YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan published a blog post today about the company’s upcoming plans for new products and features in 2022, citing an interest in Web3, blockchain, and NFTs.
NFTs are digital tokens that exist on blockchain networks, such as Ethereum, that are used to verify ownership over an asset. Typically, NFTs point to ownership of an image, video, piece of music, or even virtual land.
In his post, Mohan mentioned some of the new features planned for YouTube creators this year, like “Channel Guidelines,” sorted comments for livestreams, and Super Chats (tips) for YouTube Shorts (which are YouTube’s version of TikToks).
Mohan also hinted at future Web3 integrations, citing the potential for NFTs to “allow creators to build deeper relationships with their fans” and further monetize their YouTube content.
As to what NFTs or blockchain integrations on YouTube could look like, Mohan made a few broad suggestions. “Giving a verifiable way for fans to own unique videos, photos, art, and even experiences from their favorite creators could be a compelling prospect,” he said.
Mohan added that he wants to take a thoughtful approach to any Web3 integrations. “There’s a lot to consider in making sure we approach these new technologies responsibly, but we think there’s incredible potential as well,” he said in the post.
While Mohan didn’t elaborate, it’s possible that YouTube could integrate NFTs in such a way that the holders of a given NFT collection could gain exclusive access to a creator’s content, or special badges during livestreams. Selling videos, or segments of videos, as NFTs could also provide additional monetization mechanisms for creators.
This isn’t the first time that a YouTube executive has hinted at Web3 features coming to the video platform. Last month, YouTube CEO Susan Wojicki said she was looking into “expanding the YouTube ecosystem” and said that this could include adding “things like NFTs.”
In addition to Mohan and Wojicki, the former head of YouTube Gaming, Ryan Wyatt, is also bullish on Web3. In January, Wyatt departed YouTube for Polygon Studios, a company focused on building on Ethereum sidechain Polygon.
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