Snap is exploring plans to allow users to showcase non-fungible tokens on its app, as social media platforms increasingly turn to digital collectibles as a way to attract influencers and their fans despite the crash crypto.
The Los Angeles-based social media platform is preparing to test a feature that would allow NFT artists to showcase their creations on the Snapchat platform as augmented reality filters, according to two people familiar with the situation.
The test, which is being conducted with a handful of “creators”, is expected to begin in late August, one of the people said.
Snap has put together a roster of developers who use its platform to create playful AR filters for users, known as Lenses, that can be layered over real-world images.
Developers will be able to craft or create NFTs through a third-party service outside of the platform, before transferring them to Snap as Lenses. The technology would ensure that these filters are attributable to that creator.
Although the NFT effort is in its infancy, it marks the first foray into the freewheeling world of digital assets for Snap, which offers private messaging and cute photo features to its largely Gen Z audience. millennial and younger.
Social media companies are increasingly vying for talent online, hoping to boost user numbers and engagement in the face of growing competition from Chinese newcomer TikTok.
Snap has no plans to charge creators for showcasing NFTs, one person said, but it is exploring third-party partnerships that could help creators monetize their creations.
Snap rival Meta, in particular, plans to roll out access to digital collectibles to its 3 billion users over time as part of attracting creators to its apps, its head of content said. fintech Stéphane Kasriel at the Financial Times last week. He hopes to build a world filled with online avatars known as the metaverse, where users will use NFTs to create and exchange digital goods and services, Kasriel said. Meanwhile, rival Reddit on Thursday announced plans to launch its own collection of NFT avatars.
NFTs use blockchain technology to certify the authenticity and ownership of digital art and goods.
Digital collectibles exploded in popularity last year to become a $40 billion global market, mostly used as a tool for retail speculation. But as the hype subsided, prices plunged in line with a broader rout in crypto assets over the past two months.
Like other social media groups, Snap has invested in new features to help creators earn a living directly from the platform. This has included sharing some advertising revenue with certain influencers and offering cash prizes for top performing posts, for example.