NFTs are coming to Instagram soon, as promised (or threatened, depending on your point of view). Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that the app will begin testing a method for users to display non-fungible tokens 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. We’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so that creators and collectors can display their NFTs,” Zuckerberg said in a post on Facebook.
A similar feature is on the way to Facebook, and Meta is considering enabling NFTs in its other apps, including Messenger and WhatsApp. A method for displaying 3D NFTs in Instagram Stories using augmented reality is also in the works. This feature, according to Zuckerberg, would be built on Spark AR and would allow users to “place digital art in physical spaces.”
Over the weekend, rumors circulated that Instagram would begin testing non-fungible tokens in the app this week. According to CoinDesk, Meta will support NFTs from the Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Flow blockchains.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri clarified how the NFT integrations will work. NFTs created or purchased by users will be able to be shared in their feed, Stories, and messages. To begin with, only a small number of people in the United States will have access to these features.
Mosseri also noted the disconnect between the decentralized nature of Web3 tech like NFTs and the blockchain and the fact Instagram is a centralized platform.
“One of the reasons why we’re starting small is we want to make sure that we can learn from the community. We want to make sure we can work out how to embrace those tenets of distributed trust and distributed power, despite the fact that we are a centralized platform,” he added.
According to Mosseri, there will be no fees “associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible” on Instagram. He suggested in his announcement that NFTs could provide a way for a subset of creators to earn a living on the platform.
This implies that users will eventually be able to buy and sell them directly on Instagram. Creators may eventually be able to mint NFTs in the app, according to Zuckerberg. Engadget has reached out to Meta for more information.
Meta’s CEO has also spoken about the company’s other goals for NFTs in the metaverse. “I would hope that your avatar’s clothing in the metaverse, you know, can be basically minted as an NFT and you can take it between your different places,” he said at SXSW in March.