“Micro-videos” have taken the world by storm — with short, viral clips grabbing the attention of today’s teenagers and forming the next generation of social media.
But there’s one platform that had pioneered this concept much earlier than the likes of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube — or even Vine.
Coub launched in the spring of 2012, and the premise is simple: Each video is up to 10 seconds long and plays on a loop with a full-length audio track or song, allowing to form unique audio-visual mashups. The clips are known as “coubs.”
Now, fresh from celebrating its 10th anniversary, the social network is stepping into the world of Web3 with a brand-new approach to monetization.
As part of the transition, Coub plans to focus on “watch-to-earn” — unlocking new opportunities for creators and viewers — complete with a built-in nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace.
With over 11 million monthly users as of May 2022 and more than 105 million active participants each year, the platform aims to build on these strong foundations, empower its dedicated community, and usher in the next generation of social media.
Coub says its approach to video represents a “truly innovative and impactful multimedia format,” packing as much content and substance as possible into a microscopic 10-second timeframe. Given how today’s internet users, including Generation Z, are focused on instant non-verbal communication, this couldn’t be more timely.
The website claims to offer a new vision for media content platforms that are suited to the “ownership era” as Coub describes today’s social media landscape. As well as a new breed of Web3 services monetized for viewers and creators alike, creatives can enjoy direct, peer-to-peer interactions with their audience through NFTs, decentralized apps and a “watch-to-earn” approach.
Coub.com intends to take this evolution further and expand the concept — empowering the community to control every aspect of the platform’s future, from the types of content available to the way rewards are distributed within the ecosystem.
How will it work?
All Coub users will participate in “watch-to-earn” by default, collecting rewards for their usual daily activities on the platform: views, likes, comments and reposts. And, of course, the creators uploading “coubs” will be compensated for all these interactions with their content.
While hopping on board is effortless, there are plenty of fun possibilities for more engaged users. Viewers and creators will progress from level to level, increasing rewards by watching more coubs, unlocking achievements, and collecting custom statuses. From daily challenges and treasure hunts for “hidden gems” to cutting-edge contests, there’s plenty to keep the community busy.
There is, of course, an end goal. Users will be able to exchange accumulated rewards and spend them in various ways on the platform, such as purchasing NFTs of their favorite videos. Collectors will have a massive library of high-quality content to choose from — a treasure trove of viral videos featuring classic internet memes, contemporary art, anime, gaming and more. That places the platform in stark contrast with many upcoming NFT art marketplaces, dominated by AI-generated profile picture collections with “pre-programmed scarcity” and amateur graphics with little rhyme or reason behind the asking price.
And in an interesting twist, prospective buyers will be able to scrutinize the popularity and viral potential of a tokenized video through open, transparent statistics on Coub.com, meaning it’s possible to forecast how they could perform.
Mechanisms are also in place to protect the quality of the NFT marketplace. A listing fee is required to unlock rewards generation, while a community-driven validator network will help protect the website from spam, reuploads and unwanted content.
A new team has been driving the company’s development since April 2022. After months of rigorous research and analysis of available blockchain solutions, Coub.com has been completely revamped from a traditional streaming service to a cutting-edge Web3 app that’s already in active beta testing. One of the industry’s leading blockchain security audit firms is currently analyzing Coub’s infrastructure, and the platform says it’ll be ready to handle the wave of users rushing to hop on board and join the latest watch-to-earn craze.
The project says a truly decentralized, blockchain-driven architecture is at its core, with users given access to secure, noncustodial wallets to store their NFTs and watch-to-earn rewards. Ultimately, the goal is to offer a seamless, simple experience that’s easy for everyone to access — even those who aren’t all too familiar with how crypto works. Coub believes this approach won’t affect customer retention or deter new users, and instead, it’ll flatten the learning curve for casual users keen to embrace on-chain digital assets.
Looking ahead, the site’s NFT marketplace is set to launch in the third quarter of 2022 along with a beta version of its watch-to-earn monetization model. A new #Crypto video category is also going to launch, meaning we could see a lot more crypto-centric content popping up on the site.
A global network of social influencers will be established through an ambassador program. Plus, there will be a fresh version of Coub.com for users to enjoy and an awards ceremony in celebration of the site’s most brilliant creators.
Given how coubs can be embedded on all major social networks, these videos could be coming to a chat near you very soon.
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