- NFTs are a tradable, artlike entity possessing value in the Metaverse
- The Metaverse is an interactive digital future that prioritizes decentralization and social connections
- Creators and brands are evolving to support the Metaverse by experimenting with NFTs, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and more
- Learn more about NFTs and why marketers should care by registering now for our webinar on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET.
Coming To Terms
Even if you’ve barely paid attention to tech trends and current events over the last year, chances are you’ve heard of the Metaverse, Web 3.0, and NFTs. These terms have taken over our vocabulary as the harbingers of change and new opportunities in the tech space. But what are they, and what do they have to do with influencer marketing?
Into The Metaverse
Let’s start with the Metaverse. The Metaverse is a digital space that exists in the Web 3.0 universe. It is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection, collaboration, and decentralization in which augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence are major components. Essentially, it aims to be the virtual representation of the offline world around us.
If you’re noticing that the Metaverse is curiously similar in name to Meta, the newly-renamed parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, you’re not imagining things — that is indeed by design. While Meta is not responsible for creating the Metaverse, the name change reflects a transition toward this new world, in which Meta plans to be a key player. In fact, Facebook spent $10B on its Metaverse division development in 2021 to make this virtual reality a reality-reality.
One key concept of the Metaverse is blockchain technology, which is a system of recording information. It’s designed in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change or hack. It serves as a digital ledger or record book of all transactions across the Metaverse and is duplicated and distributed across the entire worldwide network of computer systems. It’s become an attractive alternative to our regulated world, where organizations like banks and government agencies take risks that often result in collateral damage affecting ordinary people during an implosion — like what we experienced during the 2008 U.S. financial crisis.
How NFTs Fit In
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have been part of our world since 2014. An NFT is a unique unit of data stored on a blockchain that can be sold and traded. NFTs may be associated with digital files such as photos, videos, and audio. They can be stored, displayed, and minted (aka created) on an NFT marketplace, like OpenSea. Some of the most recognizable NFTs include the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), one of which was famously purchased by Justin Bieber for $470,000. Still questioning how quickly this new innovation has grown in recent years? Well, in 2021 alone, NFT sales saw a $2.5B+ increase — and it’s still on the rise.
But what do NFTs and the Metaverse have to do with one another? The most common connection is their deregulation and the freedom creators have when it comes to minting their own NFT, assigning value, and distributing it through the Metaverse. There is considerable speculation that NFTs will eventually become a form of currency in the Metaverse; Forbes compares NFTs to a property deed that proves ownership in the Metaverse.
While NFTs can be static art, they can also take the form of VR content. Digital assets in virtual reality-curated worlds can be owned through NFTs, or NFTs can even be the key that unlocks products or services in a VR world. VR is yet another Metaverse layer rapidly growing before our eyes. VR gear sales are estimated to bring in approximately $10B in revenue by the end of 2022. In addition, Statista forecasts that the VR, AR, and MR markets will reach close to $300B by 2024.
A new era means a new learning curve, and the industry isn’t waiting around. Many brands have already gotten ahead of the Metaverse’s arrival and rapid growth by experimenting with gamified content and shopping experiences that include AR and VR concepts. One example is the ongoing Metaverse strategy we’ve seen from NYX Professional Makeup. Many more have developed and launched their own NFT collections, including the Atlanta Hawks, Coca-Cola, Taco Bell, Adidas, and Bud Light.
In addition, creators are taking the opportunities to partner with brands on NFT collabs by storm. While NFT minting and trading is another way for individual creators to monetize on their own, sponsored NFT content through brand collaborations is a natural next step. And we’ve already seen this at play with Original Penguin’s partnerships with TikTok creators and Campbell’s collab with artist Sophia Chang. We’re expecting to see more brand and creator collaborations launching through NFTs in the near future.
Where Brands Can Start
For brands who are eager to compete in the new Web 3.0 frontier, seeking out opportunities to experiment with the new technology now is going to make all the difference in gaining a competitive advantage. While there are plenty of critics who find these new concepts to be overhyped, this hasn’t stopped Metaverse’s advances. Speculation aside, its core concepts alone are worth learning, as tomorrow’s innovations will influence post-Web 3.0 iterations and the creator economy.
Innovations concerning NFTs and their role in the Metaverse are always emerging, which is why we’re focusing on what marketers need to know about NFTs in our upcoming webinar. Join us on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET for NFTs 101: Why Marketers Should Care.