NFTs are now being marketed at children. This is the latest in a pre-existing trend for social media and the internet platforms to engage children. We live in a world where the M&Ms mascots have 10 million Followers on Facebook and where Serena Williams' daughter's doll Qai Qai has a successful Instagram and TikTok career. NFTs for and by children are a natural development, but should we be concerned?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a way of recording digital files on a blockchain to create rarity. You can learn all about them in our guide 'what are NFTs', learn how to create an NFT for free with our tutorial, and discover the future of NFT art in our feature.
So are NFTs for children the future of non-fungible tokens? The app Zigazoo (opens in new tab) and its developer seems to think so. The TikTok-like app Zigaroo is aimed at children as young as three and its brag of being the "the world’s largest social network and NFT platform for kids" will have some parents concerned. After all, children are already accidentally costing parents a fortune on Fortnite (opens in new tab), will NFTs make this worse?
The Qai Qai NFT is already on the Zigaroo app, and is leading the way. In defence of this trend, which includes events such as California's Crypto Kids Camp (opens in new tab) and regularly children are proving they can succeed in the crypto space, where a 13-year-old can become a millionaire (opens in new tab), it would only be sensible to teach children about the dos and don'ts of Web 3, cryptocurrency and NFTs.
There does, however, feel like some of these apps and websites are treading a morally thin line. Should children be taught to spend money to make money? Should they be encouraged to seek value in art rather than create art for the love of art? The apps such as Zigaroo have learning features, some innocuous, but some veer towards pandering to social media values – get more engagements – and learning financial skills – collect all the Qai Qai items to increase her value.
While some aspects of this are good and will protect children and set them up for a safe and informed Web 3 and metaverse future, these apps are also dragging into Web 3 some of the worst aspects of the current internet and social media. We, and our children, should really expect more, perhaps placing collaboration above investing.
There are some good points for these NFTs aimed at children, for example they will learn what the future of the internet looks like and how to use it safely. Parents, however, may get a financial hit as their child needs the new CoComelon NFT and will soon get sucked into trading and collecting more NFTs, perhaps using your new Zigabucks in the Zigaroo app.
It's going to be interesting to see how the metaverse, Web 3 and NFTs are taken up by the new generation, and how they may turn against some of the social media trends we've become used to.