Friday, January 26th, now affectionately known as Frame Friday, took Farcaster by storm with the launch of a new social primitive: Frames. Since then, Farcaster DAUs have skyrocketed, hackathons around the world are being hosted, Girl Scout Cookies have been sold, and experimentation is at an all-time high.

Farcaster DAUs

Last weekend, Will (co-founder of Syndicate) launched On-Chain Cows, a blockchain native take on the Cow/Cookie Clickers games of a decade ago where the goal is simple: click to collect. On-Chain Cows makes every click a mint. Collecting a Cow NFT is as simple as clicking a button in a frame.

The result? Over 280,000 Cows minted in under a week, accounting for around 25% of all transactions made on Base Sepolia in that time frame.

Base Sepolia daily transactions
Can you tell which day On-Chain Cows launched?

Given the excitement, we think it’s important to put the Cows in context: Why Frames? Why now? And most importantly, if everyone is making Frames, why does it matter that the Cows are built on Syndicate’s APIs?

Let’s dive in…

Frame Frenzy

It’s important to note that Frame (as in Farcaster) and iFrame (as in the HTML element) are distinct ideas. Frames aren’t embedded webpages, and the Frame itself isn’t interactive. 

Frames are built using the Open Graph protocol powering social embeds across the web. Blockchains give the Open Graph superpowers. AGM from Spindl explained the idea well:

“What we have in Frames is a new Web 3 primitive that Web 2 could never really power: an easy way to run app X while a user is still inside app Y, with little coordination between X and Y. The interoperable identity and transaction record of the blockchain, along with the seamless handling of money and digital ownership, makes it possible to have a real and universal graph of user actions across consumer apps, something even Facebook at the height of its popularity couldn’t manage.”

Exciting stuff! Frames are already being used for job posts, Girl Scout Cookies, identifying Pokemon, merch, playing Doom, and more. While Frames are still in their infancy on Farcaster, it’s obvious to basically everyone how big the opportunity will be as their capabilities mature.

Building Fast, Building Big

As Packy McCormick noted in his recent essay, Frames came soon after Variant’s Li Jin argued that “Consumer products now resemble entertainment, with users regularly wanting to try out the latest thing and then quickly moving on.”

We’re seeing this play out first-hand on Farcaster. Frames are being built quickly, with built-in viral mechanics, only to disappear after a few hours or days to make way for the next ephemeral social experience.

Everyone wants to use a Frame. Nobody wants to miss out. But like any app, no matter how small or embedded, building scalable and reliable experiences quickly is really hard.

On the back of On-Chain Cows’ success, the Syndicate team quickly shipped our Syndicate Frame API, a service built on top of Syndicate’s Transaction Cloud. The Frames API handles everything you need to mint NFTs from Frames on Base:

  • Address lookup
  • Signature verification
  • Gas (sponsored by Syndicate and Base)
  • Follow, like, and recast gating

Because it’s built on our Transaction Cloud, you also won’t have to worry about activity spikes or re-orgs.

We think this is a massive unlock for developers and users alike. On one hand, developers can focus on building great experiences for their users. The barrier to entry to getting NFTs into your community’s hands or executing any transaction from a Frame becomes almost nonexistent, and devs can take advantage of the flexible abstraction that the Transaction Cloud provides. On the other hand, users can count on fast, reliable transactions no matter how successful your Frame is, building trust in your brand and opening the door to more interactions in the future.

Essentially, we’re removing the tradeoff – developers can Build Fast and Build Big. We believe this is necessary to unlock the future of onchain social experiences at mainstream scale and ease. 

Onchain Actions Without Onchain Friction

Over the last year and a half, Syndicate has been building for a future of abstracted wallets and app-generated transactions, where onchain actions are executed at scale and users are able to reap the interoperability benefits of a blockchain without dealing with lots of clicks, signatures, and security risks.

The outcome of building with this thesis in mind is the Syndicate Transaction Cloud

It allows developers to send any transaction on any EVM-compatible chain without having to manage private keys, host your own secure signing infrastructure, or worry about technical nuances like nonce conflicts. We ensure that any valid transaction will end up in a block regardless of reorgs, dropped transactions, or gas spikes all while supporting throughput of 5K+ transaction requests per second.

Farcaster Frames have clearly accelerated the path to this future. Once users have experienced the magic of one-click instant mints and socially embedded onchain experiences, there is no going back. 

As of yesterday, Syndicate Frame API now also supports any function call you'd like: 721s, 1155s, ERC-20s, and all other smart contract interactions are fully supported.

If you’re building with this future in mind, check out the Syndicate Frame API, fork our Frame Starter, and DM Will or Sam for an API key. Let’s build the new wave of web3 social together.