In brief: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared a letter with creators explaining the platform's top priorities for 2022, which included a couple of surprises. It seems YouTube has been paying attention to emerging technologies like NFTs so developers can make extra money with them.
YouTube's CEO points to Web3 technologies as an inspiration for what's coming to the video platform in 2022. The letter doesn't specify how they will use NFTs or mention release dates for these features, but we should have our first look at them this year.
"The past year in the world of crypto, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and even decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) has highlighted a previously unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans," said Wojcicki. "We're always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube."
The first idea that comes to mind when we put NFTs and YouTube together is content creators selling them directly to viewers, but there might be a twist here and there to make things more interesting. Maybe Google can create its own NFT marketplace, with YouTube as the main supplier, or just use established third-parties like Open Sea and Rarible.
Besides NFTs, other money-making opportunities coming to YouTube later this year include podcasts and expanded shopping features. YouTube is also working to add more ways to remix Shorts content.
Wojcicki took the opportunity to comment on disabling the dislike count, stating this feature was often used to harass smaller YouTubers. Based on the data YouTube gathered, there was no significant difference in viewership whether dislikes were public or not.
The letter also had some interesting bits about YouTube. For example, Shorts videos have a total of 5 trillion all-time views. In addition, it showed how much YouTube impacted the worldwide economy in 2020, supporting over 800,000 jobs in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and the EU combined.
From publishers like Ubisoft and Square Enix to news agencies like Associated Press, there's a considerable number of companies hopping into the NFT-verse. Consumers have also shown interest in certified virtual art, with yearly spending on NFTs surrounding the $27 billion mark.