The NFT NYC conference was held last week (June 20-23, 2022) in New York City. For the occasion, more than 15,000 people stormed Times Square to talk about NFT, wallet, blockchain, metaverse and more generally Web3. The fact that the event is being held at a time when the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a sharp drop has helped to refocus the debate on the long term and the sustainability of this new paradigm.
Why Web3? What problem is it supposed to answer? How to onboard users in this new environment? What new opportunities does it open up for users, creators and brands?
And above all, how to prepare for the arrival of the next 100 million or even the next billion Web3 users and thus become a mass market?
All these questions animated the discussions during this conference. Discover some early answers to better understand this new evolution of the Web!
The Wallet, the new Web3 ID
Everything starts with a Wallet in this new ecosystem, which corresponds to our Web3 identity. It is personal and the user is the one and only owner.
Concretely, while today we can ask Facebook to issue a new password if we had lost ours, we will not have anyone to ask for it in Web3. Controlling our identity therefore comes with a greater responsibility that we are no longer accustomed to on the web.
Indeed, the philosophy of the movement that carries Web3 is directly linked to the question of digital sovereignty, namely how to return full ownership of data to users, data that we have so easily shared with the giants of Web2.
So how do we move from a situation where we are the product to a situation where we own part of the product, aligning the interests of the users and the people who are building this new ecosystem? Web3 responds with NFTs, these famous certified and non-fungible digital assets that address this ownership issue.
— cdixon.eth (@cdixon) November 12, 2021
User onboarding, a key success factor for Web3
“You have to embrace technology but above all not talk about it!”
This advice, which came up repeatedly during the conference, highlights the fact that blockchain technology is too often put in the foreground, when the user is actually more interested in the value and exclusivity that he will be able to derive from the services. and experiences created in this new environment. Thinking about the user journey to simplify the steps necessary for onboarding these new services then appears to be a strategic responsibility for brands and platforms.
Indeed, this technological complexity is today one of the main obstacles to the conversion of Web2 users into Web3 users. This is the reason why many companies like Arianee or Cohort specialize in the creation of digital platforms based on NFTs to help brands engage their communities in this new world via simplified onboarding, one of the keys to success.
Eventually, as many speakers have mentioned, Web3 will have succeeded when we can no longer say that we are using a blockchain-based solution. In short, a Web2-like look and feel based on blockchain technology.
“Utility”, the current buzzword for NFTs
NFTs: real user engagement and reward tools or purely speculative objects with no real use?
We often talk more about the economic aspect (ie “token economics”) of NFTs than about the unique and exclusive experience they can offer when they are well thought out.
And this is where the second pillar of the philosophy of the Web3 movement takes on its full meaning: it is an economy founded for and around creators.
After being able to regain control of his identity via his Wallet, the user can use it to acquire an NFT, whether it was offered to him or whether he bought it. This NFT then becomes a passport to an exclusive experience: access to a VIP event – the famous NFT-gated events -, or even the purchase of a work in order to support a musician or an athlete looking for new means of income. .
Be careful though, if you decide to take action and buy an NFT, be sure to find out what you are buying. Is it an NFT hosted on a blockchain (ie on-chain) in which all the information is therefore stored in a secure and long-lasting manner? Or is it an “off-chain” NFT stored outside the blockchain, most generally in the cloud and therefore presenting a certain number of ownership and availability risks that should not be minimized!
From passive follower to active supporter (from Stalker to Supporter)
Via this new model, the user changes status and thus goes from a passive follower, whose browsing time is monetized by Web2 platforms, to an active supporter in direct contact with his “hero” in a logic of collaboration and creation of value.
In Web 2, I follow my favorite athlete online, I like or comment on his posts.
In Web 3, I will be able to invest in him and participate in his career.
In itself, this strongly resembles the crowdfunding model of the Kickstarter type where early backers invest to support the projects they believe in in return for advantages and rewards.
The philosophy therefore already exists, but the fact of freeing oneself from intermediaries, of creating a direct link and therefore of reducing commission costs by half are all elements that the Web3 and the blockchain allow today.
Some things change, others will never change.
What are the interests of my clients? How to engage them and live unique experiences with them?
Fortunately, brands did not wait for Web3 to ask themselves these questions.
But what makes this approach even more attractive and virtuous today is the possibility of really keeping control of your data and developing an exclusive one-to-one relationship with your community. No risk here of having built a community of 100K followers on Instagram and only reaching 5% of it organically.
What does not change, however, is the need to communicate and interact with it. The first Facebook community managers of the 2009s are now succeeded by the Discord community managers!
Another function, which will also be developed on the Web3 side, is customer support for e-commerce sites. Indeed, with Web3, the problems of fraudulent or unsuccessful payments will always be present and ensuring that brands support their customers in this new playground will be essential.
The new Omnichannel
Web3 and NFTs are a new channel for brands to understand and explore. Being omnichannel in the era of Web3 for a brand therefore means being present in physical form, continuing to be present on “traditional” digital and becoming so in an immersive way in the metaverse, like Gucci with its Gucci Vault which is launching into Web3 within the Sandbox platform in order to develop a showcase for its NFT drops in the metaverse.
Ok, but then where to start?
Are you ready to launch your first NFTs drop and want to let as many people know as possible?
Take the time to thoroughly validate your concept. Especially for brands, if the goal is only to be in the trend of the moment, the risk is to miss the subject and therefore the potential real connection that you could build with your community.
If, on the other hand, your project is well thought out, follow the guide!
1/ Follow the Wallets
Go find the users of NFTs! Today, it’s easier to interest and onboard educated users on the subject than to want to migrate your Web2 community to Web3.
2/ Find yours
Identify who among your community is a Web3 user.
3/ Recruit new members
Go grow your audience with other Web3 users who may not yet be part of your traditional audience.
4/ Embark your members
And finally, take your Web2 audience to Web3.