By Philip Gunwhy, Partner and Brand Strategist at Blockasset.co, the first verified athlete NFT ecosystem built on Solana SOL/USD
Instagram is adding NFTs soon, according to Meta FB CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and this honestly isn’t too surprising. Twitter TWTR has recently introduced support for the nascent technology, allowing users to connect one of the various supported wallets to their account and change their profile picture to their own piece of art.
From there, users can click on the profile picture to view information regarding said NFT, such as its OpenSea listing or the owner’s wallet address. This is a small but compelling way to integrate NFTs into mainstream consciousness that doesn’t just involve talking about them. An NFT implementation is a way for users to actually, well, use NFTs.
However, it’s important to note that Twitter and Instagram aren’t blockchain-based platforms. Instead, they’re Web 2.0 networks that are implementing light NFT capabilities—at least for now. They’re aiming to be the next big thing in social media: social finance, or SocialFi.
What is SocialFi
Put simply, SocialFi is social media on the blockchain. Among many of its benefits, decentralized social media cannot be censored and is capable of directly rewarding its most influential users thanks to tokenization.
For example, users can tip or directly send payments to other users on SocialFi platforms without resorting to a third-party processor. This means users receive payments faster and with next to no fees, unlike with PayPal or similar solutions.
Plus, people have more control over the SocialFi platforms thanks to decentralized governance and DAOs, which enable users to vote on upcoming changes and have a say in policies within the network. No longer will a centralized platform like Twitter dictate and change algorithms as they wish. A DAO ensures the majority of users must agree on a change before it’s implemented.
Similar to Twitter’s implementation, SocialFi participants can also showcase their NFTs as profile pictures, albeit with more features and integration than with a Web 2.0 platform. Creators can make a name for themselves without adhering to third-party platforms as well.
Why SocialFi Matters
A famous Twitter artist might get tens of thousands of likes and retweets, but the only entity profiting from the popularity is Twitter, thanks to its ad revenue. Sure, the artist can share their Patreon, but only their most dedicated fans will navigate to Patreon, create an account, and subscribe.
Direct integration is critical here. Users should have no barriers to supporting their favorite creators, and a well-designed SocialFi platform allows just that.
Should social media platforms properly harness the power of Web 3.0, decentralization, and NFTs, we’re bound to see higher adoption rates sooner rather than later.
Personally, I understand the inherent value of NFTs, and so do our users. Our most recent NFT collection, the LeGENds collection, sold for $5 million in just nine minutes. Obviously, the interest in NFTs and their use cases is there. It just needs a little accessibility push.
Plus, as NFTs become more popular due to these platforms, the versatility and profitability they provide to creators will become a real threat to existing marketplaces. Why should a creator utilize YouTube or Patreon when they can essentially run their business without an intermediary on a SocialFi platform? They’d have a say on upcoming algorithm changes, earn 100% of the revenue they deserve, and enjoy more freedom than on traditional social media.
As Meta and other companies make the push for NFTs and find new ways to showcase their use cases, we’re bound to see creators make the leap to SocialFi in droves. It’s a natural evolution of the status quo—a status quo where centralized platforms benefit the most from creators’ work. It just makes sense for creators to evolve past that, and it’s only a matter of time before they do.