Nonfungible tokens (NFT) have enjoyed quick adoption across the entertainment, media and sports space as the biggest brands, companies and individuals look to gain first-mover advantage in creating their own digital collectibles.
These have come in myriad forms, and much like blockchain technology was touted to be pliable to any industry’s needs and problems, the imagination is the only limit when it comes to NFTs that are being created and traded around the world.
Social media has made people more connected than ever before, and these various platforms have played a role in the introduction and proliferation of NFTs among distinct audiences.
However, industry-leading behemoths like Facebook and Twitter have not quite onboarded blockchain technology into the inner fabric of their underlying systems. Users can post about exciting new NFT launchings, but the end-user cannot buy or trade these items without clicking on a link taking them to whichever platform the digital collectible is based on.
Facebook, in particular, has been subject to plenty of regulatory scrutiny over the past two years, as its planned cryptocurrency wallet and native token and global payment system had far-ranging implications for the financial space. Given its estimated 2.9 billion user base, the social media giant could well disrupt how hundreds of millions of people transact with each other every day.
As its Novi wallet and Diem cryptocurrency edge closer to an official launch, the company has not been oblivious to the popularity of NFTs. Facebook Financial head David Marcus admitted as much in August, saying its Novi wallet is in a prime position to help its users with NFT support.
NFTs are growing in popularity, and social media platforms like Facebook are moving quickly to stay abreast of the burgeoning space. What remains to be seen is what a Facebook-powered NFT would look like and if the company’s move into the sector will be mutually beneficial for the social media giant and the crypto industry.
Integration is inevitable
There seems to be a consensus among industry participants that the integration of NFTs and social media platforms is just a matter of time. María Paula Fernandez, adviser to the Golem Network’s board of directors, told Cointelegraph there are both positives and negatives to this eventuality:
“I am uncomfortable with the idea of Facebook jumping into NFTs, NFT marketplaces are, for the most part, transactional and profit-driven. I would be more concerned about other web3 applications integrating with Facebook.”
Markus Bopp, chief training officer and founder of NFT multichain infrastructure platform Unifty, also weighed in on the subject, telling Cointelegraph that the burgeoning space could have some interesting use cases for social media platforms.
Going above and beyond the trade of digital collectibles, Bopp believes that the functionality of NFTs could provide the solution to some vexing problems for various social media platforms, like proof of identity and the need for verification:
“An NFT based system could remedy this with little effort, and combine with profile picture as well. But identity proof is only one small possibility. What NFTs are really good at is gamification and value-added ownership. Social media entities will be able to use these powerful tools to investigate literally thousands of new possibilities.”
With the integration of NFTs into social media platforms expected to become a reality, the next consideration is if this will have a fundamental effect on the adoption of the wider cryptocurrency space and blockchain innovations.
Bopp believes that the reach of the biggest social media platforms will be crucial in driving the use of cryptocurrencies, especially when the functionality becomes seamless: “The user experience for crypto mass adoption needs to be at a level where the user doesn’t even need to know they are interfacing with a blockchain.”
Fernandez offered an alternative take as she…
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