Instagram is finally breaking into the weird wide world of NFTs. Meta originally announced plans to create an Instagram NFT marketplace back in March of 2022. Unsurprisingly, this led to months of speculation. Now, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed today (May 9) that the beloved social media platform will finally begin testing NFTs on Instagram this week.
In a video posted to Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, the social media patriarch is seen talking with entrepreneur and prominent NFT influencer Tom Bilyeu about “digital collectibles” coming to Instagram. “This week we’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so creators and collectors can display their NFTs on their profile,” Zuckerberg wrote in the caption of his post. “Similar functionality is coming to Facebook soon, along with augmented reality NFTs on Instagram Stories via Spark AR so you can place digital art into physical spaces,” he said in the video.
What’s this all mean? In short, soon, Instagram users will be able to display NFTs via their profiles in Meta’s continuing efforts to expand the possibilities of self-expression across social media and the metaverse.
In an email sent to nft now, Christine Pai, a Meta communications representative, confirmed that there will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram. She also elaborated how digital collectibles will work on Instagram.
To begin with, creators and collectors in a set test group will be able to post NFTs that they created or own by linking third-party digital wallets in-app. Compatible wallets currently include Rainbow, MetaMask, and Trust Wallet. Support for Coinbase, Dapper, and Phantom will soon follow. The blockchains that are supported at launch include Ethereum and Polygon. Flow and Solana will be added further down the road. This multichain approach will surely entice a wide variety of NFT enthusiasts to utilize Instagram’s forthcoming NFT tools, possibly even those worried about the environmental implications of NFTs, as several chains have far lower energy costs than Ethereum.
NFTs displayed on the app will also receive a special ‘shimmer’ visual treatment, and both the creator and owner of the NFT will be attributed for the content.
Press materials sent by Meta’s communications team also offered some insights into how Instagram’s NFT features will look.
In the video, Zuckerberg outlined why Meta was getting into NFTs, asserting that the company wants to help creators make money. “I think a big part of what we need to do is really lean into all of the different ways that creators could make money. So some of that will be things like supporting commerce, part of that will be NFTs and ownership around that. Part of it will be about making it really easy for people to pay for things,” he said.
He concluded by noting that NFTs are unique in that they are helping forge a new kind of creative economy for artists. “I just think the more different tools that creators have to be able to make money, the more they’re gonna be able to do their work and hire people to join their team, to build out even more use cases. And that will propel all these platforms forward,” he said.
This was a developing story and was updated.