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March 30, 2022updated 31 Mar 2022 7:59am

Sorry, NFTs are sticking around

There are concerns—and celebrations—that the NFT hype is finally slowing. Google searches for ‘NFT’ more than halved from January to March 2022, and social media mentions of ‘NFT’ fell by over 48% during the same period, as revealed by GlobalData’s Social Media Analytics.

However, it seems that the business world is not ready to give up on non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Visa has launched a program to help owners of small businesses to expand their reach using NFTs. WWE is planning to release NFT trading cards featuring its most popular wrestlers and iconic moments. And, most significantly, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta was working on integrating non-fungible tokens within Instagram.

Have NFTs already peaked?

An NFT, or non-fungible token, is usually used to certify ownership of a digital asset, such as an image, video, tweet, meme, or blog. A lot of their value is in their resale potential, with the market for trading them seeing impressive growth over the last year. In China, the government’s regulation of the secondary NFT market means that they cannot be sold or traded, so are bought more as a token of brand loyalty and are cherished by the consumer. 

Non-fungible tokens enjoyed a wave of popularity in 2021, particularly following celebrity and influencer endorsements. Now, there are arguments that the hype is dying following a slump in Google searches for ‘NFT’ and a lull in social media mentions.

However, the net sentiment of NFT-related social media posts is still highly positive, lingering consistently between 0.6 and 0.9 throughout March. Net sentiment is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, with a higher value indicating a more positive attitude towards the keyword.

Moreover, the number of NFT-related jobs has been growing significantly. Between December 2021 and March 2022, active job posts featuring ‘NFT’ in the job title increased by 169%. Advertised positions include software development for NFT online stores and roles for creating digital assets.

Instagram’s stamp of approval

The excitement around non-fungible tokens has been renewed by Meta’s recent announcement that non-fungible tokens would be brought to its Instagram platform. It is not yet clear what this will entail; perhaps it will follow in Twitter’s footsteps and allow users to set an NFT as their profile picture, or maybe it will go further and enable users to mint non-fungible tokens on the platform. Importantly, the endorsement of NFTs by a platform as widely used as Instagram will make non-fungible tokens a more mainstream, credible, and desirable concept.

Though consumers appear to be talking less about non-fungible tokens , they are certainly still buying. World of Women Galaxy, an NFT collection released by a diversity and inclusion-focused community, recently sold out of its 22,222 NFT profile pictures in just three days, generating $79 million in sales within the first day. And of course, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is still going strong, with Madonna becoming one of the latest celebrities to buy a digital ape. The deployment of non-fungible tokens is also becoming more unexpected—the Ukrainian government has released non-fungible tokens documenting Russia’s invasion with the hope of raising both funds and awareness of the country’s plight. Thus, there are significant efforts—spearheaded by Meta—to ensure that there is longevity in non-fungible tokens .