🖼️ Instagram’s NFT play, explained - The Hustle
The Hustle

🖼️ Instagram’s NFT play, explained

PLUS: Why remote tech jobs are moving out of the US.

Ever feel like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a bit stuffy? Well, maybe you’ll enjoy Farm Dog of the Year, a rival contest where perfect grooming is a negative. Fit, last year’s champ, is a 33-pound border collie who spends her days wrangling sheep on a Florida farm.

In today’s email:

  • Nonfungible Zuck: Why Instagram launched NFTs.
  • Chart: The psychology of free stuff.
  • WFH: Remote jobs are moving abroad.
  • Around the web: A Parisian getaway, a pricy melon, how to be your coworkers’ mental health ally, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear the whole crew discuss the end of the iPod and a record Warhol sale, plus answer reader questions about a lucrative poop side hustle, and more.

The big idea

NFTs are coming to Instagram

Zuck teased it at SXSW in March and now it’s here: NFTs for the ‘gram.

According to a video from Instagram head Adam Mosseri, users will be able to display NFTs they’ve made or bought in their feed, Stories, and messages next week.

They’ll appear as “digital collectibles” that list both the owner and creator — and they’ll shimmer, apparently.

The feature will roll out 1st to a handful of US users including actress Cynthia Erivo, VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk (his NFT project is called VeeFriends), and artist Elise Swopes, per TechCrunch.

Mosseri said they’re starting out small because Instagram wants to “learn from the community.”

Zuck also announced…

…that NFTs will make their way to Facebook, and Instagram will eventually get augmented reality NFTs that users can post to Stories using Spark AR — Meta’s AR studio, AKA the tool people use to make all those filters.

Per Mosseri, this is all part of a broader strategy to help creators earn money…

… but will they?

Instagram already serves as an ecommerce platform, so it makes sense that people would eventually be able to buy, sell, and trade NFTs there.

But earlier this week, a report from The Wall Street Journal declared the NFT market is “collapsing.” A daily average of 19k NFTs were sold the 1st week of May, compared to 225k in September — a 92% drop.

Zach Friedman, co-founder of crypto brokerage Secure Digital Markets, told WSJ what stands out now are “utility” NFTs, which come with perks like bottles of wine or lifetime Coachella passes.

Would that work for Instagram?

Well, we know Meta is all about the metaverse, including its Horizon Worlds — a digital platform where users can build worlds and experiences and interact with each other.

Zuck previously talked about how even the clothes your avatar wears could be NFTs, and hinted people could use Instagram to mint NFTs in the future.

To that end, it’s possible creators could produce and sell NFTs that correspond to digital items for use across the metaverse, or access to virtual events or venues.

Perhaps one day, your avatar will even be able to mint or buy itself some legs.

SNIPPETS

Coinbase reported revenue dropped 27% YoY amid a downturn in the crypto market. The stock dropped as much as ~19% after hours.

Brady’s booth: Tom Brady reached an agreement with Fox Sports to become the network’s lead football analyst once his playing career ends.

Dating SPAC: Grindr, a dating app used primarily within the LGBTQ+ community, announced plans to go public via SPAC at a $2.1B valuation.

Ad acceleration plan: Netflix told employees an ad-supported tier could be launched by the end of 2022, sooner than initially planned.

Console shortages: Sony and Nintendo warned that console supply will tighten due to shortages of various components.

What the truck? The trucking industry is responsible for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions, and the average truck spends $320k/yr. on diesel. To fix both of those problems, a new startup created an add-on that can turn trucks into hybrids within minutes.

Hmm: Kraft Heinz’s quirky products — like mac and cheese ice cream and a bologna-inspired face mask — have been a boon for its more traditional products. #ecommerce-retail

#ecommerce-retail

Green means go: A study suggests countries that move from coal straight to renewable energy, without relying on gas to transition, will save money. #clean-energy

#clean-energy

NASA’s InSight lander spotted a magnitude 5 marsquake, one of the largest of the 1.3k+ it’s seen in the past 3.5 years. Marsquakes aren’t caused by tectonic plates but cooling temperatures. #emerging-tech

#emerging-tech

Co:Create, which finished a $25m seed round, wants to help NFT projects make their own tokens, akin to what Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs has done with ApeCoin. #fintech-crypto

#fintech-crypto

Pour one out for the iPod because, after a 20-year run, Apple will make no more. The iPod Touch is available only while supplies last. #big-tech

#big-tech

MFM: How Twitch streamers are making $18m+ a year. #mfm

#mfm
Chart

Zachary Crockett

Why free stuff makes us irrational

If you’ve ever wondered just how passionate people are about free samples at Costco, look no further than these 2 incidents:

  • 2015: At a Southern California Costco, a 78-year-old was punched in the face after accusing a 24-year-old of hogging too many Nutella waffle samples. An arrest was made.
  • 2018: At a South Carolina Costco, 2 septuagenarians on a cheeseburger sample binge got into a spat over line etiquette that ended in a hat-flying slap to the face.

It may seem odd that a few small nibbles on toothpicks would incite violence. But this conduct is rooted in behavioral psychology.

In short, free stuff makes us do very strange, irrational things.

In this feature, we look at how “free” affects consumer behavior across 3 areas: grocery stores, shipping, and online content.

Read the full story →
Free Resource

The fundamentals of great lead generation

Businesses need leads like plants need light.

It’s just how it is. We don’t make the rules.

We can’t say whether or not a lack of fundamental knowledge is costing you, but we’ll keep dropping high-quality resources just in case.

You can trust this Introduction to Lead Generation because HubSpot and Rock Content are best-practice powerhouses for organic growth.

Inside the lead generation guide:

  • The mechanics of quality lead generation
  • How to run your B2B/B2C marketing campaigns
  • Examples of content offers and lead magnets
  • Recommended marketing automation tools
  • How to manage and analyze your campaigns

Read the playbook written by 2 of today’s digital marketing leaders.

How to nurture your leads →
Remote and Abroad

Why many remote jobs are moving abroad

Remote work has infiltrated every industry — but none more than tech.

Between January 2020 and February 2022, remote tech jobs are up 420%+ in the US. For context, that’s a jump from 4.4% to 22%+ of total tech jobs.

And now, thanks to a combination of macroeconomic factors, many of those same jobs are moving abroad, per WSJ.

Where are they going?

One popular destination is Canada, due to its comparatively lax immigration policy for tech workers:

  • The US issues 65k visas for skilled workers annually, plus 20k for workers who hold graduate degrees from American universities.
  • Canada doesn’t cap its visas for incoming tech workers, resulting in an influx of immigrants from China, India, and Eastern Europe in recent years.

This difference in immigration policy is one reason Toronto, which has added more tech jobs than any other city in North America since 2016 (81k), has been called the next Silicon Valley.

In the US…

… many tech companies are desperate for new hires. The unemployment rate for tech jobs was 1.3% in March — the lowest it’s been since 2019.

Critics argue that if the US doesn’t change its immigration policy to bring in more skilled workers, it could lose its crown as the global leader in technology and innovation.

One company that’s benefitting from the mismatch between America’s visa supply and tech job demand? MobSquad, which pairs American tech companies with foreign workers, then helps them move to Canada.

AROUND THE WEB

🚗 On this day: In 1947, The B.F. Goodrich Company announced it had developed a tubeless tire that was safer, easier to change, and resulted in better mileage. It would ultimately become the standard on new cars.

🍈 That’s interesting: The Montreal melon was once a delicacy, selling in the 19th century for ~$30 a slice (adjusted for inflation) until it disappeared. Now, a group of monks are bringing it back.

🧠 How to: Being a mental health ally at work has several benefits, but how do you know the right time and approach? Here’s a guide.

🇫🇷 That’s cool: For just 3 days in June, travelers can stay in the windmill atop Paris’ famous Moulin Rouge. The booking opens May 17 on Airbnb for just $1, and we assume it’ll sell out immediately.

🎧 Haha: If it turns out you miss your iPod, you can use this nostalgic web replica here.

🍿 Useful: Not sure what to watch? Try IMDB’s new suggestion app.

Meme of the Day

Sorry, had to. (Source: Imgflip.com)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Jennifer “Minting myself some digital legs” Wang.

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