Update: Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed NFTs will come to Instagram, though he hasn't specified when or how it might work
Facebook parent company Meta is reportedly working on ways to allow users to create, sell, and display NFTs on their social media profiles.
As reported by Financial Times (opens in new tab), teams across both Facebook and Instagram are preparing tools for creating and distributing NFTs. Though Meta has declined to speak on the matter formally, several people familiar with the company’s plans have shared that the teams are exploring the option of a marketplace wherein users can “mint” the collectibles and offer them for sale to others on social media platforms.
For those uninitiated, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are uniquely identifiable digital files that most commonly take the form of images, videos or audio. The budding technology has been a source of controversy in recent months due to scams and environmental concerns, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a growing part of the metaverse. (In fact, an Amazon-related cryptocurrency scam was reported the next day.)
Meta chief executive and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg spoke last year (opens in new tab) about NFTs, stating that he saw a future wherein the technology could be used to support a marketplace for digital goods. Meta will continue investing $10 billion per year into the new but expanding metaverse, and it stands to reason that some of that venture will include expanding these marketplace ideas.
Facebook’s digital currency wallet Novi (opens in new tab) is expected to play a substantial part in Meta’s adoption of NFTs. “A lot of the supporting functionality relating to Novi will be powering the NFTs” claimed one source familiar with the situation.
Meanwhile, Instagram head Adam Mosseri recently stated that the platform was “actively exploring NFTs,” though he stopped short of confirming any pertinent details. However, two people involved in the process have shared that the company is now internally testing an NFT showcasing feature, presumably allowing users to display their creations or purchases in a manner specific to the technology.
Last year alone the NFT global market managed to rake in an estimated $40 billion (opens in new tab) in cryptocurrency according to a blockchain analytics firm, so it looks like it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future.