Today, Reddit is introducing a new NFT-based avatar marketplace where you can buy blockchain-based profile images for a set price. The company said that you don’t need a crypto wallet to buy them, so you can use your credit or debit card, and you can store them in Reddit’s wallet.
During this early access period, the social network said it would release 90 different designs, and “tens of thousands” of NFTs would be available to buy.
The company said that if you bought one of their limited-edition NFTs, you could use it as an avatar both on and off of Reddit. These aren’t as broad as having an NFT from Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, which lets you make goods or TV shows based on the bored ape you own. You can also use the avatar builder to change how your avatar looks, and when you comment in a community, your avatar will have a “glow-like effect.”
This isn’t the first time Reddit has tried NFTs. Early this year, the company started working on a feature that would let you use any Ethereum-based NFT as your profile photo. This came just a few weeks after Twitter introduced a similar feature. Last year, Reddit gave out CryptoSnoos, which were limited-edition NFTs based on its mascot Snoo.
Reddit worked with Polygon, a blockchain that works with Ethereum, to make these on-chain avatars. You can use Reddit’s Vault blockchain wallet, which is available in the company’s app, to store and manage these NFTs. Now, you can use Vault to collect community points based on the blockchain and spend them on things like badges and animated emoji.
Users of the invite-only subreddit r/CollectibleAvatars will be able to see NFT avatars for the first time today. There will be information on how to set up a wallet, special “Ask Me Anything” sessions with artists, and posts about how the one-time profile images were made. Since there are no auctions, all NFTs have the same price, and fiat currencies like US dollars can be used to buy them. For $9.99, $24.99, $49.99, $79.99, or $99.99, you can buy one of these NFT avatars. If you are not a member of that group, the company said that everyone will be able to use its avatar creator website to get these collectible avatars in the coming weeks.
The company worked with artists from groups like r/Comics, r/ProCreate, and r/AdobeIllustrator on the first collection. Reddit-famous artists also get money from the second-hand sales of these NFTs on sites like Opensea and Rarible, which they split with Reddit 50/50.
Even though NFT profile images is a new blockchain project, Reddit says it wants to look into other ways to use the technology.
“In the future, we see blockchain as one way to bring more empowerment and independence to communities on Reddit. Reddit has always been a model for what decentralization 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,” the company wrote in a statement.”
NFTs are being tried out by more and more businesses, and Reddit is one of them. After NFT support was added to Instagram, Facebook has recently added some of these same features to the blue app. In June, eBay bought the NFT marketplace KnownOrigin. In May, eBay showed off its own collection of digital art. In May, Spotify started testing a feature that let some artists advertise digital collectibles on their profiles. At the same time, link-in-bio company Linktree gave producers more options, such as letting NFT collection holders unlock links. More of these kinds of tests are likely to happen soon.