As announced, Instagram is getting ready to support NFTs. The intention to add NFTs to the Meta platform was confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg in a report about the site’s new features back in January.
Now it is almost here, Instagram will allow integration of NFTs from the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains at first, with Solana and Flow to follow. The compatible third-party wallets are Rainbow, MetaMask, and Trust Wallet. Support for Coinbase, Dapper, and Phantom will become available later.
“We’re starting building for NFTs, not just in our metaverse and Reality Labs work, but also across our family of apps.” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “We’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so that creators and collectors can display their NFTs.”
A similar feature will be supported by Facebook in the near future, and Meta is considering enabling NFTs in its other apps, such as Messenger and WhatsApp. Going by Zuckerberg’s description of the process of NFTs integration into Instagram, everything seems to indicate that there could be a major change of vision for this platform.
Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri has talked about how the NFT integrations will work. Users who have created or bought NFTs will be able to share them in their feeds, stories, and messages. Although at first, a very small percentage of people in the US will have access to these features. “One of the reasons why we’re starting small is we want to make sure that we can learn from the community,” he explained. “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.”
The good news is that users will not need to pay any fees for posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram. According to Mosseri’s announcement, NFTs could provide an additional income for creators to make a living on the platform. This would mean that users could buy them and sell them directly on Instagram someday.
Following one of the latest fashion trends, virtual clothing for online avatars, Zuckerberg has said that creators may eventually be able to mint NFTs in the app too. “I would hope that you know, the clothing that your avatar is wearing in the metaverse, you know, can be basically minted as an NFT and you can take it between your different places,” he said.
The meta CEO says that support for NFTs is tied to expression and that it will allow users to showcase more about themselves using the crypto-backed tokens. “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,” he explained.
There is also a project for people to display 3D NFTs in Instagram Stories using augmented reality. According to Zuckerberg, this feature would be built on Spark AR to allow users to “place digital art in physical spaces.”
“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.”
Although some have questioned the timing of these new efforts, as the value of NFTs has been collapsing lately, this new addition marks a clear change of direction for what once was a photograph-sharing app. It would seem that Meta directives are looking to detach their image as much as possible from their stronger competitor TikTok by exploring this somewhat new territory. The full integration of an NFT market into Meta is the largest support for the digital active yet.