NFTs are headed to Instagram — but the virtual assets aren’t the only thing Mark Zuckerberg has planned for humanity’s journey deep into the metaverse.
“That’s going to be pretty powerful,” said Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and its parent company Meta, teasing NFTs arrival on the social platform to a crowd gathered this week at the Austin-based SXSW conference.
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In conversation with Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Zuckerberg offered insight on what the future of the internet could look like, as well as his take on how emerging technologies like NFTs could help usher people into an augmented reality where they slip on a pair of goggles and commute to a virtual office or where differently abled people leave behind wheelchairs or walkers to dance for the first time.
“I believe that the metaverse is the next chapter of the internet,” Zuckerberg declared, comparing the transition of worlds to the evolution of web browsing from desktop computers to cell phones and tablets.
“This is going to be the successor to that.”
To truly revolutionize the way humans interact, they must first feel totally present in the metaverse, he continued, detailing the daily work of Meta to ensure such a reality.
“Today you might look at documents — you might look at a website. But in the future, you’re going to be in it. … You’ll basically have the ability to feel like you’re right there and present with another person,” he explained, using examples that include the future of remote work as moving beyond Zoom meetings to white board sessions in an augmented reality that eases communicative burdens experienced by dispersed teams.
While such connections and experiences are without a doubt exhilarating, he said, the thing that most excites Zuckerberg about the emerging metaverse is the opportunity it presents content creators and creatives.
“There’s this huge opportunity around us,” Zuckerberg said of ways the metaverse will be built by the hands of the people who will inhabit it — much like the physical world has been.
Watch a video below of Zuckerberg’s explanation of Meta and the metaverse, then keep reading.
Facebook and Meta can roll out virtual and augmented reality headsets or establish systems and networks that make the world operable — but people will dictate the experience of it, Zuckerberg continued.
“Our goal is to help build some of the fundamental technologies to help bring the metaverse to life. … [Creators] are going to create this massive new economy around this that hopefully will support many, many millions of jobs and people doing the kind of creative work that they want to do instead of maybe the kinds of jobs they feel that they have to [do] today.”
Kansas City-based creatives are hopeful such a statement rings true, said Brendan O’Shaughnessy, noting the launch of NFTs on Instagram will be a step in the right direction for tech companies looking to create a bridge between the two worlds.
“I am happy that Meta is implementing NFT integration. The timing feels right, they aren’t too early or too late — it just makes sense to me,’” said O’Shaughnessy, founder of Web3 design studio Ocean and Sea and community organizer of the NFT Central professional group.
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“Love it or hate it, NFT adoption — similar to Twitter’s profile integration in January — was a required next step in order to stay ahead of emerging technology,” O’Shaughnessy continued, noting refusal to get on board could present significant setbacks for tech companies.
“Integration will be gradual, but the inevitable outcome will be native NFT minting directly in the apps we have become all too familiar with,” he continued.
“Even if you don’t want an NFT — you’ll be getting one eventually. … It’s coming, mark my words.”
Click here to read more about O’Shaughnessy and his commitment to creating a more equitable crypto space in Kansas City.
Sam Kulikov, chief marketing officer and founder of the KC Pioneers esports team, agreed with O’Shaughnessy’s take and noted similar progress would be felt in his corner of the world.
“The digital landscape is quickly changing to facilitate the creation of new tools which leads to new communities,” Kulikov said.
“NFT-integration within Instagram, much like Twitter, will provide users with a convenient way to promote and share their NFTs and connect with others in the community at large. We at the Pioneers are excited for what possibilities this will bring to our industry and beyond.”