Facebook and Instagram are on track to enable their users to make their non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the Financial Times reports.
Owners of NFTs will be able to use their prized artwork as profile images. Last September, Twitter announced a similar option. Meanwhile, Reddit has released its own set of NFT avatars.
According to one tip, the company’s Novi wallet technology would power much of the “supporting functionality.” Instagram is said to be testing a way to display NFTs, and Meta is rumored to be working on a marketplace to buy and sell these digital collectibles. However, Meta declined to comment.
Meta’s Efforts to Get into NFTs
Firms can sometimes abuse the link between NFTs and the metaverse (merely offering NFTs does not imply creating a metaverse). However, Meta may want to provide a framework for them so that residents of its virtual worlds can sell unique digital goods. If NFTs prove to be more than a fad, Meta may be able to use this to keep third-party platforms like OpenSea’s market from gaining too much traction.
At this early stage, all efforts are subject to change. Meta has been pursuing its first efforts to cash in on the hype-fuelled world of NFTs, which became a $40 billion market last year thanks to a surge in popularity. Critics have portrayed the free-wheeling sector as a speculative bubble riddled with scams and market manipulation.
Meta’s plans will also assist artists in monetizing their digital art at a time when money is pouring into sales of expensive, limited collections of NFTs, such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. To signal their online status, buyers of these exclusive collections frequently use their pieces as their Twitter profile pictures.
The Road to NFT Integration
The move comes after Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last year that NFTs could one day be used to support a market for digital goods in the company’s planned metaverse. It is an avatar-filled world in which the company plans to invest $10 billion per year over the next decade.
In recent years, the company has been stung by scandals involving moderation and privacy. As a result, it has seen its main social networking products, such as Facebook and Instagram, lose popularity, threatening its $85 billion-a-year ad-based business model.
In December, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri stated that the company was “actively exploring NFTs,” but provided no further details. However, Instagram is now internally testing its NFT showcasing feature, according to two people with knowledge of the rapidly evolving plans.
According to another source, the Instagram NFTs project was started last year by Kristin George, Instagram’s director of product and creators, and David Marcus, the former head of Facebook’s payments and crypto arm, leaving the company in December. Stephane Kasriel, the former CEO of the freelancing platform Upwork, has taken Marcus’ place.
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