Snap’s Upcoming NFT Feature, Explained

Rachel Curry - Author
By

Jul. 13 2022, Published 1:59 p.m. ET

Weeks after Snap Inc. (SNAP) unveiled its paid premium subscription tier Snapchat+, the social media and camera company is eyeing a new feature. This time, Snap wants to add a non-fungible token (NFT) element.

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This move would launch Snap into the blockchain space along with Facebook’s Meta Platforms (META) and others. Here’s how the feature would work, when it may be coming, and how SNAP stock is performing amid the news.

Snap, Inc. to experiment with NFT feature

Snap wants to develop a feature allowing NFT artists to use their work as augmented reality (AR) filters, according to a leaked report divulged by Financial Times. The feature would add another puzzle piece to the modern creator economy, which is heavily rooted in the world of blockchain technology.

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The feature would be more about symbolism and optics than revenue. In fact, Snap doesn’t plan on taking any money from creators. As part of the development process, Snap plans to come up with ways NFT creators can monetize the process.

How will Snap’s NFT feature work?

While the logistics remain unclear, we have a general idea of how Snap’s NFT feature will work. NFT creators will be able to design and mint their NFTs on a separate (though likely integrated) platform, then hop on Snapchat and upload the designs as Lenses. These Lenses will serve as AR filters that users can incorporate into their posts.

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Possible timeline for Snapchat NFT filters:

Snapchat plans to begin experimenting with the NFT feature in August, starting with a small group of selected creators. The company will use this time to work out any kinks and define monetization opportunities for creators. It could lead to other creator-friendly Snapchat features, on and off the blockchain.

SNAP stock responds to upcoming feature release.

In the current climate, a social media platform not developing blockchain-compatible features is lagging behind. Snap recognizes this and is moving full steam ahead. Considered in tandem with its release of $3.99-per-month paid subscription Snapchat+, Snap is vying for growth opportunity and good sentiment ahead of its next earnings report.

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The company will divulge earnings details on July 21 and the call may include information about the NFT feature.

In the meantime, SNAP stock fell as much as 10 percent during the last week, adding to major losses of 70 percent YTD. Recent news suggests SNAP is in the process of evolving for the sake of its bottom line and shareholder retention.

The NFT feature has actually sent some investors packing, likely due in part to the fact that the feature offers no profit opportunity. The reality is that Snap’s balance sheet remains conservative even in a changing app economy, but it’s still a risky investment. High volatility in recent months, share dilution, and even questionable insider trading all add risk to the investment, whether or not it soon ties itself to the blockchain-based creator economy.

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