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Breakpoint 2023: The Creator Economy in Web3 vs. Web2

Exploring the challenges and opportunities for creators transitioning from Web2 to Web3 ecosystems.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!

Summary

The digital creators' landscape is undergoing a profound transformation as it migrates from the Web2 ecosystem to the Web3 paradigm. In a thought-provoking presentation, artist and entrepreneur Kari, also known as Bangerz, shares her personal journey as a creator navigating these changes. Her insights highlight the stark contrast between the two web generations, with a focus on important topics such as content ownership, platform dependency, and the impact of algorithms on visibility and engagement. As the co-founder and CEO of Three Lands, Kari introduces new tools on the Solana blockchain aimed at delivering creative freedom and financial opportunities to creators which were not possible in the previous internet iteration.

Key Points:

The Transition from Web2 to Web3

The journey from being a content creator in the traditional Web2 space comes with significant limitations, as Kari experienced firsthand. Working within the confines of social media platforms like Instagram, Kari noted how dependency on the platform’s algorithms and policies can stifle true creative expression. This reliance reveals a deeper issue: creators do not actually own their audience or content. With Instagram accruing significant revenue from users without adequately compensating creators, Kari was compelled to seek alternative revenue streams outside the platform. In transitioning to Web3 and embracing NFTs on the Solana blockchain, she found solutions to these problems through decentralization and true content ownership.

Challenges Inside Web2 for Creators

Creators in Web2 face an uphill battle for visibility and income. Algorithms dictate the reach of content, often demoting posts that do not engage users in a way that keeps them scrolling. Moreover, platforms have complete control over accounts, leading to content deletions and the constant threat of losing one's account. In essence, creators are at the mercy of the platforms, with little direct monetization opportunities, pushing them to seek multiple creative methods to earn revenue through brand collaborations or merchandise sales.

Building the Web3 Creator Ecosystem

Kari's vision extends to constructing a new ecosystem that prioritizes creators and their communities. Three Lands on Solana aims to create a decentralized sphere where artists can collaborate seamlessly through smart contracts. The goal is to foster a community that supports the arts and leverages blockchain technology for collective growth. Through Kari's efforts, initiatives like 3TV are underway, proposing a live streaming platform integrated with NFT utility to ensure creators engage and monetize their work more directly and transparently.

Facts + Figures

  • Kari grew her Instagram page to over 200,000 followers in three years but realized that likes and comments did not translate to business success.
  • Instagram reportedly makes $300 annually from each US user without sharing profits with the creators.
  • Kari established varied revenue streams, including e-commerce, an AR marketing agency, and a subscription platform, to monetize her following.
  • Frustrations with Instagram’s algorithm and content control policies were significant factors in her pivot to Web3.
  • Kari has pivoted to focus on building in the Web3 space and moved her creator activities to Twitter.
  • Three Lands, which Kari founded, is a creator-first ecosystem providing tools for creators on the Solana blockchain.
  • A key proposition of Web3 is interoperability, wherein creators can potentially have an audience across multiple platforms versus being trapped within one.
  • 3TV is an upcoming live streaming platform that aims to integrate chat functions and NFTs, offering new utilities beyond just buying and selling digital assets.

Top quotes

  • "Being a creator is actually not as glamorous as I thought it would be because you're kind of fighting against the platforms that you're building on."
  • "I sort of had to adjust my content and kind of put myself in this box, right? In Web2, I had to pretty much create my art for this platform."
  • "This is what can solve these problems for creators... I didn't own my audience on Instagram. I didn't own my content."
  • "We are still so early... We still have to build the platforms that are going to... perpetuate this digital renaissance to all these creators."
  • "The internet is kind of like the best thing to ever happen ever."
  • "It's fun and they're going to want to stay because they meet their absolute BFFs in the space."
  • "I want to onboard these creators, get them into Web3 and, you know, I want to ruin Instagram."

Questions Answered

What are the main differences between being a creator in Web2 and Web3?

Web2 platforms retain control over content and distribution, often limiting creators' reach through algorithms and strict content policies. This means creators do not truly own their content or audience. In contrast, Web3 emphasizes decentralization and content ownership, freeing creators from platform dependency and allowing for direct audience engagement and monetization through blockchain technology.

How did Kari monetize her audience on Instagram?

Given the lack of direct monetization on Instagram, Kari had to get creative to earn revenue. She built an e-commerce brand selling apparel, started an AR marketing agency, created a subscription platform for recurring revenue, and collaborated with brands.

What is Three Lands and how does it support creators?

Three Lands is a creator-first ecosystem founded by Kari that operates on the Solana blockchain. It provides tools and technologies for creators to engage directly with their communities and capitalize on blockchain features like smart contracts and decentralization to enable seamless collaboration and ownership of content.

What issues did Kari face with Instagram’s algorithm?

Kari found that Instagram’s algorithm would hide her content that wasn't deemed highly engaging, leading to drastically reduced visibility even among her own followers. This often impacted her ability to monetize directly by selling products like apparel.

How does the upcoming 3TV platform integrate with NFTs?

3TV is a live streaming platform that will allow creators and communities to interact. It will incorporate chat features and the use of digital assets like NFTs, providing added utility for digital asset owners beyond the traditional buy-and-sell marketplace, thus emphasizing user experience and ownership.