Mirela Spasova, a Reddit senior engineer on the Collectible Avatars project, took to the master stage at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) event in Paris to shed light on Reddit’s strategy for onboarding millions of users to its blockchain-backed digital collectibles.
In her presentation, Spasova said that the primary motivation behind running Collectible Avatars on-chain is to empower users with freedom of use. By adopting an on-chain approach, users gain the ability to make their own choices, including the option to resell the avatars on popular non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces like OpenSea.
This means that after purchasing avatars from creators on Reddit, users are able to further engage with the NFT ecosystem and potentially benefit from the growing market for digital collectibles.
In 2022, Reddit launched a blockchain-backed collectible avatar featuring an NFT minted on Polygon. Spasova said the aim was to achieve widespread adoption and support creators in monetizing their collections. To accomplish this, Reddit made the user experience a priority, minimizing friction, marketing the product’s benefits and delivering an integrated experience, she said.
To minimize user friction, Reddit made strategic trade-offs, including developing a non-custodial wallet, “Reddit Vault” for quick onboarding within 30 seconds, as Spasova explained. They also introduced fiat purchases for Web and IOS users. To enhance the experience, she continued, Reddit ensured users received their collectible avatars instantly upon claiming. They built an asynchronous system to query the minted and transferred state, updating the collectible metadata once the NFT was minted.
In the presentation, Spasova explained how they structured the messaging for interacting with new users, placing emphasis on the product’s benefits, value and overall user experience. In her words:
“You’re getting a blockchain-backed collectible, and no NFT provides all of that.”
Spasova concluded that the user experience strategies applied to Reddit Collectible Avatars led to the onboarding of over eight million users to wallets. She also noted the positive side effects, such as fostering organic community engagement between artists and users within the ecosystem. Additionally, users’ investment in building various tools on collectible avatars has enriched the overall experience for the community, she said.