Facebook started trialing NFTs as posts with a “digital collectible” label this week in a bid to expand its efforts in the metaverse. Meta announced in June that it would broaden testing of digital collectibles to Facebook and at a later date on Instagram with augmented reality platform SparkAR. Meta’s trial with a small group of US creators comes as NFT sales have plunged to the lowest levels in a year. NFT sales plummeted to close to $1bn in June, down from a peak of $12.6bn in January, the Guardian reported. Research from crypto market data firm Chainalysis shows that was significantly lower than the same period last year when sales amounted to $648m. Jesse Smith, 45, from Richmond, Va., is one of 10 creators to try the new feature. The NFT creator does not receive any money from Facebook to post his NFTs on the platform.
“It’s exciting, but I’ve not fully wrapped my head around what it means because Facebook hasn’t communicated what will happen,” Smith said. “I don’t know if they understand what’s happening as the world hasn’t fully caught on to NFTs yet.”
The Facebook post displays a photo of the NFT, but there is no direct link to connect it to the OpenSea exchange for purchase. Smith chose to post a link to it in the comments section. The tattoo artist said it was like posting a normal photo but the company gave him the option to click a ‘digital collectible’ button when uploading. “I don’t know why they chose me, they told me I had the audience demographic and checked all the boxes for things they were looking for,” he said.
The social media giant announced Friday that in September it is closing down its pilot cryptocurrency wallet, Novi, amid a downturn in the digital asset market. The platform was trialing crypto payments through the Facebook-backed Diem cryptocurrency, but had to scrap those plans. The chief executive of Diem said in a statement in January that it became apparent from talks with federal regulators that it couldn’t move forward with the project.
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