The Tribes


Main Hall - July 7, 2022

Social media giant Meta plans to go through with its digital collectibles project

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Facebook’s 3 billion users will soon be able to buy and sell digital artifacts according to Meta, the company that serves as a guardian for the social media network.

Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s new head of fintech, said in his first interview that the business would not “ever” shift its goals for so-called non-fungible tokens in his first interview.

They are critical to the company’s long-term plans to build and profit from a metaverse of digital avatars, but they contrast with Google’s and Apple’s mistrust of crypto assets in recent years.

There are hundreds of millions or billions of people using our applications right now, and we see an opportunity for them to collect digital collectibles, and for the millions of producers who could make virtual and digital items to be able to sell them on our platforms,” Kasriel told the Financial Times.

Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has always been more aggressive in its acquisition of intellectual property than other Silicon Valley giants, and it plans to employ this strategy as it fights with Chinese-owned TikTok for consumers.

Non-fungible tokens, based on blockchain technology, are used to authenticate the authenticity and ownership of digital products.

He said Meta’s NFT strategy is aimed at drawing artists and influencers into its Facebook and Instagram apps by providing them with options to sell their artwork or services in the hope that they’ll bring their followers with them.

Because of its army of viral characters, TikTok has grown its user base faster than Meta, whose $118 billion-per-year ad-based business model is in jeopardy. TikTok has shown the effectiveness of influencers.

Meta’s stock dropped by 25% after the firm announced its quarterly results in February, blaming a “growing rivalry” from TikTok for the company’s declining profitability and user numbers.

According to an internal memo disclosed by the Financial Times this year, Meta may commercialize NFTs via “fees and/or adverts” in the future.

A $3 trillion economy in the metaverse is Meta’s vision for the future, and it expects NFTs to play an important role in achieving this goal in the next decade. By employing NFTs, users may create digital items for their avatars, which they can then resell to other users.

There has been a reduction in non-fungible token (NFT) value during the previous two months, which has led to layoffs at digital exchanges.

As the bitcoin bear market takes hold and skeptics begin to throw doubt on the underlying technology, Kasriel realized that the blockchain business was following a well-established “hype cycle.” “Several things will not persist,” he said.

The Financial Times first reported in January that Meta has begun testing a feature that allows users to post their NFTs on their social media profiles as of May of this year. Last month, it said that it will be extending the test to include more creators, which it did.

Despite Facebook’s best efforts, it has been unable to establish itself in the unconstrained market.

Following Meta’s unsuccessful effort to create a worldwide cryptocurrency known as Diem, which was finally blocked by US regulators this year, Kasriel took over as CEO.

We’re looking at regulatory environments so that we can avoid investing in things that may become problematic or be shut down, Kasriel told the Financial Times.

When he joined Meta in 2020, Kasriel, a native of Paris, was the CEO of Upwork and an executive at PayPal.

A series of privacy and rivalry-related scandals have damaged Meta’s reputation, and Kasriel believes that the transparent and “immutable” properties of blockchain technology will help the company restore user confidence.

He went on, saying “We could build an open developer platform akin to what we’ve done in the past without the necessity for a blockchain. The question is, do you genuinely believe in what we’re doing here? If we change the rules of the game, would you be offended?”

“The crypto converted” can now only access digital assets on pricey platforms, which is why Kasriel says the business plans on making NFTs more accessible and affordable in the future.

Open-source blockchain technology may make it easier for customers to move their digital identities and commodities from one platform to another in the metaverse, which the business claims will not be a walled garden like its current applications.

According to Kasriel, Meta is looking at how NFTs might be used to offer “memberships” and “subscriptions” to producers’ content that can be utilized across platforms.

Due to the challenge of scaling even the most popular blockchains, Meta is advancing cautiously. “It’s still early in the game. As a general rule, most of these technologies are still in their infancy. In the meanwhile, we’re making prudent investments.”