Have you ever set an avatar for your Reddit profile and thought “I wish I could pay for this?”
Reddit will soon let its users do just that with the launch of its new “Collectible Avatars” marketplace. In an announcement on Thursday, the social network revealed its new “blockchain-backed” feature that offers Redditors the option to create, sell, and purchase “limited edition” avatars featuring different versions of the site’s mascot, Snoo.
If these sound a lot like NFTs to you, it’s because that’s exactly what they are. However, Reddit oddly does not mention the term “non-fungible tokens” or “NFTs” anywhere in its announcement.
According to Reddit, the avatars will be “stored” on the Ethereum-compatible blockchain Polygon, which it says it chose due to the network’s “low-cost transactions and sustainability commitments.” Basically, Reddit will be minting NFTs on the blockchain.
Like many NFT projects often tout, there will be benefits for Redditors holding these collectible avatars as well. The company says that collectible avatar owners would have the ability to “mix-and-match the avatar gear with other Reddit avatar gear and accessories” if a user sets their collectible avatar as their avatar on Reddit. Also, a user’s profile image will have a “glow-like effect” in the comments section on posts to set them apart from the rest.
There’s even a whitelist, which many NFT projects offer to VIP customers so that they can get their hands on their pick of the NFTs before they sell out. Reddit says collectible avatars will first be offered to members of the invite-only subreddit r/CollectibleAvatars.
Collectible avatars will be stored in Reddit’s own “blockchain-powered wallet” called Vault. And, according to Reddit, Artists will get paid for every piece that sells on Reddit as well as earn royalties from aftermarket sales on third-party marketplaces. Again, all things that are unanimous with traditional NFTs.
There are some small differences though, however, none of these change these collectible avatars from being NFTs. Users don’t need to use cryptocurrency to purchase a collectible avatar. According to TechCrunch, the listed prices for the avatars are currently $9.99, $24.99, $49.99, $74.99, and $99.99. In addition, while holders will have a license to use their avatar off of Reddit, this license doesn’t seem to be as broad as other NFT projects which allow holders to use the art’s IP on merchandise, in TV shows, and more.
Still, it’s bizarre that Reddit went out of its way to not describe these avatars as NFTs. The company is no stranger to the space. It previously sold NFTs featuring different artistic renditions of Snoo as part of its CryptoSnoos project. Reddit also allows users to set Ethereum-based NFTs as their avatars like users can do on Twitter.
Was Reddit concerned about possible anti-NFT backlash from its community? Or is the NFT space, much like the overall crypto market, in such a downtrend that Reddit didn’t want to associate itself with it directly? Am I just looking too much into this? All of that can be true!
But, at the end of the day, Reddit’s collectible avatars are NFTs, whether Reddit uses the term or not.
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