AFTER HYBE, which manages K-pop powerhouse BTS, Korean SM Entertainment is also entering the NFT (non-fungible token) business by establishing its own NFT division.
Earlier, HYBE Labels partnered with blockchain exchange platform Dunamu to establish a joint corporation focussed on NFTs.
What are NFTs and why do big Korean agencies want a piece of the action? These are virtual assets stored on the blockchain that authenticate the ownership of objects such as photos, artwork, music and in-game items. The digital photo cards are similar to the physical ones, which K-pop fans collect with a passion. But the difference could be that the digital photo cards would provide a more interactive experience with audio and video. What would this mean for fans? I’m not exactly sure but collectors would definitely need to shed more money for NFTs than they do now for photo cards.
It would be more eco-friendly because the buying and selling of physical photo cards right now uses so much paper and plastic in the packaging, but most fans still prefer something to literally hold on to. Things could still change, of course, and that’s what is wonderful about technology.
What hasn’t changed is the Starbucks Traditions Promotions, which lets customers collect stickers to get planners and other Starbucks merchandise.
The 2022 Starbucks Traditions Planner comes with a matching Organizer, which includes built-in pockets for a pen, Starbucks Cards and other essentials.
New this year with the same modern monochromatic design of the Planner with Organizer, the 2022 Starbucks Traditions Mug and Tumbler with Pouch are unexpected but welcome additions to the Starbucks Traditions collection. Each set includes a sleek stainless steel matte black 12oz tumbler or a classic pristine white 12oz ceramic mug, each paired with a pouch.
What is also new is that customers don’t necessarily need to go to Starbucks to get stickers. For the first time, customers can collect stickers digitally in two ways: 1) get the new QR promo card in stores and collect a digital sticker every handcrafted beverage in store; or 2) use the Starbucks app by opting in to collecting e-Stickers every handcrafted beverage purchased using a registered Starbucks Card. Customers can now earn digital stickers through their favorite delivery app. Every purchase of four eligible handcrafted beverages on GrabFood or foodpanda will be issued a QR promo card loaded with its corresponding digital stickers.
Also new on the digital front: Finally, the Philippines has Reels and Music on Instagram.
Reels give Instagram users new the ability to create and edit up to 60-second short-form videos. Users can access the Reels feature on their Instagram camera. They can either film videos directly on Reels or use a saved video from the camera roll.
You can choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected. You can also set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free and add stickers and text to your videos.
Also, Philippines finally has Instagram Music. This means you can add a soundtrack to your story. When you tap to add a sticker to a photo or video in Stories, you’ll now see a music icon. You can also choose a song before capturing a video. To do this, swipe to the new “Music” option under the record button when you open the camera. Search for a song, select the exact part you want and record a video as the song plays in the background.
Instagram has also expanded the ability to add links in Stories to all accounts. Now everyone can finally add links to their Instagram Stories, something very useful to someone like me who likes to share links to articles.