#2 - Instagram <> Starbucks NFTs 

My old label boss used to roll his eyes in planning meetings when people forced incongruous events into the same perceived outcomes “You’re not comparing apples wiv’ apples“, he used to say. And yet here I am attempting to compare Meta and Starbucks in relation to advancing Web3 ideology. 

Is this daft? Possibly. 

What does this have to do with the music industry anyway? Ermmm. Don't care. And anyway it shows this new way of thinking is now really catching fire.

This week both Instagram and Starbucks have announced their intention to use NFTs to further their exploration into the Metaverse. 

Mark Zuckerberg’s interest in this area comes as no great surprise as he quests to secure significant proprietary over the Metaverse, a cornerstone of Web3 which is the next iteration of the internet. But Starbucks NFTs….?! Hmmmm. I raised an eyebrow at this, but then thinking about it, their move seems to be more logical and closely aligned to the overarching principles of Web3. This is because they acknowledge that the Metaverse perpetuates a ‘community of shared experiences’, not necessarily owned experiences. Yes of course we can all own things but, let’s be honest, experiences are better shared. 

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri describes here how his platform wants to make it easier for creators to make a living via NFTs, but he feels obliged to recognise that Web3 is predicated on decentralisation. Therefore NFTs being peddled on a multi gazillion dollar centralised platform is not exactly QED of principle. He recognises the potential “tension” and the value (to Instagram) in wanting to “learn from the community”. 

In truth I think it comes across as a proof of concept roll out set against their own research agenda because nobody really knows how the hell creators are going to react. The feedback, they hope, will help Meta solve the conundrum of peddling Web3 digital assets on a Web2 e-commerce platform without consternation.

However, no apparent tension from Brady Brewer, CMO of Starbucks, who almost seems decaffeinated in comparison to Mosseri whilst describing how NFTs can help the emergence of the “third place” — somewhere between home and work, where people feel a sense of belonging (presumably over coffee). 

“Emerging technologies associated with Web3, and specifically NFTs, now enable this aspiration and allow us to extend who Starbucks has always been at our core. We are creating the digital ‘third place’. To achieve this, we will broaden our framework of what it means for people to be a member of the Starbucks community, adding new concepts such as ownership and community-based membership models that we see developing in the Web3 space.” 

“New concepts such as ownership” - hmm, yes, this maybe hints at coffee shop DAOs which would be very exciting and SO MUCH more aligned with underlying Web3 principles of rewarding customers as contributors and all round decentralisation. DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) allow for the org’s maxims to live on Blockchain and ownership and rewards are then dished out according to the contributions made by its participants. 

So, there you have it. Two staggeringly large businesses. Two very different agendas. Two massive apples spuriously compared, one hopes, for the greater good.

If this raises any questions for you or your business and you need some input surrounding Web3 and Metaverse related rights acquisition and ownership, please do get in touch to discuss further.