By Elizabeth Culliford
Jan 25 (Reuters) - YouTube is exploring features for its video creators to capitalize on non-fungible tokens, its chief executive officer said on Tuesday, becoming the latest tech company to tap into a digital collectibles craze that has exploded in the past year.
"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," wrote YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in a letter on the company's 2022 priorities. https://blog.youtube/inside-youtube/letter-susan-our-2022-priorities
NFTs are a type of digital asset which exist on the record-keeping technology blockchain https://www.reuters.com/technology/what-are-nfts-2021-11-17. They have seen a surge in popularity over the last year, with people buying artwork and video highlights from sports games as NFTs.
Sales of NFTs reached some $25 billion in 2021 https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/nft-sales-hit-25-billion-2021-growth-shows-signs-slowing-2022-01-10, according to data from market tracker DappRadar, although there were signs of growth slowing toward the end of the year.
A spokesperson for Alphabet Inc's YouTube declined to share more details about the potential NFT features, which were first reported by Bloomberg News.
Last week, Twitter Inc announced the launch of a tool through which users can showcase NFTs as hexagonal profile pictures https://www.reuters.com/technology/twitter-debuts-hexagon-shaped-nft-profile-pictures-2022-01-21. The Financial Times reported this month that Meta Platforms Inc were working on ways to let users create and sell NFTs on Facebook and Instagram. In December, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said the company was exploring NFTs.
The popular short video app TikTok in September ventured into the craze, announcing an NFT collection designed by some of its top creators.
Reddit Inc has also been exploring the space: recent job listings from the company on LinkedIn advertised for several engineer roles for a "rapidly growing team that aims to build the largest creator economy on the internet, powered by independent creators, digital goods, and NFTs."
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)