Reddit Launches NFT Avatars, But Won’t Call Them NFTs

July 12, 2022, 11:00 AM AEST - 1 month ago

Popular social media platform Reddit will launch a new NFT avatar collection in the coming weeks leveraging the Polygon blockchain – however, it has avoided any reference to non-fungible tokens, instead exclusively using the term “collectible avatars”:

As well as being blockchain-based, the new collectible avatars’ primary difference from Reddit’s existing avatars is that they’ll be available for individual sale – all other Reddit avatars are either free or are made available when a user subscribes to Reddit Premium.

And despite their being blockchain-based, Reddit users will not need to have any cryptocurrencies or a crypto wallet to buy and store the new avatars.

There has been speculation as far back as October 2021 that Reddit may be planning to launch its own NFT platform when it posted a job ad for a senior backend engineer with NFT expertise. Since then, Reddit has added other NFT-based features, such as the ability for users to change their profile picture to an NFT, which launched in January of this year.

Reddit’s ‘Collectible Avatars’ Created by Artists

Reddit’s new avatars will be created by some of the platform’s most passionate independent artists. Participating artists will receive payment each time one of their avatars is purchased and will also be entitled to royalties from secondary sales of their avatars on external NFT marketplaces.

Purchasers of the new NFT-based avatars will acquire usage rights to the artwork both on Reddit and outside of the platform. 

Reddit also says users who purchase one of the new collectible avatars will receive unique benefits on the platform, however the only specific benefit mentioned in the announcement was owners’ profile pictures having a “glow-like effect” when they appear in the comments section of posts.

Potential Benefits in Blockchain Tech

Reddit says it chose to use the Polygon blockchain for its new NFT-based avatars because of the network’s relatively low transaction costs and stated commitment to sustainability measures.

Reddit users will be able to use their local fiat currency to purchase the new NFT-based avatars and they’ll be able to store them in Reddit’s built-in crypto wallet, which is known as the Vault. 

Using blockchain technology to power its new avatars provides several benefits, Reddit says, writing in its announcement:

Right now, blockchain technology provides purchasers with ownership and portability of their collectible avatar, and provides artists with a way to have their work live beyond the virtual walls of Reddit (and be compensated for future sales of their art).

Reddit team

It also sees blockchain as a technology with potential to further empower communities built on its platform:

We see blockchain as one way to bring more empowerment and independence to communities on Reddit. Reddit has always been a model for what decentralisation could look like online; our communities are self-built and run, and as part of our mission to better empower our communities, we are exploring tools to help them be even more self-sustaining and self-governed.

Reddit team

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