At the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference yesterday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that users would, “in the near term,” be able to display Non-Fungible-Tokens (NFTs) and even mint them directly on Instagram.
While Zuckerberg mentioned NFTs and their introduction to Instagram, he spent most of his time talking about his metaverse vision. He did, however, add that “I’m not ready to kind of announce exactly what that’s going to be today. But over the next several months, the ability to bring some of your NFTs in, hopefully, over time, [and] be able to mint things within that environment.”
The move shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Earlier this year, a Financial Times report stated that Meta is developing new tools that will allow its users to display their NFTs as their profile pictures, whereas Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, back in December 2021, stated that the company was “actively exploring NFTs.”
Former Meta executive David Marcus also mentioned in August of 2021 that the company is exploring building NFT features alongside Meta’s Novi wallet.
Zuckerberg did not comment on how the upcoming feature would work.
Presumably, you’d have to transfer your already-owned NFTs to the company’s Novi wallet, which would be directly integrated with Instagram. From there, you would most likely be able to set NFTs in your wallet as your profile picture, or mint new ones directly from the platform. The details are hazy but Instagram might also launch a marketplace for the tokens, where users would be able to exchange or sell their digital collectibles. Who knows — users’ feeds might also get a new ‘bid’ button or a new ‘auction’ tab where users can send offers for digital collectibles. The sky is the limit in such a case.
The issue, however, is that NFTs on Instagram are likely to be met with severe criticism. It is also a double-edged sword that can backfire on Meta as they’ll have to introduce strict security measures to prevent NFT scams, which, outside of the platform, are pretty abundant.
Twitter, which has a larger Cryptocurrency/Web3/NFT community, along with Reddit, which hosts an abundance of self-proclaimed NFT connoisseurs, have launched similar features in the recent past. Twitter has already introdued support for NFT profile pictures for Twitter Blue users, whereas Reddit has already launched its CryptoSnoos NFT collection which Redditors can use to stand out and ‘glow’ among the crowd.
A tentative timeline for when Meta would introduce NFT integration for Instagram is unclear, except the fact that its coming “in the near term.”
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