The State Of Subsocial: Where Are We?
Every month we publish a review of developments from the previous month, but after getting a lot of questions at the Polkadot Decoded conference, we decided it would be good to give the community a big update on where we are right now, where we are going, cool ideas for improvements to our user experience, and some other exciting things.
This is part 1 of a 2 part update. Part two will focus on where we are going, but for now, let’s look at where we are. What is the team working on? What’s going on in the ecosystem that is affecting us?
TL;DR: We are currently transitioning from a 2-chain structure to just the parachain. Users can get energy (NRG) from a bot in our Discord to use Subsocial without tokens, and we have hackathon participants building more applications on Subsocial right now.
Right now, Subsocial is made up of a Kusama parachain and a standalone Substrate chain. The idea was that tokens would live on the parachain, and financial activities would take place there, due to the higher security level provided by the Kusama relay chain, while social networking activities would take place on the standalone chain, due to standalone chains performing better than parachains at the moment.
However, for the last few weeks, our developer team has been working on migrating all of our pallets and data to Subsocial’s parachain, as we prepare to transition to a single chain. Ultimately, we do not expect to need the standalone chain’s improved performance anytime between now and when parachains are upgraded to run as fast as standalone Substrate chains. That, combined with some front-end magic on our web app, has removed the reason to have two chains, and because operating two chains is more complicated than one, we have decided to consolidate Subsocial onto the parachain. This will also make the project easier to understand from a technical perspective, and allow us to better integrate with other parachain projects.
This migration has turned out to be more complicated than we thought. The development team is being very careful not to lose any on-chain data (such as users’ posts). We expect this to be finished soon.
If you’ve been using Subsocial, you may have noticed that you no longer have to use SUB tokens to pay for transaction fees. Right now, we are operating with an interim system until the full solution can be developed and deployed, which will be covered in part two.
Currently, you have to go to a channel in our Discord and use a bot to get NRG, which lets you use Subsocial to post, comment, follow, etc. The Discord bot is just a temporary solution (and a very bad one, we are aware) that allows anyone to use Subsocial while we work on what will become the actual NRG system.
The Subsocial team decided to join the North America hackathon by providing some challenges with prizes and sending our founder, Alex Siman, as a judge. You can read all about it here, and watch the replay of our mentorship session from June 21st hosted by Tushar Ojha, our Developer Experience specialist.
Multiple teams joined and have been building, and we’ve seen some pretty cool stuff so far, such as new user interfaces and an app that lets you enter the URL of a tweet and easily post the contents of that tweet on Subsocial. The final submissions are still under review.
Hopefully this update has provided some clarity for you, and given you a better picture of where Subsocial stands right now. Ultimately, building innovative blockchain projects is tricky business, and requires patience. When there is real value involved, it is better to be slow and steady, or you might end up like a certain centralized chain that keeps crashing. Part 2, about where we are going, will be out soon.
Subsocial is a social networking platform built to support the social networks of the future. These apps will feature built-in monetization methods and censorship resistance, where users will own their content and social graphs. Built with Substrate pallets, Subsocial is a one-of-a-kind in the Dotsama ecosystem, and designed specifically for social interactions. These interactions do not have to be specifically social networking, as Subsocial can support apps like YouTube, Shopify, or even Airbnb.
To learn more about Subsocial and the future of social networking, check out our links:
Content Lead & Community Manager at Subsocial, Content Lead at The Polkadot Experience & The Canary Network Experience, CBO at GM Parachain, Advisor at SkyLabsCorp & Chaos Collective, and PR at ChaosDAO