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.