When it comes to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it’s no secret that Mark Zuckerberg has big plans. In a panel at the SXSW Festival in March 2022, Zuckerberg said that he planned to turn Instagram into an NFT marketplace. In May, he started making good on that promise. The social media platform started testing NFT integrations with a select set of users. At the time, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook would soon be heading down the same path. “Similar functionality is coming to Facebook soon,” he said.
It seems that time may have finally arrived.
Earlier today (June 21, 2022), Zuckerberg unveiled how Facebook and Instagram plan to “help creators build for the metaverse” in a Facebook post. Specifically, he outlined a feature roadmap that detailed the functionalities that are being added to the platforms to help creators monetize their work and make money.
To begin with, Zuckerberg noted that Instagram will be expanding its NFT tests, allowing more creators to display their crypto art on the platform. Next, he stated that Facebook would start its own NFT tests with a small group of creators based in the United States. Once sufficient testing has been completed, Zuckerberg clarified that NFTs would be freed from users’ feeds and be able to proliferate across the platforms. In particular, thanks to SparkAR, NFTs will be able to be shared in Instagram Stories.
Zuckerberg also noted that cross-posting functionalities will be getting a serious upgrade. “We’re opening up the Reels Play Bonus program to more creators on Facebook soon and letting creators cross-post their Instagram Reels to Facebook and monetize them there too,” he said. And he clarified that individuals will also be able to cross-post their NFTs on Instagram and Facebook.
And, perhaps most notably, the Instagram Marketplace will finally go live. Zuckerberg said that teams are testing the “Creator Marketplace” on Instagram. There, creators will be able to “get discovered and paid” and brands can “share new partnership opportunities.”
Of course, Facebook and Instagram are far from the only social media platforms experimenting with NFTs. In January of 2022, Twitter released a mechanism that allows users to verify their NFTs and turn them into profile pictures. However, Zuckerberg’s efforts stand out in that he’s not interested in just letting people display NFTs. He wants users to sell them on his platforms. In this respect, these NFT features are all centered on monetization — on providing more ways for creators to make money.
Of course, Facebook and Instagram will also likely take a piece of the pie.
In a blog post published on April 11, Meta discussed details about forthcoming tools for its VR game, Horizon Worlds. In the post, the company stated that creators would be able to sell digital items and that Meta would be taking a cut of 47.5% from all sales. For comparison, most NFT marketplaces only take about 2.5% of every sale. Understandably, Meta’s fees caused outrage.
In today’s post, Zuckerberg attempted to quell some of those fears, stating that Instagram and Facebook creators won’t have to worry about that — for now. The platforms won’t start taking a cut from creators’ revenues until 2024.