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Session Lab Update: A Deep Breath In 🧘

Preparing for the most significant year in our history
10 January 2024Admin

Everybody wants to get that bread... but dough must rest before it can rise. This month’s update is inclusive of our end of year break period, where the team has a chance to rest up before we sprint into 2024 — but there is still plenty of juice in this update. 

We are beyond excited for what the project and the community can achieve together in 2024. This year, Session Token will be launched, connecting the crypto behind one of web3’s biggest apps with…well, web3. We have already built a strong reputation for the project, but in 2024, Session will become a household name in the crypto tech industry.

Operation: SENT Site

Last month, we teased a quick whiteboard sketch of the Session Token website, with an emphasis on the underlying conversion funnel that guided its design. We also shared a glimpse of the landing page to let you guys in on the design language we’re using and provide a taste of the branding we’re building for Session Token.  The copy and visual design of the landing page and some hero pages have now been fully fleshed out in Figma. We can’t share all of it with you yet — that would ruin the surprise, after all. 😉

Having said that, I’m not going to leave you with nothing to see, either. 😘 

website teaser

With a very different look and feel to other messaging apps, visual design has been a leg up for building the Session brand. Now we are looking to build on the compelling brand of Session with Session Token, taking some elements you’ll be familiar with while making sure that Session Token has its own look and feel . We are very happy with the progress that has been made in this department over the last few weeks, and the site will obviously be a major pillar in the Session Token brand building.

With the design phase of the site near completion, we will get the ball rolling on development early in 2024.

Community Dialogue

The core team has been dedicated to this project for over five years, during which we have never shied away from hard questions and tough conversations with the community. While not everyone will agree with every decision we make, we will always take the time to actively discuss these decisions via a variety of different forums (be they AMAs, written and video content, or direct dialogue in our community channels). December was no different.

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Last month we did two AMAs, released three blogs, a video with Chris, and spent many hours engaging with discussions in our community channels. This was all to inform and respond to the community regarding the transition to Session Token — it was flat out, but we were fuelled by raw excitement for the future of Session Token and an eagerness to share information as soon as it was ready.

Token Distribution 

Many in our community had questions regarding the specifics of token distribution at Session Token genesis and beyond. In case you’re not familiar with the terminology, ‘genesis’ refers to the moment when Session Tokens are generated. We have now shared a detailed article showing how tokens will be distributed, what conditions apply to these tokens, and how this impacts the tokens in circulation at different times. 

At TGE (Token Generation Event): 92.5% of the circulating supply will be held either by the existing Oxen community or in the Ecosystem and Community Fund. The remaining 7.5% will be held in the Project Treasury. 

There are a variety of different lock-up conditions which govern the way that the remaining tokens unlock during the following three years. If you’re interested in finding out more, check out the full article here.

Token Utility

We know it will only be a matter of time before the main question is wen token. For now, we are focussed on a more important question: why token. We have comprehensively explored the answer to this question since ORC 8, but since it’s such an important one, we will continue to do so for the coming weeks and months. The most recent chapter in this story is our Session Token utility article, which outlines how Session Token will be utilised to our ecosystem.

This is an important article that lays out some of the first principles of Session Token — so it is recommended reading if you are interested in the project or token.

Disappearing Messages: Peek-A-Boo, I Don’t See You

Last month we mentioned that we had to make the call to make some changes to our new disappearing messages implementation. Our major upgrade to disappearing messages just missed out on an end-of-year release, so hopefully Santa brought you some other Christmas presents. However, much of this work was completed in December, with disappearing messages entering QA and internal testing in January.

Disappearing messages has been the source of a lot of feedback from the community over the last year or so, and it is very important for both high-risk and day-to-day use cases, so we are eager to get this upgrade out the door.

We’re planning some more in-depth content about the journey to disappearing messages as well, so keep an eye out for that in the next month. 

Chunk 2: Group Boogaloo

The Groups rebuild is coming along nicely, with all platforms completing or near-completing chunk 2 of the project. Chunk 2 included invites and user management (like adding and removing members), and was similar in complexity to chunk 1. The third and final chunk (or…chunk 3) is next in line — paving the road to the Groups rollout. 

Q4 Marketing Review, Q1 Planning

What our audience and even our own community sees is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to driving brand awareness and converting awareness into interactions with our ecosystem. Behind the scenes, there is a constant process of strategising, reviewing performance, and using that information to re-iteratively improve our strategy. 

The review process involves trawling through a lot of data, and that painstaking work can uncover some fun stats. Did you know that in 2023, our audience on X/Twitter grew twice as much as Signal’s? Session continues to have one of the most engaged and fastest growing social media audiences of any private messaging app.

Twitter audience growth

Our plans for Q1 are locked and loaded, with our Session Token community hubs ready to launch, and a renewed vision for the future of Sessions content strategy. The swap to the new SessionTV brand on YouTube (along with a revamped editorial approach) showed strong signs of success in Q4, with 3 videos breaching the 1,000 views mark and +400 watch hours (+57%) compared to Q3. Watch hours are of important on YouTube — they’re likely one of the predictors of whether a video pops up in user recommendations, leading to wider reach and video virality (I know how this sounds, but…it’s important 🤓). We will look to keep building SessionTV in Q1, and we are also planning to experiment with short-form video platforms to extend our reach. 

Session: Lokinetified

Session and Lokinet, sitting in a tree… K-I-S-S-I-N-G? It may be closer than you think.

The Lokinet Team has been hard at work for several months completely overhauling much of the underlying networking code in Lokinet. In early December, they began attempting to reconnect nodes on our testnet using this new version. It was a nerve-wracking process, but… we now have live testnet nodes fetching Router Contacts from each other!

This achievement paves the way for integrating liblokinet into Session, which will be a quantum leap forward for the app. Taking the unique, powerful routing capabilities of Lokinet and integrating them in Session will consolidate the best of everything that we have built into one user experience, showcasing what the ecosystem is truly capable of for the first time.

We are now within striking distance of using Lokinet to unlock new functionality and take things a step further, with faster message delivery, increased file upload speeds, and all network operations in the app improving. 

Lokinet integration also unlocks a very important up-coming feature: high quality, onion-routed calling. Once this feature is built out, Session will be the only messaging app on the market that has this capability.

That’s a wrap for the second edition of the Session Lab Update. There is a lot to come in 2024. It will be exciting. It will be intense. We’re excited to have you along for the ride.

Let’s send it. 🤝

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