YouTube floats ideas of verifying NFTs, watching games in metaverse


FILE PHOTO: YouTube app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - YouTube on Thursday elaborated on its blockchain and metaverse plans for 2022, saying it could harness the emerging technologies to cut fraud in the fast-growing digital art market and offer a more social viewing experience for gaming content.

The world's largest streaming service, which is owned by Alphabet Inc's Google, over the past year has sought to hang onto users with better guidance about upcoming features amid increasing competition with ByteDance Inc's TikTok and Meta Platforms Inc's Instagram.

Last month, YouTube said it was exploring what proponents call Web3 technologies such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are video clips, art or other digital assets tied to the record-keeping technology blockchain.

YouTube went further in a blog post on Thursday, suggesting that it could make NFTs safer bets.

Sales of NFTs soared last year, but critics have said scams, copyright theft and other predatory behavior are too common.

Offering ways to verify the legitimacy of assets using its video library would be one feature possibility, YouTube said.

"Giving a verifiable way for fans to own unique videos, photos, art, and even experiences from their favorite creators could be a compelling prospect for creators and their audience," the blog said.

YouTube also has prioritized the metaverse, an element of the Web3 movement that describes shared virtual worlds where people typically interact through avatars.

YouTube said it did not have firm ideas yet but one possibility would be allowing users to watch videos together in a metaverse. Generally, it will focus for now on videos related to "gaming, where we'll work to bring more interactions to games and make them feel more alive," the blog said.

ByteDance last month launched a mobile app for gathering in a metaverse, and Meta is spending billions of dollars on virtual and augmented reality technology.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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