Instagram is making preparations to accept non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook video that the network will begin testing the introduction of “digital collectibles” this week.
Instagram To Begin NFT Testing
For a long time, the writing has been on the wall for NFTs on Instagram. In March, Zuckerberg announced that NFTs would be added to the platform, following a January revelation that the business was looking into the functionality.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced today that the site will begin testing NFTs with a restricted group of creators in the US this week. There will be no expenses related with uploading or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram, according to Mosseri.
NFTs on Instagram
This week we’re beginning to test digital collectibles with a handful of US creators and collectors who will be able to share NFTs on Instagram. There will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on IG.
See you next week! pic.twitter.com/VuJbMVSBDr
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) May 9, 2022
Ethereum and Polygon are now supported blockchains for showing NFTs on Instagram, with support for Flow and Solana coming shortly. Rainbow, MetaMask, and Trust Wallet are among the third-party wallets that will be compatible upon launch, with Coinbase, Dapper, and Phantom to follow soon.
Creators and participants in the test can now share NFTs that they have developed or purchased. These NFTs can be shared in your main Feed, Stories, or communications. Only a small number of people have access to the test, according to Mosseri, but the business wants to expand its NFT functionality in the future once it receives feedback from its initial testing.
BTC/USD plummets to lowest since start of the year. Source: TradingView
In a video uploaded on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Meta Platforms, stated that Instagram would begin testing NFTs as soon as this week. Zuckerberg described NFTs as “digital collectibles,” and said the choice to test them on Instagram was made so “creators and collectors can display their NFTs” on their profiles.
“We’re starting building for NFTs not just in our metaverse and Reality Labs work, but also across our family of apps,” Zuckerberg says. “We’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so that creators and collectors can display their NFTs.”
Support for NFTs is connected to expression, according to the meta CEO, and will allow users to showcase more about themselves using the crypto-backed currencies. He added:
“I’m really excited to start testing this. We’re going to bring similar functionality to Facebook soon, too, and then maybe to other apps in our family. We’re also going to work on augmented reality NFTs, basically 3D NFTs, that you can bring to Instagram Stories using Spark AR, that’s our software AR platform. So you can put this kind of digital art into 3D space and kind of project it onto physical spaces as well.”
Related reading | Zuckerberg: NFTs Coming To Instagram “In The Near Term”
Meta Has A New Focus
Zuckerberg’s explanation of how NFTs will be integrated into Instagram, an app that was formerly focused on photo sharing, appears to signal that the platform’s vision has shifted in the last year. Instagram has made a concerted attempt to fight TikTok’s appeal, but what Zuckerberg is contemplating is a trip into the unknown in terms of popularity or utility.
Alexandru Voica, EMEA tech comms at Meta, said in a series of tweets that have since been deleted that “In the metaverse, people will buy, use, and share digital goods and experiences, and NFTs are a key piece of the puzzle for making this a reality,”
Meta is starting with NFTs since they represent a key component of the metaverse’s economic potential, but it is one of the technologies that the business is studying, according to Voica. Meta is looking into a wide spectrum of web3 technology, according to Voica, because the business believes that these technologies will help creators and people all over the world innovate faster.
The official debut comes just weeks after Zuckerberg stated at SXSW that Meta would be bringing NFTs to Instagram soon. In addition, Instagram conducted “Creator Week” last summer, an invite-only virtual conference that the firm described in its invitations as a “private event for NFT creators.”
While Twitter allows users to post an NFT as a profile image, Instagram’s full integration of an NFT marketplace would be the most significant show of support for the format to date. It arrives at an interesting time, though, because the value of NFTs has plummeted in recent weeks, beginning with the poor return on investment for the individual who bought the NFT of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet.
Related Reading | NFT Sales Plunges to $63 Million Over The Past Week, Bubble Burst?
Featured image from Pixabay, Chart from TradingView.com