Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta (formerly Facebook), released a string of significant announcements today regarding non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In a video posted earlier this morning (May 9, 2022), he said that Facebook is adding NFT integrations. Zuckerberg also stated that Instagram would begin testing its NFT features this week.
“We’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so creators and collectors can display their NFTs on their profile. Similar functionality is coming to Facebook soon,” the post read. Zuckerberg further elaborated in the video. “We’re starting building for NFTs not just in our metaverse and Reality Labs work, but also across our family of apps….it’s about expression and saying something about yourself,” he said.
Ultimately, the announcement isn’t a big surprise.
At Austin’s South by Southwest Festival in March, Zuckerberg stated on a panel that users would eventually be able to display NFTs on their Instagram profiles and “hopefully” be able to mint their own NFTs within the app. It only makes sense for Meta to roll these features out across their family of apps. That said, it currently isn’t clear when the respective social networks will have features that allow users to do more than display NFTs — or if they ever will.
In the video, Zuckerberg also said that Meta is working on 3D augmented reality NFTs with its Spark AR software. These features will initially be compatible with Instagram stories.
Ultimately, this string of announcements may seem revolutionary. And in many ways, it is. After all, Instagram has over one billion monthly active users alone, and many artists use the platform to promote their work. As such, the company’s latest integrations will dramatically increase mainstream awareness of NFTs.
However, in other respects, the work that Meta is doing is far from unique.
A host of other major platforms have been experimenting NFTs over the last year. For example, in January of 2022, Twitter released a mechanism that allows users to verify their NFTs and turn them into profile pictures. Last summer, Coca-Cola minted and sold a group of four NFT collectibles as a part of a charity auction for International Friendship Day. And Lamborghini auctioned off its last gas-powered Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae Coupè along with an exclusive NFT.
As a result, the news coming from Meta just serves to further cement NFTs’ place in global culture. We will likely see a host of other brands entering the NFT space in the coming months.
This was a developing story and was updated.