In the world of digital movers and shakers, Web 3.0 is the new buzzword. But, if you’re like most of the general population, it’s an empty term, an open question mark. Web 3.0 likely represents the future of all our digital transactions and interactions. It also presents a plethora of opportunities for creators to expand their business, audience, and brand. According to a new Lumanu survey, only 10% of creators have explored NFTs and only 16% of creators have explored cryptocurrency. This represents an early opening in what is shaping up to be the future of our digital ecosystem.
Disclaimer: This article does not contain financial advice. It is purely for entertainment purposes.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 refers to the next generation of the internet. Web 1.0 was the original internet where users could only consume information without the ability to interact or post content of their own. Web 2.0 came with the age of social media where the internet was a place of user generated content and community interaction, mediated by large companies. Web 3.0 has yet to be fully defined, but it represents a decentralized internet where users own their own data and content. In theory, Web 3 will be an intelligent internet that is personalized to users. Within Web 3.0 there are a few technologies and terms that you may have heard of.
The metaverse refers to a virtual space, still being built and defined, that can consist of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology. Companies like Meta (formerly Facebook), Microsoft, and Roblox envision the metaverse as a place that intertwines with the real world where people will buy, sell, and exchange digital goods.
Blockchain technology is a database where information is documented and stored and cannot be edited. The current purpose of blockchain is to create a trusted information storage system that does not rely on a third party. Due to its decentralized nature and permanent ledger, blockchain technology is the backbone to cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and decentralized finance (DeFi).
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are assets on the blockchain that have unique attributes, like metadata and identification codes, that make them different from one another and unreplicable. They are non-fungible as their value is not tied to the value of other NFTs. NFTs usually emerge in a form of art or entertainment content. You might equate NFTs to assets like real estate or prestigious art in that they hold ever-changing value but also are purchased based on emotional criteria.
Cryptocurrencies are virtual, secure currencies on the blockchain that are decentralized, meaning they are not controlled or tied to a central authority like the governments. Unlike NFTs, cryptocurrencies are fungible tokens meaning that units of a cryptocurrency are equivalent and their value is tied to the value of other units of the same cryptocurrency. Common cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether.
Social tokens are a type of cryptocurrency issued by creators to their fans. These social tokens are either purchased by fans or given away by the creator. Usually the tokens come with perks for fans like meet and greets, exclusive content, or access to fan communities. There is a finite amount of tokens for each creator so as the popularity of the creator and their tokens rises, the value of the token does so as well.
How Can it Help Creators?
With every new technology comes new opportunities. 10 year ago, no one could have imagined the creator economy that was able to emerge with Web 2.0. We can’t even fathom what will emerge with Web 3.0. But, there are a few ways creators can engage and stay at the forefront of this innovation.
Web 3.0 is all about avoiding the intermediary role that large third-party companies play. This means that creators will be able to focus far more on their audience instead of the platform. The algorithm will not prioritize Reels, trending audios, or promoted hashtags. Rather, creators will focus on content that is personalized to their specific audience and community. The lack of platform-specific algorithms will enable creators to create the content that they, and their audience want.
With Web 3.0, creators are also able to bring their communities together without constraints like distance. Because of the immersive virtual environment of the metaverse, creators can hold intimate events with their community. Industry conferences, fashion shows, and concerts have all already been held in the metaverse. Thus, there is an opportunity for creators to cultivate their community with these unique events.
New Revenue Streams
Perhaps most exciting about Web 3.0 is the nature of ownership. With Web 3.0 we will move from a creator economy to creator ownership, which brings new revenue streams and autonomy. Currently, platforms like Instagram and YouTube are able to use any content on their platform free of charge. However, with the emergence of NFTs, these platforms, as well as any brands or users, will have to pay to borrow or own the content creators produce. With smart contacts, you can license and monetize just about anything you create. NFTs can also take form in exclusive fan NFTs. Really, anything of value to your community, even a simple Tweet, can be an NFT. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold an NFT of his original Tweet for $2.9 million dollars last March.
Social tokens also represent a new revenue stream. With social tokens you can directly monetize your community, increasing the value of your own cryptocurrency with the number and loyalty of followers. Fans use social tokens in a variety of ways. They might purchase them to gain access to exclusive content. Lil Yacthy’s recently offered curated gift boxes made by his mom to anyone who purchased a social coin. Fans can also use tokens to replace the “tip jar” feature we see today. Fans can give creators social tokens as a “tip” for any content they enjoy.
Web 3.0 is daunting. It requires a new way of thinking about the internet and the way we live life. The metaverse might seem like a sci-fi virtual lifestyle. The blockchain sounds like a dystopian tracker of everything we’ve ever done on the internet. But, the reality is that these technologies offer a bright horizon for creators. Web 3.0’s decentralized nature represents an era of ownership and control for creators. And, as Web 3.0 is still developing, we can only expect to see new opportunities and innovations arise.