The real reason Reddit NFTs are working and what they mean for blockchain games
The real reason Reddit NFTs work is because they are more like stickers on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Line: native to the platform, introduce social value (read: they're fun!) and with free versions everyone can use to start.
And they're big business: messaging stickers generated $200 million in revenue for Line in 2020.
Reddit NFTs differ from Bored Apes and the like because every single one builds around Reddit's mascot, Snoo, the cute little alien figure in the Reddit logo.
Longtime Reddit users know that Snoo has long been a central part of Reddit culture. Individual subreddits have community members draw a custom Snoo for their logos. Every single subreddit has Snoo.
So allowing every *user* to customize a Snoo avatar is an important evolution. Today, for free, you can pick out different outfits and stylings for your Snoo. When you do, there's a tab called "Shop", which has paid ones - those are the Reddit NFTs we're talking about.
It's not hard to understand why someone would spend $20 on one. The ones sold here are amazingly drawn, deeply creative and limited edition. Way better than the free ones. Way cooler.
$20 is a small price to pay for the status of having a standout avatar on the "homepage of the Internet". And that is the same underlying driver for buying stickers on Line. That is the "bull case" for Reddit NFTs as a concept.
Stepping back, users trading Reddit NFTs will be an important signal for blockchain games.
In some sense, Reddit, like many other parts of the Internet, is a game in itself. It has its own culture, storytelling, ways to win or lose. And these avatars are a cosmetic item much like Fortnite skins.
Reddit is perhaps conducting the first at-scale test of the blockchain gaming thesis: that users will want to own and trade their in-game items. It's too early to tell if it's working (user-to-user trading volume is quite low so far), but it's an important throughline that's worth pointing out.
It's not about the "vocabulary", nor is it about the number of wallets Reddit has created for its users. Reddit NFTs are different because of what they represent in existing Reddit culture.
Every brand needs to analyze through that lens.