YouTube, Twitter to Add NFT Features for Users and Content Creators: Is the Hype Real?

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YouTube said it intends to “expand its ecosystem” and is looking at adding NFT features to help support the work of creators. In a Jan. 25 letter to address economic and technological priorities for 2022 shared to its website, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote that the business is “looking further ahead to the future and have been following everything happening in Web3 as a source of inspiration to continue innovating on YouTube.”

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“The past year in the world of crypto, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and even decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) has highlighted a previously unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans,” she wrote. “We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube.”

She elaborated to say that creators are coming to YouTube to “share their lives, to make a living, and to shape the world around us in meaningful ways ,” adding that the number of channels around the world making more than $10,000 a year is up 40% year over year.

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Bloomberg reports that while YouTube’s plans do not appear to concern specifics at this point, it marks the first time Alphabet Inc.’s Google, YouTube’s owner, is becoming involved with the cryptocurrency collectibles.

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Twitter Flies Into NFT Territory

Several of YouTube’s rivals have already jumped on the trend, as Twitter plans to allow users to post NFTs as profile photos and Instagram is reportedly working on a similar offering, per Bloomberg.

Twitter recently said it was adding NFTs as one of several ways to customize Twitter profiles — “so you can show off the NFTs you own in a hex-shaped profile picture on your Twitter account” — according to its website.

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“Setting up an NFT profile picture means people can associate your Twitter account with your connected wallet’s public crypto wallet address. This means your Twitter account will be associated with your current and historical crypto wallet transactions and holdings, including all other NFTs in that wallet, because this information is all available on the public blockchain,” Twitter said.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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