Lens, there are already many interesting things you can do by creating your own token:

  • Reward your audience by distributing tokens to your followers, your super-followers, and those who like, share, and comment on your posts.
    • Use your token as currency for paid collects, making your posts collectible with your own token and splitting the token revenue however you wish.
      • Create token-gated posts only visible to your token holders.
        • Tip with your token and allow users to tip others by commenting on their posts.
          • Create a token holder club on Orb accessible only to your token holders.
            • Share revenue generated on Lens with your token holders based on their token balance.
              • And much more, as the Lens ecosystem continues to grow

                HOW TO BUILD A LENS TOKEN WITH P00LS

                With P00LS, creators can build their own Lens-native token in just a few minutes. P00LS enables you to mint a token on Polygon (the blockchain used by Lens), automatically distribute your token to your Lens community, and integrate it with theoretically any Lens app or front end.

                Here's a step-by-step guide on launching your own token on Lens using P00LS:

                Step 1: Connect here and mint your token on P00LS by selecting a name and symbol you like.

                Step 2: Activate Lens token rewards on the P00LS portal to distribute your tokens weekly to people who follow you on Lens and collect or mirror your posts.

                Step 3 (optional): Change the transferability of your token in the app. Tokens are by default minted as non-transferable, but you can whitelist certain addresses to receive and send tokens or make the token fully transferable.

                Step 4: Explore all Lens integrations via the P00LS app store:

                • MadFi: Create token-gated posts only visible to your token holders.
                  • Orb: Create a club on Orb where only your token holders can post.
                    • Hey or Kaira: Make your posts collectible in your token and split the token revenue with whoever you wish.
                      • Tips: Enable users to tip other Lens users with your token.

                        This is just the beginning—as the overall Lens ecosystem is now growing exponentially.

                        By building a token on Lens, you can leverage your social graph data, making it transparent, accessible to create a better experience for your audience, gather more insights and ultimately monetize your social graph.

                        Hugo from P00LS

                        Start building a Lens token now.

                        Learn more about $BONSAI