YouTube is getting into NFTs, according to a new blog post on the platform’s future for creator tools.
YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan detailed some of what to expect. “We believe new technologies like blockchain and NFTs can allow creators to build deeper relationships with their fans,” Mohan writes. “Together, they’ll be able to collaborate on new projects and make money in ways not previously possible.”
YouTube says integrating NFTs will give a verifiable way for fans to “own unique videos, photos, art, and experiences” from their favorite creators. The company hasn’t clarified how NFT ownership will come up against copyright law. NFTs establish ownership of a digital asset with a public record of each transaction, but it does not transfer copyright from the original owner to the buyer.
YouTube isn’t the first social media giant to integrate NFTs, either. Twitter users can display their favorite NFTs on their profile.
YouTube also detailed how it plans to monetize its YouTube Shorts product – a clone of TikTok. Creators will be able to reply to comments with short videos, another feature available on TikTok. YouTube is also stepping into Twitch territory by integrating more live streaming features into YouTube Shorts. YouTube plans to launch collaborative live streams to allow creators to go live together.
Twitch calls this feature Squad Streaming, and it launched on the platform in 2020. It’s a feature that is reserved exclusively for Twitch Partners, with up to four members streaming together. YouTube will also test giving paid memberships as gifts; another feature Twitch has offered its users for years.
It’s unclear how YouTube NFTs will work, even to YouTube execs. The outlined use-cases have already existed on other platforms. For example, the creators of the viral video “Charlie Bit My Finger” recently sold an NFT of the video for $760,999. “There’s a lot to consider in making sure we approach these new technologies responsibly,” says Mohan. “But we think there’s incredible potential as well.”