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YouTube Outlines Plans for Web3 and NFTs to Benefit Content Creators

On Thursday, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, Neal Mohan posted an article on that company’s blog page announcing its broad intentions regarding Web3 and enabling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platform. Mohan’s article titled, A Look at 2022: Community, Collaboration, and Commerce, provided an overview of YouTube’s planned products, features, and tools to be deployed this year. Mohan’s article echoes and reinforces a similar message delivered by YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki last month.

As context, Web1 was the first iteration of the Internet, which was basically static brochures and message boards accessed via dial-up connections using phone lines. The advent of Web2 saw the rise of centralized platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google which attracted users and monetized users content for the benefit of the platform providers via paid advertising delivered using broadband connectivity. In Web3, platform users will also be content creators who will profit share in the “mods” and adaptations they develop in partnership with the primary platform using repurposed high-frequency broadcast channels. Mohan’s announcement outlines that the future of YouTube builds on that premise and is more creator-focused than ever before. 

“Web3 also opens up new opportunities for creators. We believe new technologies like blockchain and NFTs can allow creators to build deeper relationships with their fans. Together, they’ll be able to collaborate on new projects and make money in ways not previously possible. For example, giving a verifiable way for fans to own unique videos, photos, art, and even experiences from their favorite creators could be a compelling prospect for creators and their audiences. There’s a lot to consider in making sure we approach these new technologies responsibly, but we think there’s incredible potential as well,” said Mohan in the announcement.

Generally speaking, Mohan said that the intent of enabling NFTs and other aspects of blockchain, will be to give content developers and channel posters more ways to monetize their content and make YouTube the platform of choice for the best and brightest developers in the world. 

“And across all these formats, you’ll see even more ways to help creators make money and build a business. In 2021, we reached the incredible milestone of 2 million creators in the YouTube Partner Program, with 10 ways for them to make money. All of this work takes into account the feedback from creators, so keep it coming,” said Mohan.

While Mohan didn’t provide specific details about how creators can make money using NFTs, the nature of NFTs lend themselves to all kinds of loyalty rewards programs; progressive membership enrollments; paid educational or training tiers; exclusive access to live streams or virtual meetups and more. Of course creators could also transform their most popular content into NFTs for direct sale to users. It will be interesting to see how this innovation becomes a reality.

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    Tor Constantino is a former journalist, consultant and current corporate comms executive with an MBA degree and 25+ years of experience - writing about cryptocurrencies and blockchain since 2017. His writing has appeared across the web on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune, CEOWorld and Yahoo!. Tor's views are his own and do not reflect those of his current employer.