Besides Meta employees who shouldn’t be there are “turning the heat up a bit” and hitting the metaverse runway, Mark Zuckerberg highlights Instagram’s extensive NFT support. The founder and CEO took the opportunity to announce expanded NFT support on Instagram to tell everyone his custom 1992 Little League baseball card will go on sale soon, with an NFT as part of the deal.
I thought he was hitting it himself, but as the Metropolis Comic Collect profile linked in his post explains, That is not the case. This card is a Zuckerberg card that was custom made for a camp counselor who kept it, and now it’s authenticated and put up for sale as a genuine collectible, alongside the blockchain digital receipt. If you look at it in his post, you now know that Zuckerberg had this card made at age eight and said he hit for .920 – there are some pitchers from that league who probably suspected the video stats were wrong before someone else did – as a right-handed infielder at Dobbs Ferry, New York.
This comes at an interesting time for Meta. The leading cash cow, Facebook, just reported its first-ever second-quarter revenue decline. Instagram is already in a state of confusion, rolling back tests of TikTok-like features because, as CEO Adam Mosseri told Casey Newton, “people are frustrated and the usage data isn’t great.”
So Meta is diving into, albeit late, a niche market of “digital collectibles” that has collapsed sharply since its winter peak. A tracker on Dune shows data from OpenSea showing that, after falling from where it was in May, sales volume has remained fairly stable in the months since.
In a separate report for platform gameNewton noted that Meta, Twitter, and Reddit are all continuing NFT projects, but have no data to share how they’re doing.
The only explanation for this focus is the idea that these collectibles will somehow explode in value when combined with the augmented and virtual reality spaces Zuckerberg is trying to build — but we’re not there yet.
Today news from Meta is that the test of NFT support is available in 100 other countries, with connections for Coinbase Wallet and Dapper, as well as NFTs from the Flow blockchain.
Correction Aug 4, 7:04 PM ET: An earlier version of this story stated that Mark Zuckerberg coins his Little League card as an NFT. In fact, it is sold as a collectible by someone else, who includes an NFT in the sale. We regret the mistake.