Since the advent of Web3 in recent years, Web2 giants have tried to jump on the hype train, and ride it as far as possible.
Many failed. Some succeeded.
History teaches us that if you want to survive, you need to adapt and embrace the change.
Simply ask the companies that didn't.
Oh. Wait. You can't. They're gone.
How to go from Web2 to Web3
It's not just important for companies to make a couple of NFTs and call it quits: they need to bring value to the space, and be prepared to compete with other players in the space.
Web2 companies like Twitter and Discord are the pillars of Web3 communities, and even for them, joining the web3 club is far from straightforward. It may seem an easy task if you have 1.5 billion registered users, and more than 500 million active users, but it's not—just ask Meta or Apple.
Facebook's rebranding into Meta and it's metaverse activities are met with ridicule and negative comments and feedback everywhere from Reddit to Twitter. Apple tried to be as greedy as possible, slapping a hefty 30% fees on NFT sales; as you can imagine, it's not working out that great.
In web3, you need a different strategy: one that is native to your users. One that's doing something familiar. Something that they don't need to feel stressed or bothered to do.
And that's exactly what Reddit did.
Reddit's Web3 Success Recap
86k+ NFTs That Are Easy to Claim
Reddit started selling NFTs as avatars back in July this year. In the beginning, there was not much talk about it in the NFT community, and if there was, it was mostly made fun of. Then, Reddit airdropped avatars to their most active users, and made it extremely easy to claim one.
Slowly but surely, avatar popularity surged. People started using the avatars as profile pics and soon, even the "paid-for" avatars were sold out. With increased demand, the inevitable happened—secondary NFT trading started. At this point, people started to ask around how to buy a Reddit NFT, and what they need to do to connect their Reddit Vault to their Metamask wallet.
To date, the total volume of secondary trades or Reddit NFTs is more then $11M with over 37 000 sales.
More Wallets Than... OpenSea?
The Polygon Explosion
Launched for the 2022 World Cup, Reddit Avatars caused an avalanche of daily activity on Polygon, with tens of thousands of daily NFT transfers.
What does the future hold for Reddit?
Are they going to make a proper marketplace?
They already created a marketplace for primary sales, and opened it up for Creators.
Considering that 20% of the Reddit NFT owners who came to OpenSea ended up purchasing another NFT, it seems possible that Reddit might create their own marketplace to capture some of the secondary trading volume as well.
Reddit Vault upgrade, or a full-feature NFT marketplace?
Are users going to be able to mint their own NFTs?
One of the most intriguing features of Reddit avatars is the ability to mix and match different styles—creating composable NFTs.
Imagine just how easy it would be for somebody to style their avatar, mint it as a new NFT, and perhaps put it up for sale.
Are they going to create a metaverse?
If you really think about it—Reddit is already a metaverse, a text-based one, where each subreddit is a world for itself.
The only thing that is lacking at the moment is the visual, interactive aspect of the metaverse.
It seems that Reddit is already trying to change this—check out this excerpt from a Reddit's job ad:
"The Developer Platform team's goal is to allow communities to find and install Apps that completely customize & transform members' experiences and interactions. Everything's on the table, including comment sorting, custom post types, and more.
Many communities will become immersive, game-like experiences."
According to the job posting, their Developer Platform team will be building core platform capabilities that will allow them to reach a vision of completely customizable subreddits.
Announced in August this year, the Reddit Developer Platform is designed to transform Reddit from a content platform to an experience and content platform. Interestingly, a tiny detail on the Developer Platform waitlist paints a metaverse-like feature—apps that are re-usable across different communities.
Meanwhile, Reddit's Foundation team is focused on developing and supporting all media consumed by Reddit users.
"The Foundation team is powering the largest content evolution in Reddit's history, setting the stage for even bigger bets to come."
Are those bigger bets in-browser, 3d worlds?
Maybe even VR ones?
With Reddit NFTs being usable as avatars within those worlds?
The Web3 Journey Continues
Back in 2021, Steve Huffman described the future of Reddit as being similar to Roblox:
“I love Roblox. They are ahead on something I’ve long wanted to do on Reddit.”
—Steve Huffman, Reddit CEO
We don't know what the future holds, but we know one thing for sure: Reddit is user centric.
In the past they were focused around things that users are already doing on Reddit, and what they want to do, and making improvements and transformations from there. They've already experimented with game-like, collaborative experiences—in April this year, their re-launch of r/place attracted 6 million users who collaborated to create a digital art piece out of nearly 72 million pixels.
If Reddit continues its web3 journey the same way it started it, they might be one of the key players that brings the Metaverse to the mainstream—onboarding it's 430 million monthly active users to the next version of the Internet.