Meta, formerly Facebook, has new plans to enter the fast-growing non-fungible token (NFT) market, according to the Financial Times.
Citing unnamed sources, the FT reported that the social media company is preparing a feature that will let users mint and sell NFTs; Meta and Instagram users would also be able to display their NFT collections on their social media profiles. Meta, formerly Facebook, acquired Instagram in April 2012 for $1 billion.
It is still unclear which blockchain network these features would be built on. These days, NFTs exist on several blockchains including Solana, Tezos, Ethereum, Flow, and WAX.
Two sources indicated that an NFT marketplace akin to OpenSea was also in the works.
OpenSea has been a keystone for the booming NFT space. Even amid a broader market downturn, the platform broke a record-high $3.5 billion in monthly volume traded two weeks before the end of January. The entire market for digital collectibles hit $41 billion in 2021, according to a report from analytics firm Chainalysis.
The breakout year was headlined by the $69 million sale by digital artist Beeple at Christie's, regular million-dollar sales of CryptoPunks, and a host of celebrities backing the craze in one way or another.
This hype has also sparked interest among other, non-crypto companies.
Instagram, Meta and NFTs
In December, Instagram's CEO, Adam Mosseri, said that the firm is "actively exploring NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience."
Earlier in the year, the company hosted a panel for NFT creators to help raise awareness around how to use the technology. Instagram's VP of global partnerships, Charles Porch, said that creators said they "need more information on how to [use NFTs], not just from us, but from other creators."
NFTs are also expected to figure heavily in the emerging tech space known as the metaverse; a persistent digital world in which people interact as virtual avatars. In a wholly-digital environment, establishing non-fungible ownership of objects within that environment is critical.
Facebook's recent rebranding as Meta signaled CEO Mark Zuckerberg's intent to move "from being Facebook first as a company to being metaverse first," and with its latest push into NFTs, the tech industry is getting a glimpse into how Meta could implement NFTs on its platform.