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A mock-up of AR artwork from Meta's 2021 Connect presentation. Credit: Meta Platforms.

Instagram Eyes AR NFT Launch; Horizon Worlds Gobbles Up Venues

By  |  May 9, 2022 11:00 AM PDT
Photo: A mock-up of AR artwork from Meta's 2021 Connect presentation. Credit: Meta Platforms.

Is the NFT market truly cratering or have reports of its demise been greatly exaggerated? However vigorous the demand for digital collectibles may or may not be, the market might get a shot in the arm from Meta Platforms: today, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram will begin testing support for NFTs this week, letting select users display blockchain-vetted goods on the app’s feed alongside their videos and photos. Augmented reality tests with NFTs will begin this summer.

In a new podcast interview, Zuckerberg discussed the plans for Instagram’s NFTs and his outlook on how the blockchain-based tech ties into his vision for the metaverse more generally. Meta’s commitment to NFTs stems from his belief that “there are a bunch of open formats” for commerce that need to be tested and developed now as part of the “longer journey” to the metaverse. They were probably the most in-depth public comments he’s made on the subject yet. But there’s still something missing from Zuckerberg’s talk of how digital collectibles could or should work in the metaverse: namely, any sense of where and how Meta will benefit financially from championing NFTs.

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