what does Web3 have in store for the next 100 million users?

The NFT NYC conference was held in New York City last week (June 20-23, 2022). For the occasion, more than 15,000 people stormed Times Square to talk about NFT, wallet, blockchain, metaverse and more broadly Web3. The fact that the event is being held at a time when the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a sharp decline has helped to refocus the debate on the long-term and sustainability of this new paradigm.

Why Web3? What problem should it answer? How do users onboard in this new environment? What new opportunities does it offer users, makers and brands?
And most importantly, how can we prepare for the arrival of the next 100 million or even the next billion Web3 users and become a mass market?

All these questions inspired the discussions during this conference. Discover some early answers to better understand this new evolution of the web!

The Wallet, the new Web3 ID

Everything starts with a Wallet in this new ecosystem, which corresponds to our Web3 identity. It is personal and the user is the sole owner.

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Specifically, while today we can ask Facebook to issue a new password if we lost ours, we won’t have anyone asking for it in Web3. Controlling our identity therefore entails a greater responsibility that we are no longer used to on the Internet.

Indeed, the philosophy of the movement that Web3 carries is directly linked to the issue of digital sovereignty, namely how to return full ownership of data to users, data that we have so easily shared with the giants of Web2.

So how do we go from a situation where we are the product to a situation where we own part of the product, aligning the interests of the users and the people building this new ecosystem? Web3 responds with NFTs, these famous certified and non-replaceable digital assets that address this ownership problem.

User onboarding, a key success factor for Web3

“You should embrace technology, but don’t talk about it!”
This advice, which came up repeatedly during the conference, highlights the fact that blockchain technology is too often brought to the fore, when the user is actually more interested in the value and exclusivity they can get from the services and experiences. made in this new environment. Thinking about the user journey to simplify the steps required to onboard these new services then seems like a strategic responsibility for brands and platforms.

This technological complexity is one of the major obstacles to converting Web2 users to Web3 users today. This is why several companies like Arianee or Cohort specialize in creating digital platforms based on NFTs to help brands engage their communities in this new world through simplified onboarding, one of the keys to success.

Ultimately, as many speakers have said, Web3 will have succeeded if we can no longer say that we are using a blockchain-based solution. In short, a Web2-like look and feel based on blockchain technology.

“Utility”, the current buzzword for NFTs

NFTs: real user engagement and reward tools or purely speculative objects with no real utility?
We often talk more about the economics (ie ‘token economics’) of NFTs than about the unique and exclusive experience they can provide when well thought out.

And this is where the second pillar of the Web3 movement’s philosophy takes on its full meaning: it’s an economy built for and around creators.
After regaining control of his identity through his Wallet, the user can use it to acquire an NFT whether it was offered to him or bought. This NFT then becomes a passport to an exclusive experience: access to a VIP event – the famous NFT gated events -, or even the purchase of a work to support a musician or an athlete looking for new sources of income .

Be careful though, if you decide to take action and buy an NFT, make sure you figure out what you’re buying. Is it an NFT that is hosted on a blockchain (i.e. on-chain) in which all information is stored in a secure and sustainable way? Or is it an “off-chain” NFT that is stored off the blockchain, usually in the cloud, and therefore carries a certain number of ownership and availability risks that should not be minimized!

From passive follower to active supporter (from Stalker to Supporter)

Through this new model, the user changes status and thus goes from a passive follower, whose browsing time is earned by Web2 platforms, to an active supporter in direct contact with his “hero” in a logic of collaboration and value creation.

Specific :
In Web 2, I follow my favorite athlete online, like or comment on his posts.
In Web 3 I can invest in him and participate in his career.

In itself, this is very similar to the Kickstarter-type crowdfunding model where early backers invest to support the projects they believe in in exchange for benefits and rewards.
So the philosophy already exists, but the fact to get rid of middlemen, create a direct link and thus halve the commission costs are all elements that make the Web3 and the blockchain possible today.

Some things change, others will never change.

What are the interests of my customers? How do you involve them and experience unique experiences with them?

Fortunately, brands didn’t wait for Web3 to ask itself these questions.
But what makes this approach even more compelling and virtuous today is the ability to truly take control of your data and develop an exclusive one-to-one relationship with your community. No risk here to have built a community of 100,000 followers on Instagram and only reach 5% of them organically.

What does not change, however, is the need to communicate and interact with it. The first Facebook Community Managers from 2009 have now been succeeded by Discord Community Managers!

Another feature, which will also be developed on the Web3 side, is customer support for ecommerce sites. Indeed, with Web3, the problems of fraudulent or failed payments will always be present and ensuring brands support their customers in this new playground will be essential.

The new omnichannel

Web3 and NFTs are a new channel for brands to understand and explore. Being omnichannel in the Web3 era for a brand therefore means being present in physical form, staying present in “traditional” digital and becoming immersive in the metaverse, like Gucci with its Gucci Vault. within the Sandbox platform to develop a showcase for its NFT drops in the metaverse.

Okay, but where to start?

Are you ready to launch your first NFT drop and want to let as many people know as possible?
Take the time to thoroughly validate your concept. Especially for brands, if the goal is just to be on trend of the moment, the risk is missing the point and thus the potential real connection you could build with your community.

On the other hand, if your project is well thought out, follow the guide!

1/ Follow the wallets
Find the users of NFTs! Today, it’s easier to interest and onboard well-trained users than it is to want to migrate your Web2 community to Web3.

2/ Find yours
Determine who in your community is a Web3 user.

3/ Recruit new members
Expand your audience to include other Web3 users who may not yet be part of your traditional audience.

4/ Enter your members
And finally, bring your Web2 audience to Web3.

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