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Build UP! Hackathon Review: LOOKSO | Part 1
A decentralized social media platform for blockchain event
Poor user experience is the main barrier to Web3 adoption. Setting up wallets, interacting with dApps, and executing transactions are reminiscent of twenty-year-old technology. In the LUKSO community, we have talked at length about how LUKSO will deliver a better experience. But discussion and imagination only go so far – we want to see it! Well, look no further than LOOKSO, a Build UP Hackathon project that delivers night-and-day improvements to the Web3 experience.
"Technology should be beautiful, invisible, or both."
--Marjorie Hernandez, LUKSO co-founder
LOOKSO, a Hackathon social media feed project, is an excellent example of Web3 technology that hides the noise and beautifies the user's experience.
As described on their GitHub,
"LOOKSO is a decentralized social media platform combining user generated content with blockchain events. An incredibly rich feed displaying on-chain Universal Profile activity, such as contract interactions and profile updates, side by side with user posts, comments and likes."
LOOKSO feels like a block explorer combined with a social media platform – imagine Etherscan X Twitter. You can like and comment on blockchain activity and follow specific Universal Profiles, a novel concept that enables interaction and communication in real-time as blockchain events take place.
“LOOKSO is probably the Etherscan of the future for normal people. This will be the place where you can follow and watch what's happening in the decentralized UP world"
--Fabian Vogelsteller, LUKSO co-founder
User Interface and Experience
Before taking LOOKSO out for a test drive, I wanted an exciting transaction in my Universal Profile, like an NFT transfer. I contacted Vlad from Universal Page to help me out, as they have a collection of NFTs available on LUKSO's testnet for testing their platform. Within minutes he replied and sent me a link to the transaction, which took me to this page of … stuff.
Hmm … that doesn't look like an NFT to me! Where's the JPEG??
I logged into LOOKSO to see if I could find the transaction on my profile. The website loaded, I logged in with my Universal Profile, and boom — a new astronaut NFT from Vlad, right at the top of my feed. The confusing block explorer now replaced by a modern social media feed of on-chain activity.
Of course, I wanted to thank Vlad, and LOOKSO makes it easy and intuitive. You can comment directly on the event, just like on a social media post.
Next, I gave Vlad a public shout-out by reposting the transaction event, which will appear on the feed of anyone who follows him or me.
LOOKSO isn’t just for on-chain activity; it’s a full-fledged social media platform where you can create posts about anything. For anyone who has used Twitter, it’s a very familiar experience.
Under the hood
As we know, transactions on the blockchain aren't free, and social media platforms need to keep this in mind. All likes, comments, and posts must be verifiable, but storing that content on-chain would use excessive gas.
LOOKSO solves this by keeping data off-chain. Posts, likes, follows, and multimedia live on a decentralized storage platform called Arweave. Only a link to the data and a hash reference to verify the data's accuracy needs to be referenced on Universal Profiles (seen below).
But how can we trust an off-chain platform to keep our data safe? How does this hash value know our posts are authentic?
Cryptographic voodoo magic! 🪄
Hash algorithms compress any amount of data into fixed-length values like the one seen above. The value is unique to that specific data; no two sets of different data can generate the same hash. When you make a post, LOOKSO adds it to the social media history stored on Arweave. Arweave generates a link and a hash derived from your entire LOOKSO social history, not just the new data.
If any information (from any post ever made) is altered, the hash referenced changes and no longer matches the value stored on your Universal Profile. This is how the LUKSO blockchain can verify large amounts of information without storing that information on the chain itself.
The Bigger Picture
LOOKSO is a user-friendly tool for visualizing and interacting with on-chain activity, but it's the development behind the platform that has real consequences for the entire LUKSO ecosystem.
"Eventually, applications will be more like interfaces that you pick and choose while the data, the user accounts, and whatever is going on within this is protocolized."
--Fabian Vogelsteller, LUKSO co-founder
The LOOKSO team created a social media interoperability standard during development, which they will formally submit as a LUKSO improvement proposal (LIP). If adopted, this will create a level of interoperability that allows individuals to move their profiles, content, and follower base between different social media platforms. This developmental approach is truly in line with the ethos of Web3 — prioritizing interoperability, adding value for the user, and inspiring healthy competition. 👏
Head to LOOKSO’s website to try it out for yourself. You can also view LOOKSO’s hackathon video submission and related links below.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 of our LOOKSO review, where we will hear from CEO Carlos Caldas on some of the project's finer details and their team’s long-term vision.
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