A mock-up of AR artwork from Meta's 2021 Connect presentation. Credit: Meta Platforms.
Reality Check
Facebook Economy AR/VR

Instagram Eyes AR NFT Launch; Horizon Worlds Gobbles Up Venues

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.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing Crypto Venture Capital
An NBA Battle Could Fuel SF-Miami Feud
Golden State Warriors' Andrew Wiggins (22) and Miami Heat's P.J. Tucker (17) in a game in March. Photo by AP
It has been a rough week for national news, so please excuse us for a little diversionary counterprogramming on this Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend. Several of tech’s most important cities have a great showdown looming! On Thursday, San Francisco’s Golden State Warriors clinched their first NBA finals berth in three years after defeating the Dallas Mavericks to win the Western...
Latest Briefs
 
SEC Confirms Scruitiny Elon Musk’s Initial Disclosure of Twitter Stake
Twitter Board Rejects Shareholder Vote to Oust Silver Lake’s Durban
Chinese E-commerce App Pinduoduo Reports Better-Than-Expected Results
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital. Photo by Getty
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Sequoia Warns Founders of ‘Crucible Moment,’ Advises How to ‘Avoid the Death Spiral’
Sand Hill Road’s doomsayer-in-chief—Sequoia Capital—is back with a warning to its startup founders: Don’t expect a recovery from the current market downturn to happen quickly.
Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings. Photo by Bloomberg.
True Value Entertainment
Netflix Could Boost U.S. Revenue 21% With Advertising Push
Netflix has spent its entire existence setting the trend for others in video streaming to follow. But as it prepares to launch an ad-supported tier, Netflix executives are pondering a different question: Which rival service should it follow as a model?
Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive
A Top China VC Firm Struggles to Raise Funds After 10% Return, U.S. Investor Fears
Despite a difficult climate for raising money, at least four top-tier Chinese venture capital firms set ambitious goals to raise billions of dollars this year from Western institutional investors.
Dan Levitan, co-founder of Maveron. Photo by Maveron.
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Consumer VC Firm Maveron Raises $225 Million Amid ‘Serious Paradigm Shift’
Venture firm Maveron, whose well-timed investments in eBay and Drugstore.com helped it get through the 2000 dot-com bust with relative ease, had a tougher time during the financial crisis eight years later, when it was forced to downsize and narrow its focus to early-stage investing in consumer brands.
Brian Armstrong, chief executive officer of Coinbase. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Crypto Culture
Coinbase Tests App for Employees to Grade Each Other During Meetings
Coinbase, a cryptocurrency trading firm that garnered attention for banning salary negotiations and political speech among employees in recent years, is testing another practice that has raised eyebrows internally: asking employees to frequently rate each other.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Crypto Venture Capital
VC Pay Surged Again in 2021, but Future Jumps Are in Jeopardy
It’s hard to find venture capitalists right now who aren’t telling their startups to tighten their belts.