In most influencer marketing industry reviews, the authors assume that we will see a continuation of current trends next year. In the short term, this is what usually happens. However, if you look beyond the horizon of 10 to 15 years, trends relevant today might break down, and fundamentally new relationships between influencers and the audience will replace them.
Let’s not get deep into the history of the Web3 term, but if you want to think about this question, we recommend the article "Introduction to Web3" by the Ethereum team.
We also recommend Jason Calacanis' concept of "official definition”, as former general manager of Netscape.
Web3 is a vital part of the interaction between influencers, audiences, brands and major platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Spotify, Substack, OnlyFans and Patreon.
Subscribers are the most valuable asset of any creator. For example, to become one of the coolest YouTubers globally, Mr. Beast spent about ten years upgrading his account and figuring out the secrets of the way algorithms work. The biggest fear for him now is that YouTube might delete or block his profile.
This is one of the main disadvantages of Web2 (the current stage of internet development). Users who generate content depend too much on Big Tech and their services to communicate with the audience. Although the content is created for the influencer’s followers, YouTube or Instagram act only as intermediaries to transmit the content.
In theory, the next stage of internet development solves this problem. On Web3, your data lives on the blockchain. When you decide to leave a platform, you can take your reputation with you, plugging it into another interface that more clearly aligns with your values.
Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, says the same thing. He affirms that cross-platform interaction between influencers and their audiences is the future. Mosseri stated, “As digital assets like cryptocurrency and NFT become more mainstream that creators are uniquely positioned to benefit. These blockchain-enabled technologies could remove the need for a "middleman" in the form of large social media platforms, allowing creators to more freely distribute their work and connect with their audiences.”
In other words, ideally, the influence of Big Tech can be replaced by direct communication between influencers and their audiences. And blockchain mechanisms will not lose followers but, on the contrary, will contribute to forming stronger communities that directly support influencers. For example, social tokens are one of the Web3 tools providing financial stability to creators and strengthening their connection with the audience. In general, these are the audience's investing tools for influencers. Still, unlike NFTs, which are usually associated with works of art, social tokens serve as a premium bonus for fans.
Of course, we don’t know what will happen in 10 years. But if the main ideas of Web3 are realized, we can say with certainty that the main result of the new phase of the internet's development will be a reduction of Big Tech's influence. Spreading the principle of transferring content without being strictly tied to the platform of intermediaries, as we said above, will ensure greater financial independence of the influencers and reduce the amount of advertising that the audience sees. And yes, as strange as it may sound, it benefits the entire influencer community and influencer marketing in general.
The point is that now, in addition to the ad integrations that influencers make themselves, the platforms’ algorithms include additional advertising messages to the users. This is good for brands and social networks, which generate additional revenue from advertising. But it is often tiring for the audience, and overloaded advertising messages can lead to the same effect as banner blindness online. Web3 solves this problem: the absence of intermediaries, which imposes additional advertising messages, leads to a higher audience's attention to the advertising integration of the influencers. As a result, ER, which is around four to five percent, will have to increase for successful influencers.
We are sure that influencer marketing will only benefit from the transition to Web3. The influencers are interested in engaging the audience to co-fund content creation, but a low barrier of entry for the audience is also important. After all, as we said initially, subscribers are the most essential asset of any opinion leader. It will not be profitable for influencers to make high-paid content, and besides, the principle of decentralization embedded in Web3 does not cancel the decentralization of income. Finally, Web3 does not pose a threat to collaborations between brands and influencers but, on the contrary, increases their effectiveness. No matter how broad the subscriber base is, it will benefit the influencers to develop and maintain their team by interacting with brands, so the threshold for entering the “followers’ family” will remain as low as possible.
To some extent, they are. Even Jason Calacanis said in his iconic definition that YouTube is moving towards Web3. Who else could be singled out? Of course, Patreon supports many influencers, but it is still not Web3 because it is an intermediary platform, which contradicts the principle of direct communication between the influencer and the audience. The same applies to the Substack service, one of today’s most influencer-friendly platforms. The service, also called "Onlyfans for intellectuals," does not charge money for creating and maintaining text mailings from the authors to the audience but earns a commission of 10% of the cost of a paid subscription. It means the platform is free for influencers, and they receive 90% of donations from the audience. You must admit that it is a far more honest scheme than YouTube’s one.
It is important to notice that no one can predict when the transition to Web3 will come. But it most likely will happen smoothly. And then we will realize that we are living a new reality after the fact. But you don't have to wait until tomorrow to get into influencer marketing. Hypetrain will help you find YouTubers to collaborate with today.