Last October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the world that the social media giant would be rebranded and reborn as Meta Platforms (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report.
“Today we’re seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we’re a company building technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier, just like the social network when we first started,” Zuckerberg said in his keynote speech.
“Fun place we can play”
The transition is not easy. Meta posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results, with the company forecasting spending to approach $100 billion this year, noting a slowdown in user growth and a pullback in ad budgets.
Meta has lost more than $500 since the name change, and Zuckerberg’s financial hit was enough to knock him off the top 10 list on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Zuckerberg isn’t slowing down, as he announced at the SXSW conference on Tuesday that NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are coming to Meta’s photo and video-sharing app Instagram.
“We’re working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the short term,” Zuckerberg said, according to Fast Company. “I’m not ready to announce exactly what will happen today. However, hopefully over the next few months, some of your NFTs will be brought in [you’ll] To be able to cast things in that environment. “
A quick refresher: NFTs are the only certificates of ownership for digital files (codes, images, GIFs, videos, objects, and even video game characters).
“We’re definitely actively exploring NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said in a video posted on the app in December.
“I think it’s a fun place we can play … and a way to hopefully help creators,” he said.
In January, the Financial Times reported that Meta Platforms was considering the possibility of letting users create, sell and showcase NFTs on Facebook and Instagram.
The NFT market has proven to be lucrative. The value of NFTs reached $41 billion last year, according to blockchain data firm Chainalysis.
The company’s last blockchain work was a bit difficult. Meta attempted to enter the blockchain payments space with its Libra initiative in 2019, and is backed by major players such as credit card issuers.
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But crypto projects quickly ran into regulatory resistance, and many important players, such as credit card issuers, pulled out.
“Prepare to mint coins!”
In December 2020, the company renamed Libra to Diem, which means “a day” in Latin, but that didn’t help much.
Earlier this year, Facebook sold its technology assets as part of its proposed virtual currency arm, Diem Association, to San Diego-based bank Silvergate for $200 million.
NFTs have caused some controversy recently.
NFTs are a pain point for many gamers who say they have seen experimentation with new revenue models such as microtransactions, loot boxes, and pay-to-win, at the expense of gamer fun.
Players have also criticized NFTs for their environmental impact as blockchains consume a lot of energy.
Much of the reaction on social media seemed less enthusiastic.
One person on Twitter posted a widely mocked photo of Zuckerberg windsurfing with his face completely covered in sunscreen.
“Prepare to mint coins!”
“Making nfts mainstream is a good thing,” one person said on Twitter. “But honestly, I feel like it reduces the value of NFTs. Everyone will start creating a project with no underlying utility, or the founders will mostly not have much knowledge. Most people/influencers will use it Come for easy cash grab. Happiness/sadness confuses.”
“Nearby,” said another.
Another tweeted, “Finally,” before adding, “But why don’t we create a social media platform for NFT holders and the community?”
“It makes more sense and is where we should be heading,” the person said.