On March 16, Meta (formerly FaceBook ) founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at South by Southwest that Meta is working to bring NFT to Instagram in the near term, though I’m not ready to announce specifics today.
Meta’s NFT and Metaverse Ambitions
According to Casey Newton, author of The Verge platform game newsletter, Zuckerberg hopes that in the next few months, Instagram members will be able to cast their own NFTs in the app.
In fact, Meta has been making a lot of noise about the All in meta-universe. Zuckerberg said in late June 2021 that the company’s future plan is much more than social media, but building a meta-universe, and Zuckerberg even declared that he hopes to build Facebook into a meta-universe company in the next 5 years or so.
NFT can also be regarded as an almost indispensable part of the meta-universe construction – the non-homogeneous property of NFT itself is naturally applicable to the meta-universe’s asset identification, circulation and various scenarios of application needs.
NFT works in a similar way to blockchain-powered receipts and is often used to prove ownership of digital items such as art, collectibles and interactive video game items, but as an untamperable record on a decentralized ledger without an intermediary, NFT may have more practical uses (e.g. real estate, art, identity, etc.) and shake up existing industries.
Of course, NFT is still primarily being used by people first and widely in the entertainment and content sectors, with content creators typically using NFT for digital illustrations, profile pictures, sports and branded collectibles, and characters and items in blockchain technology-powered video games.
According to Meta’s latest quarterly earnings report, it currently has 2.91 billion MAUs (monthly active users) on Facebook alone. Although Meta’s Instagram is temporarily using NFT as an avatar setting, according to the information disclosed so far, this should only be the first step in Meta’s NFT deployment.
Previously, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ether, said in the live broadcast of the Ether Chinese community that NFT should focus on the role, and as a social media giant serving billions of online users around the world, Instagram, which is owned by Meta, is in a unique position to make an attempt at NFT.
Meta + NFT = ?
In fact, as the most popular blockchain concept, the actual application scenarios and landing attempts of NFT are more crucial. From this perspective, we can open our minds and think about “Meta + NFT”. What can this combination of “Meta + NFT” do in this process?
Most directly, digital artists may be able to showcase their NFT artwork through tools on the platform, or NFT could somehow be integrated into an Instagram or Facebook user’s profile.
Second, many NFTs are currently used as one of the tools to foster community, with many being used as membership credentials: providing a form of differentiated identity in the community for both project parties and users, allowing community members to have specific NFTs, the opportunity to participate in project-corresponding social events and gatherings, and the opportunity to connect with other similar NFT holders.
As a social platform, Meta itself is closely related to social links in the form of friends and groups, which can help companies, projects, communities, etc. to build corresponding social spaces, such as filtering only those users who have certain NFTs to access.
In fact, there is more room for imagination, and even extensions from some existing application scenarios can explore the business models it can achieve in the second half.
- NFT subscriptions: Encrypt the Instagram or Facebook account of a news outlet or podcast to deliver exclusive content directly to subscribers in the form of NFTs through the platform’s messaging post push service, eliminating the intermediary and increasing efficiency by replacing the hassle of email subscriptions.
- NFT status: corporate organizations or communities of all types only allow users with specific NFTs (e.g., BAYC or membership NFTs) to access groups.
- NFT tickets: social sharing in the form of a live stream like Twitter Space, where only NFT holders can connect to the AMA on the site and only NFT holders can access the live stream.
In short, with a huge amount of social user traffic and a natural social scene, for Meta, there is no doubt that there is a lot of room for imagination in exploring more scenarios – how to find a way to legitimately combine NFT with more areas (DAO, social, community management, finance, etc.) may be the next more NFT “paradigm shift” worth looking forward to.
Progressive “inward roll” of the large factory “NFT battle”
In fact, the Internet majors have seen the opportunities and incremental blue ocean market that lies in the world of NFT.
- NFT avatar functionality on the adult network OnlyFans in December 2020.
- In January, Twitter added support for NFT avatars.
- Also in January, Reddit, which has 425 million monthly users, allowed users to add NFT tags to their profile pictures.
- In February, Alexander Tobol, technical director of VKontakte, Russia’s largest social network, said in an interview with Russian media that he plans to integrate NFT and blockchain technology in its operations.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki was even more outspoken when she announced the NFT integration, which will help creators take advantage of new technologies like NFT to enhance and improve the experience of creators and fans on YouTube.
It’s not just social media giants looking to get in on the action offered by the crypto industry. Traditional financial companies are also showing interest in the space, with an application filed this week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by American Express showing that the company is ready to offer virtual banking and transaction services, cryptocurrency services, and allow its credit cards to be used in the NFT marketplace.
Yesterday Japanese social giant LINE also partnered with Visa, Crypto.com and 26 other companies in games, manga, entertainment, metaverse, art and other areas, with plans to build a global NFT value chain.
It is no exaggeration to say that today’s Internet companies, especially the giants, who have been able to gradually accept NFT certification, are helping the NFT world all the time to promote NFT’s ideas, products, and innovative advantages, thus attracting a huge number of users outside the circle to experience, use, and support NFT’s changes.
The battle of the NFT first-hand layout of the giants may have opened the curtain, and this is the key incentive for the NFT world to usher in the second half of the world to continue to “break the circle”.