Meta Doubles Down on NFT Bet Despite Fall in NFT Trading Volume

Meta remains bullish on digital assets as it wants to use them to appeal to Gen-Z.
Image source: Meta

Quick take:

  • Meta’s new head of fintech, Stephane Kasriel, said the company would not be changing its plans for NFTs.
  • Meta sees an opportunity for billions of people to use its platforms to buy and sell digital collectibles.
  • Meta is betting on NFT to lure users to its social media apps as it fights for users with rival TikTok.

Meta is moving ahead with its plans to roll out NFT features to the 3 billion users on Facebook despite the recent market downturn, according to a report by Financial Times.

Last week, Facebook started testing out an NFT feature that would allow creators to display NFTs under a new tab. The new feature is currently only available to select creators based in the US.

According to Financial Times, Meta’s new head of fintech, Stephane Kasriel, said that the company would not be adjusting its plans around NFTs as the efforts are an important contribution to building and monetising Meta’s vision of the metaverse, which the company says could generate its own $3 trillion economy in the next decade. This is despite Meta’s virtual and augmented reality division losing $3 billion in Q1 2022 and $10 billion last year.

“The opportunity [Meta] sees is for the hundreds of millions or billions of people that are using our apps today to be able to collect digital collectibles, and for the millions of creators out there that could potentially create virtual and digital goods to be able to sell them through our platforms,” Kasriel told the Financial Times.

As Meta fights to grow its userbase, it is using NFT to appeal to Gen-Z users on its rival, TikTok. Kasriel said that Meta is betting on NFTs to lure creators and influencers to Facebook and Instagram by providing channels for them to monetise their art, which could result in the creators’ fans using the social media platforms.

For now, Meta will not be charging any fees for posting or sharing NFTs on Facebook and will not be offering the ability to turn posts of digital collectibles into ads, but an internal document reported by the Financial Times earlier this year stated that it could be a possibility in the future.

Meta has been experimenting with different aspects of Web3 in the past few years. The company shut down its crypto project, Diem, in January this year. After announcing the shutdown of its crypto payments wallet, Novi, Meta is doubling down on its NFT bet. The company already started allowing users to display NFTs on Instagram in May.

Commenting on the crypto bear market,  Kasriel said that the blockchain sector was going through a “hype cycle” and that “there’s a lot of things that are not going to survive.” 

“We’re trying to figure out what the regulatory landscape is so that we don’t invest in things that are ultimately going to become super-controversial or get shut down,” he added.

Kasriel also told the Financial Times that Meta hopes to make NFTs easy to buy and trade for non-crypto natives and that the company is exploring how NFTs can be used to sell “memberships” and “subscrptions” to creators’ content.

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