If you're not familiar with non-fungible tokens you should give our beginners guide to NFTs a review but if you've gotten that far and are curious what NFT metadata is this FAQ article is for you.
As a brief reminder non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets and they can be used in a variety of ways in conjunction with digital media to tell stories, represent products, provide access to communities, and more. Metadata is data that tells a story about other data.
NFT metadata is generally seen as the data associated with an NFT, including its respective traits and properties, as well as its visual image (e.g. JPEG, GIF, MP4, etc). It's this information that often provides the perceived underlying value of an NFT.
This is because NFT marketplaces, and Web3 applications leverage this underlying NFT metadata to provide experiences for their users, whether that's buying and selling NFT art, or viewing NFT products in a curated gallery or metaverse.
To ensure NFTs are able to properly render across applications many brands leverage NFT metadata standards to ensure compatibility with as many platforms as possible. The most popular format currently utilized for NFT metadata is JSON Schemas.
NFT metadata is generally stored off-chain, though their is a growing trend for on-chain storage despite it's complications. When NFT metadata is stored off-chain it is managed either either by centralized servers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or decentralized hosting services like the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). IPFS provides the benefits of off-chain storage (i.e. low-cost, flexibility) with the benefits of decentralization.
When NFT metadata is stored on-chain it is converted to code, and associated with it's respective non-fungible token (NFT) permanently.
When leveraging the Metacommerce Studio all metadata associated with minted NFTs is stored on our decentralized media storage provide IPFS.
Yes, depending on the smart contract NFT metadata can be changed in a number of ways, this includes pushing updates to your NFT images as well as changing the JSON to change traits or values. The only data that cannot be changed post contract deployment is the token numbers.