Facebook parent company Meta might be the latest entrant into the wild world of non-fungible tokens. Citing “several people familiar with the matter,” a new report in the Financial Times claims that teams across Facebook and Instagram are planning for features that would allow users to display the tokens on their profiles—along with another prototype that would let users mint NFT’s directly on the platform itself.
According to the FT, two of these sources also noted that Meta has “discussed” rolling out a marketplace for users to buy and sell the tokens within the platform, too. It’s hardly the first social media conglomerate to propose this idea; Reddit already started hiring for roles to build out its own NFT marketplace late last year, not long after fellow social giant Twitter hinted at plans to implement NFT’s into specific posts on the platform.
For those who’ve managed to avoid the inexplicable hype, NFTs are digital assets associated with a given piece of content—be it an intricate artwork, a literal drawing of a rock, or just the concept of a fart in a jar. These assets, which are often one-of-a-kind, live on a blockchain associated with a form of cryptocurrency, like Etherium, where every auction, sale, or price hike can be logged for the world to see. Granted, this can’t really stop anyone from, say, copying and pasting said digital asset and plunking it anywhere else across the web, but none of that’s stopped people from dropping millions of dollars on a single asset at any given time.
The FT’s report notes that any of Meta’s efforts in the space “are at an early stage and could yet change.” That said, this is hardly the first time the company has proposed working with these tokens.
Around the same time that the company rolled out its name change to the aforementioned Meta (to focus more on its vision of the metaverse, of course), one of the company’s product heads noted that this future tech would naturally support “Limited Edition digital objects like NFTs,” and let people resell them “securely.” Meanwhile, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said last month that the platform is “actively exploring” NFT’s, and thinking up ways how the company “can make them more accessible to a wider audience.” Considering how Facebook’s also been losing younger users at an alarming rate, it’s safe to say that a “wider audience” is also one that skews older than the typical NFT fanatic.
Whether any of this will come to pass is yet to be seen, especially considering how controversial Meta’s attempts to enter the crypto space—particularly its Novi wallet— have been in the past. We’ve reached out to the company for comment on the FT’s report and will update here when we hear back.