Referral System

Learn about the Lens V2 Referral System

Lens V2 introduced a sophisticated Referral System that supports both verified and non-verified referrals for any module action performed on a publication, including Reference Modules and Action Modules.

The Referral System rewards:

  • Original posters for any subsequent activity

  • Users who help discover a publication

  • Applications and UIs that facilitate interaction with the Lens Protocol and aid in content discovery


  • Supports multiple referrals

  • Allows any publication originating from the same post to be passed as a referral (including any from a multi-branch tree of comments/quotes/mirrors of a single post)

  • Supports both upwards and downwards referrals (a post can be a referral for its comment/quote, and vice versa), enabling original posters to be rewarded for any activity that occurs below

  • Supports non-verified referrals: a profile can be passed as a referral (useful for mentions, front-ends, or anything that helps a person discover something)


As we transition from Lens V1 to Lens V2, it's important to note that not all publications will fully support the new Referral System (Lens V1 publications are only partially supported):

Rule #1 - Regarding Pure-V2 Trees

All new complex interactions and referrers introduced in V2 function as expected.

  • Mirrors cannot be a target, but any other publication (post, comment, quote) can

  • The same publication cannot be both a target and a referrer - a publication cannot refer to itself

  • Any publication can refer to another publication if there is a path (formed by quotes, comments, and/or mirrors) from each of them to the same root post

  • The path can go upwards and downwards (later comments can refer to earlier ones, and vice versa)

Rule #2 - Regarding Non-Pure Trees: referrers only work for “direct/pointed” publications:

  • Only 1 level of depth between target and referrer is allowed (as the root publication is not forwarded on non-pure v2 trees).

  • Only downwards publication can be a referral (e.g., in a post←comment situation, only the comment can refer a post, but not the other way around).

  • V2 publications support referrals for action and reference modules. Essentially, referrals are supported when acting, mirroring, quoting, and commenting.

  • V1 publications did not support referrals in the reference modules, so any comment/mirror interaction on a V1 publication should not support a referral.

  • During Legacy Collect of V1 publications, only a single mirror (either V1 or V2 mirror) directly pointing to the target is supported as a referrer.

Rule #3 - Non-Verified Referrals (profile referrals): should work in all V1 and V2 publications that support referrals

Difference between Pure and Non-Pure trees

In V2, we introduced the concept of a "ROOT", which is a post. All comments and quotes recursively copy this root. This allows the entire publication tree to always refer to and check if two publications belong to the same ROOT, meaning they originate from the same post.

However, in V1, we didn't have the concept of a "ROOT", so the existing V1 trees don't have it.

That's it—you've now gained an understanding of the Lens V2 Referral System, along with its associated rules and features.