As more people look to step back from 'investing' in digital art photos, it appears that some of the air has been released from the NFT hype bubble, among many scams and other malicious conduct.
Nonetheless, many people believe NFTs are the way of the future, with enthusiasts arguing that we're still too early in the process to expect widespread adoption. Current investors are ahead of the curve, and everyone will be buying and selling digital goods soon. From one vantage point, that's how it's being presented — and while it is probable that we'll soon see more digital item trading, whether those virtual things are the modern Garbage Pail kids remains to be seen. Whether you like them or not, NFTs are poised to get a boost, according to a recent article from The Financial Times, which claims Meta is about to reveal its NFT trading and display plans.
As per The Financial Times:
“According to one memo shared internally last week, Meta plans to launch a pilot for posting and sharing NFTs on Facebook in mid-May. This will be “quickly followed” by testing of a feature that will allow members of Facebook groups based on NFT ownership and another for minting - a term for creating - NFTs. NFTs may be monetized via “fees and/or ads” in the future, according to another internal document. Facebook declined to comment.”
As a result, Meta appears to be on the verge of building its NFT ecosystem, following Twitter's decision to merge NFT profile images into a new, integrated display structure presently available to paying Twitter Blue customers.
Facebook appears to be focusing on facilitating specific NFT communities and becoming a more central location for particular holders and their discussions. Most NFT communities are currently hosted on Discord, where whitelisting and other features are implemented. But, with more dedicated, integrated NFT discussion and community features, Facebook could become the new home base for such, and ideally take some of that interaction back to its apps, which, given Facebook's scale, might be an enticing lure for NFT initiatives.
Every day, there are reports of millions of dollars being lost due to hacking and fraud, and while this isn't reflective of the overall NFT ecosystem, it is a worrying factor, especially given the lack of regulation and/or legal remedies for victims. Still, Meta may be looking to the future, where NFTs will serve as the foundation for a new digital products economy.
The ultimate goal of Meta is to promote eCommerce within the metaverse, a fanciful dream realm where anything is possible and nothing negative can ever happen to Zuckerberg and his crew. In that scenario, NFTs — not just profile images, but avatar apparel, digital products from businesses, game weapons, virtual credits, and so on – are expected to become tradeable assets.
All of these items, similar to NFTs, might be backed by digital contracts maintained on the Blockchain. That has a lot of promise, and it's what a lot of people are missing in the NFT picture. You would be perplexed as to why someone would pay for such nonsense, much less hand over hundreds, if not millions, of money in some circumstances. However, the core notion of buying and selling digital items has appeal, and Meta may be aiming to align with that component rather than facilitate shady art sales.
This also connects to another aspect of the FT's report:
“Facebook’s financial arm, Meta Financial Technologies, has been exploring the creation of a virtual currency for the metaverse, which employees internally have dubbed “Zuck Bucks”, according to several people familiar with the efforts. […] According to company memos and people close to the plans, Meta is also looking into the creation of so-called “social tokens” or “reputation tokens”, which could be issued as rewards for meaningful contributions in Facebook groups, for example.”
In addition to digital transactions, Meta is researching how it may facilitate in-app transactions with its own, internal digital currency, which would have no real-world value but would allow users to purchase virtual products for their digital selves.
Kids are nuts for 'Robux' and 'V-Bucks' to buy character skins, weapon versions, dance movements, and other things in Roblox and Fortnite. While Meta has been exploring its coin with its Novi project, constructing an internal trading mechanism will likely face less regulatory criticism, as it will not be Meta inventing an alternative financial process, but one that is reliant on the present banking systems.
All of this contributes to Meta's great goal of an all-encompassing metaverse where you may buy, sell, and exchange digital objects to improve your experience. While NFTs offer the potential for visual creativity – and it's worth mentioning that Instagram is also looking into this — Meta's main focus is likely to be on the growth of that process.