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As explained in a prior blogpost, the unique collective resources of Pi Network make it conducive to creating utility of the Pi cryptocurrency at the platform level. The network is today releasing the first prototype of one such implementation of a platform-level utility—the Pi Ad Network––where advertisers ultimately need to acquire and use Pi to place ads in the Pi ecosystem and Pi Apps on the Pi Browser. The Pi Ad Network is piloting within the Fireside Forum app and will subsequently be released to community developers in the form of a Software Development Kit (or an “SDK”) upon testing on Fireside Forum.

Pi Ad Network Image

Vision Behind Pi Ad Network

After the Open Network period is launched, advertisers or parties that want to place ads on Pi Browser and Pi Apps in the Pi Ecosystem (“Advertisers”) will have to acquire Pi and use such Pi to pay the Pi platform for displaying ads. Thereafter, Pi will, in turn, be distributed to the developers of Pi Apps displaying ads on the platform. In this way, the ad network will generate additional platform-level utility for Pi, and thus, benefit the whole network. 

The vision and design of Pi Ad Network are based on the theories and rationale explained in our previous announcement on platform-level utility, drawing on the network’s collective resources of over 55 million Engaged Pioneers. Please refer to that announcement to understand theoretically why the design of Pi Ad Network would work and would benefit the ecosystem and all Pioneers in the network. 

How Pi Ad Network Specifically Benefits App Developers 

Monetization for App Developers

The Pi Ad Network will enable Pi Apps developers to monetize the attention resources—collectively contributed by Pioneers—that their apps receive from the Pi Platform through the Pi Browser. Reasonably, all developers have operational costs on personnel and servers in order to develop and run an app. The more people visit their apps, the higher the costs in infrastructure, maintenance and human resources. Solving the monetization issue for Pi Apps developers that positively correlates with the increase of the costs can allow more Pi Apps developers to start and sustain their operations and incentivize them to innovate and build really useful apps that attract Pioneers, which, in turn, benefits the advancement of the Pi ecosystem.

The ultimate version of the Pi Ad Network that requires payment in Pi cryptocurrency for placing ads will be feasible after Open Network when Advertisers will be able to acquire Pi. Nevertheless, this does not prevent the network from deploying intermediary versions of the Pi Ad Network that would also allow time to develop, integrate, roll out, and iterate for the whole ecosystem anyway. Therefore, in the Enclosed Network period, the Pi Ad Network will distribute USD or USD-equivalent to Pi Apps developers based on their ads placements and standard industry metrics for them to participate, integrate and start benefiting from monetization on the traffic provided by the Pi platform. 

Unified Ad framework to improve app experience 

Considering the monetization needs of Pi Apps developers, the platform has allowed the community developers to independently source ads from disparate ad networks, place ads on their Pi apps and start monetizing from the ads since they were made accessible through the Pi Browser and Testnet Ecosystem UI. However, as many Pioneers have experienced, the ads quality, types of ads, and the placements, etc., in some Pi Apps are not ideal for or consistent with the overall network user experience, which later led to fewer organic visits of Pioneers to their apps. For example, displaying a disruptive ad diverting attention from the core functionality of the app or scammy content on the ads can be confusing or even unsafe for Pioneers visiting their app. 

The Pi Ad Network as a strong platform would be able to source potentially better ads from established reputable ads providers which are held accountable by laws and regulations such as user privacy, data and industry standards rather than those sourced from various smaller random ad providers. This helps the ads displayed in Pi Apps and ecosystem at least hold some standards for user experience and safety. This, in turn, makes Pi Apps more appealing and safe and helps spur more user adoption

How Pi Ad Network Specifically Benefits Pioneer Users

Platform-level utility by Pi Ad Network benefits all Pioneers

As explained in the previous announcement, the platform-level utility is converting the collective resources of the network into organic use of Pi to address real-world needs. The Pi Ad Network helps community developers monetize the collective attention contributed by all Pioneers while ensuring developers’ benefits are aligned with the rest of the community. By requiring the use of Pi in transacting ads displayed in the ecosystem after Open Network, the Pi Ad Network enforces that the access to the ecosystem resource—collective attention in this case—relies on Pi cryptocurrency that every Pioneer holds.

Better and safer user experience

Similar to the unified ad framework discussion above, sourcing from reputable ads providers through the Pi platform level helps to improve and protect Pioneers’ user experience in Pi Apps, due to better ads quality and content.  

Sustainable ecosystem development helps Pi overall

Solving monetization for Pi Apps developers also benefits Pioneers because more developers will be able to build and innovate more Pi Apps where Pioneers can use their Pi for goods and services. On the network level, this advances the whole ecosystem and utility creation that ultimately benefits Pi Network as a whole. 

Testing on Fireside Forum and its Specific Implementation

Fireside Forum was launched in May 2023 as a Web3 social app that fosters authenticity, constructive conversations, and healthier online social interactions by integrating tokenomics into the core of social interactions. The launch of the app was noteworthy in the blockchain industry. Through a continuous and iterative method of improvement, this app on the Pi platform has added crucial features such as image sharing, initially for a Pi2Day Art festival; weblink sharing, and then to facilitate sharing news; and tokenomics-based decentralized content moderation. Fireside Forum also helped underpin a Pi community festival in December to celebrate the integration of Pi cryptocurrency in local commerce

The Pi Ad Network deploys a pilot on Fireside Forum first because 1) it is a social media app that fits the context of showing ads as almost all social media apps display ads; 2) Fireside Forum technically is a Pi App integrating with the Pi platform SDK just like any other community Pi App; and 3) Fireside Forum is developed by the Core Team, so it is much easier and faster to test the new Pi Ad Network APIs and iterate within the Core Team than having to coordinate with another party. 

Furthermore, the introduction of ads in the pilot of Pi Ad Network also provides an additional feature that makes Fireside Forum more inclusive in user participation and encourages wider community and even external content creators’ engagement. As a Web3 app, Fireside Forum requires the use of Fireside Forum tokens for all actions, e.g., people need to spend tokens to post, comment, and add or remove Fire for others’ posts. Previously, such in-app tokens could only be purchased by Pi on Mainnet. This requirement, while helping implement the tokenomics design of the social app, restricted participation and engagement to only Pioneers who have KYC’ed and migrated their Pi to the Mainnet and excluded Pioneers who have not migrated to the Mainnet yet, not to mention content creators new to Pi Network. Content creation and inclusive engagement are important aspects of any social media app. 

The Pi Ad Network has now enabled Fireside Forum to introduce a new feature that allows Pioneers who haven’t migrated to Mainnet or content creators who newly joined Pi Network to be able to engage with the social app by acquiring a new type of Fireside Forum token through watching limited ads. Such tokens will allow them to post, comment and take other engagement-related actions, but they cannot be converted back to Pi or tip others. This design solves the previous issue of restriction on participation and content creation, but it also ensures that the tokenomics of the app remains intact. Specific interrelation between the amount of ads and the amount of such engagement-based tokens, the frequency and amount of ads available to watch to receive such tokens will be also calibrated in the testing period. The upcoming Pi Day event will involve activities on Fireside Forum and this time all Pioneers, not just the migrated ones, will be eligible to engage and participate. 

Roll-out plan

The Pi Ad network launches today starting with its pilot implementation on Fireside Forum, testing and iterating on the SDK integration and developer experience, etc. Subsequently, the SDK will be made available for community developers to integrate into their apps in the Enclosed Network period, along with technical documentations and ads guidelines, when the payout for ads will be temporarily in USD or USD-equivalent. After Open Network, the Pi Ad Network will require Advertisers to acquire Pi to pay for ads placement in Pi Apps on the Pi Browser and Pi ecosystem UI, and Pi ads payout distributed to Pi Apps developers will also be in Pi cryptocurrency that every Pioneers holds. 


This is how a platform-level utility is designed and created, drawing on the collective resource of the network and ultimately benefiting everyone in the ecosystem. It is a major endeavor involving various parties and many moving pieces, thus relying on all of us to make it a success. Today is only the launch of the pilot of Pi Ad Network—the first instantiation of a platform-level utility. However, if our efforts succeed, this would, on the platform level, provide enormous large-scale true utility and sustainability of the network and the development of the ecosystem, ultimately benefiting the network and all Pioneers. 

Let’s head to the Pi Browser app and try for ourselves the Fireside Forum app that allows more inclusive participation. Let’s experience the future of the Pi app ecosystem – now!

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