YouTube CEO Says the Company Is Exploring NFT Features

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Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, suggested in a letter published today that the video-sharing platform could use web3 technologies, including non-fungible tokens, or non-fungible assets, which certify digital assets stored on blockchains. These tokens may help YouTube creators to make money. Wojcicki said that the innovations taking place in the web3 world are a “source of inspiration for continued innovation on YouTube.” But she did not share any concrete plans or an exact timeline as to when the platform may begin testing NFTs.

As a result of the emergence of crypto, non fungible tokens (NFTs), and even decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), creators can now increase their relationships with their fans to previously unimaginable levels. Our goal is to continue strengthening and enhancing the YouTube experience for creators and fans by expanding the YouTube ecosystem to take advantage of emerging technologies, including NFTs. We reached out to YouTube for comment, but the spokesperson could not provide any more specifics on YouTube’s plans to support NFTs.

As it stands, YouTube already offers a number of ways creators can show off their NFTs.  Currently, YouTube’s video platform offers a product shelf which appears beneath the video where creators can showcase goods such as apparel, collectibles, plushies, vinyl records, and more, through an increasing number of retail partners. A partnership with NFT platforms and an integration of crypto wallet technologies could allow digital creators to also share their NFT art through YouTube. Additionally, YouTube could build tools that would enable content creators to network with one another, share their work, and integrate NFT support into their profiles in other ways.

In light of other social media platforms now pushing into NFT, it’s not surprising that YouTube is considering a move into this space. In a blog post last week, Twitter announced support that lets users promote their own NFTs as Hexa-shaped profile pictures that, when clicked, will provide more information about the work. The Financial Times recently reported that Facebook may be building an NFT marketplace, too. Instagram has also publicly said it’s exploring NFTs. Wojcicki, amid a comprehensive look back over YouTube’s past year, mentioned a few more notable updates besides thinking about adding web3 support in the future.

Furthermore, she said that YouTube Shorts, a TikTok rival that currently allows users to remix only audio content from other public videos, may be expanding its “remix” feature. Even though YouTube declined to share more details on this feature, it’s likely that the company plans to add remix capability like Instagram did. In his remarks, YouTube Shorts’ CEO noted that the service has accumulated 5 trillion views since its launch, but that may not be as exciting a statistic as the number of creators it has on boarded. 

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Furthermore, it pointed out that nearly 40% of YouTube Shorts Fund payouts were received by creators who weren’t already part of the YouTube Partner Program, suggesting that Shorts offered an opportunity for new types of creators to make money on YouTube. As well as YouTube’s stance on various regulatory issues, the letter mentions video gaming, creator monetization, music, shopping, education, and more.  YouTube Channel Memberships and paid digital goods were purchased or renewed more than 110 million times during Wojcicki’s presentation. The number of channels that make more than $10,000 a year has increased by 40% year over year. There were more than 800 billion gaming-related views on YouTube, over 90 million hours of live streaming, and over 250 million uploads. 

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Likewise, the YouTube ecosystem is expected to provide over 800,000 jobs to the US, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and the EU combined by 2020. YouTube’s creator-directed missive touches on many ideas that it has already announced, including partnering with Shopify, launching Gifted Memberships, doubling educational content engagement, removing borderline content from its recommendations, and more. Additionally, Wojcicki noted that YouTube was being criticized for removing the Dislike button, but reiterated why the removal was necessary.

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