Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta (formerly Facebook), is at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival this week. And on a panel today (March 15), he made significant announcements regarding Instagram’s plans for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Specifically, Zuckerberg said that the platform would soon be adding NFT integrations.
“We’re working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term,” he said.
What kind of integrations? In the coming months, he said that Instagram users would “hopefully” be able to mint their own NFTs within the app. In other words, the app would serve as an NFT marketplace.
Zuckerberg stated that users would also be able to display NFTs on their profiles. Unfortunately, he didn’t offer any information aside from this. He noted that, although these features would likely be made available soon, there’s “a bunch of technical things to be worked out.” As a result, the company wasn’t prepared to officially detail anything just yet. “I’m not ready to kind of announce exactly what that’s going to be today,” he said.
This news should come as no surprise to individuals who follow Meta or are active in the NFT community.
To begin with, in October of 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta. The company did so to reflect its pivot away from social media and highlight its increased interest in the metaverse and virtual reality. Then, just a few months later (in January of 2022), the Financial Times reported that Meta was planning to let Facebook and Instagram users display NFTs on their profiles.
Now, it seems that Zuckerberg is adding an NFT marketplace into the mix.
Of course, Meta is far from the only major platform to dive into NFTs. Reddit has launched its own collection of NFT avatars, and Twitter released a mechanism that allows users to verify their NFTs and turn them into profile pictures. What’s more, the NFT market has surged over the last year. In the last 30 days alone, OpenSea, one of the world’s largest NFT marketplaces, saw over $2 billion (797,407 ETH) in volume.
In this respect, the news about Instagram serves to further cement NFTs’ place in global culture. In fact, at this juncture, it is nearly impossible to deny the significance of NFTs.
This was a developing story and was updated. Image Credit Alessio Jacona