• That would make Meta the first major non-crypto company to integrate an NFT marketplace
  • +Other social media platforms are keying in on NFTs, such as Twitter, which launched a profile-picture service on Thursday

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has made plans to dive into the world of non-fungible tokens, the Financial Times reported Thursday. 

Two sources familiar with the matter told the FT that Meta has discussed launching an NFT marketplace, where users can buy and sell the blockchain-based collectibles. Instagram and Facebook, additionally, are said to be developing a feature to allow users to showcase NFTs on their profiles. 

Twitter on Thursday rolled out an NFT profile-picture feature for subscribers to its premium offering. 

Per the FT, the plans are “fast-developing” — describing efforts as “early stage” and “could yet change.” Meta did not immediately respond to Blockworks request for comment. 

“In the coming years, I expect people will transition from seeing us primarily as a social media company to seeing us as a metaverse company,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an earnings call in the second quarter  of 2021. 

Meta’s spending last year alone of augmented and virtual reality research was projected to top $10 billion, and analysts predict that Meta will spend $60 billion to carry out its metaverse vision. 

Although other trillion-dollar Web2 companies like Microsoft and billion-dollar companies such as Fortnight developer Epic Games have jumped on the metaverse bandwagon, experts say their Web3 integrations are still a ways off. 

According to Web3 startup Unstoppable Domains founder Matthew Gould, a true metaverse can’t exist without combining crypto and big tech company inventions like VR and AR. 

“It’s actually the intersection of these two worlds where you can create the metaverse,” Gould told Blockworks. “I think fundamentally you’re not going to have the adoption of the metaverse without the concurrent adoption of crypto.”

Colin Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Animal Concerts, an NFT startup focused on virtual concerts in the metaverse, told Blockworks that the prospects of the company getting into NFTs “are highly likely,” but holders of the digital assets should be careful when using Meta. 

“The responsibility will fall on the NFT community’s shoulders to make sure Meta behaves fairly and doesn’t try to monopolize profits and what is supposed to be a democratic industry,”  Fitzpatrick said.

Meta Platforms Inc. (FB) traded 1.2% higher to $323.46 per share following the news.

Correction (Jan. 20, 20:58 UTC): Article previously stated Apple is involved with metaverse development. The company has said it would not utilize its MR headset for the metaverse.

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  • Morgan Chittum is a New York-based reporter covering NFTs, the metaverse, play-to-earn gaming and other emerging Web3 tech for Blockworks. Previously she was a street reporter, covering crime at New York Daily News, and a media and journalism fellow at the Poynter Institute. Contact Morgan via email at [email protected]