How Magic helps Showtime build community around crypto art
Since launching just three months ago, Showtime has grown at lightspeed, attracting a vibrant community of over 20,000 art collectors and enthusiasts. I sat down with co-founder and CEO Alex Masmejean to understand how Magic helped make it all possible.
Moving fast without sacrificing user experience is crucial for any startup’s success. Alex told me that’s even more important when working in the world of crypto. “In crypto, the speed of shipping is very, very fast. There was no question — Magic was the only auth product we were going to use at launch,” said Alex.
Showtime is a new kind of social network, dedicated to showcasing and discovering digital art in the form of NFTs. Its soft, minimalist interface puts artwork front and center — a breath of fresh air compared to the sensory overload of sites like Facebook or Twitter. NFTs can be linked from any number of crypto marketplaces, with artworks ranging from photography to rich, looping 3D renders and everything in between. Pieces vary widely in style, many with organic micro-communities growing around them in the form of comment threads and records of digital ownership.
Alex set out to build Showtime as a social layer on top of the “otherwise very transactional world” of NFTs. The exponential growth of crypto art and collectibles throughout 2020 made it clear that NFTs were breaking into the mainstream, and a social network seemed like the perfect gateway for people new to the space. All that was left to do was build it, and build it fast.
When it came to user login, Alex knew that he needed a solution that would provide a simple user experience for both Showtime’s end users and the engineers who had to implement it. That’s where Magic came in.
Kong 4156 by artist Tony Babel via Showtime
As a small team getting off the ground with zero funding, Magic made it quick and easy for the founding Showtime team to bootstrap an early prototype and get their product in front of an audience fast. Alex was drawn to Magic’s easy plug-and-play capabilities and ended up sticking with it because he’s confident it enables the best login experience possible for Showtime’s users.
“To me it was a no-brainer — I had to integrate Magic.”
Building your own authentication from scratch can take months, not to mention the headaches and liability that come with maintaining security into the future. Showtime was able to fully integrate Magic in just a matter of hours, and they haven’t looked back since. Smirking, Alex told me he “doesn’t even know the pain of having a bad customer experience” thanks to launching with Magic on day one.
Alex touts Magic as the easiest way for crypto platforms like Showtime to reach a wider audience and ultimately gain mass appeal. No wallets, browser plug-ins, or technical know-how required; visitors just provide an email address and seconds later they’re a Showtime user.
You can watch the onboarding here.
“It’s the simplest way to onboard people who are new to crypto.”
As popular artists like Shavonne Wong and 3LAU began migrating to Showtime, they brought with them large followings that repeatedly flooded the social network with new users from outside the crypto community. Magic was there to help onboard these new users in a snap, giving them a warm welcome. “It’s so simple even my parents can use it,” Alex joked.
From creating a rough initial prototype to helping usher NFTs into the mainstream earlier this year, Magic’s been there for Showtime every step of the way. With that reliability and peace of mind, the Showtime team has been able to spend their time on what matters most: building a home for the next generation of digital artists and their fans.