With Eminem and Snoop Dogg performing at the recent MTV VMA Awards via their Bored Ape avatars, and within the Yuga Labs ‘Otherside’ metaverse project, will that spark a new resurgence in NFT interest?
It’d take a big push, given the drastic downturn in the NFT market. Maybe this could be it?
Either way, Meta is gearing up for the next stage of NFT engagement, with an expansion of its NFT sharing tools to Facebook, in addition to Instagram.
Meta first launched its NFT display options on Instagram back in May, then expanded the test to some users on Facebook as well in June. But now, Meta will allow all users, on Facebook and Instagram, to post their NFTs in each app. Which is a little behind time, given the downward trend of the broader NFT hype cycle.
But maybe we’re on the cusp of an NFT resurgence.
Definitely, overall interest in NFTs has been on the decline, with NFT sales down 92% versus their 2021 peak. Amid ongoing scams and rug pulls, which have seen NFT ‘investors’ lose millions, and the broader crypto market crash, interest in the cartoonish profile images has continued to wane, as users struggle to either re-sell their artworks, or find any real use for them, beyond profile images.
The broader promise of NFTs is as displayed in the Eminem/Snoop example, with Yuga Labs, the founders of Bored Ape Yacht Club, developing its own metaverse space, called ‘Otherside’, where your characters will actually become 3D depictions that you can use to interact in the experience.
If people want that.
Do people really want to be represented as Bored Ape avatars in a virtual realm?
There’s a lot of misconception around what, exactly, the metaverse will be in this respect, and how people will choose to represent themselves – but the concept is that more expensive, more exclusive NFT characters will carry with them a level of prestige and presence within these new interactive spaces.
And if the Otherside can become an actual metaverse space – i.e. a multi-functional virtual world, where people can use their virtual characters to participate in various ways, and where users can create their own in-world experiences – then maybe there is real value in your Bored Apes characters, and potentially other NFT projects that tie into the project.
But it’s not anything yet.
Really, the broader vision for the metaverse is an internet-like experience, but in VR and 3D, where all users, from all different companies, backgrounds, and perspectives, can create their own sections within the metaverse, with every experience inter-connected and discoverable.
In theory, that could see you use your Bored Ape avatar to represent yourself in, say, work meetings, in games, in virtual hangout spaces. Your digital character would essentially become another version of you, for use across all of these new experiences.
But interconnectivity on this level will be very hard to realize.
As an example, Microsoft took years to enable cross-platform play on Minecraft, forging agreements with Sony, Nintendo and every other gaming platform to enable users from all apps to play within the same game worlds.
Fortnite now facilitates the same, though it’s also faced challenges in making such possible, and it’s examples like these that highlight how different systems, and varying business interests, will make true metaverse connection a challenge, even for the biggest companies.
Which will be a major challenge for a project like Yuga’s ‘Otherside’, which is not likely to get universal buy-in for its metaverse space. This is also why Meta is best-placed to make an actual metaverse experience a reality, because it holds the keys, via its advanced VR platform and tools, that others will need in order to connect into such if they want to maximize their reach and engagement.
If Meta’s VR push continues to gain traction, others will want in, which will put Meta in prime position to own the metaverse space.
Which is also why NFTs on Meta make sense, even if people are losing interest in what the option is right now.
Eventually, Meta will be looking to integrate all different types of digital items for experiences like ‘Horizon Worlds’, in which anybody can create their own VR world.
Digital items available in this space could utilize the same ownership infrastructure of NFTs, facilitating new types of building and engagement processes within its metaverse experience.
So more than just having a cartoonish avatar, Meta’s looking to build a real, practical market for NFT items – beyond simple portraits that enable tech bros to show off just how ahead of the game they think they are.
Because they’re not really. The vast majority of the current NFT projects will fade out, and while bigger projects like Bored Apes may be able to eventually find a place in the next stage, the initial wave of NFTs is increasingly looking like a misguided play to catch onto ‘the next big thing’, pushed largely by upper-class, middle-aged men.
Like, for example, Eminem and Snoop – who, it’s also worth noting, stand to directly benefit from increased interest in NFT projects.