Wed. May 18th, 2022


As promised (or threatened, depending on your perspective), NFTs are coming to Instagram imminently. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the app will start testing this week a way 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.” Zuckerberg said in a post on Facebook. “We’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so that creators and collectors can display their NFTs.”

A similar feature is coming to Facebook in the near future, and Meta is considering enabling NFTs in its other apps, such as Messenger and WhatsApp. Also in the works is a way for people to display 3D NFTs in Instagram Stories using augmented reality. Zuckerberg says this feature would be built on Spark AR and would allow users to “place digital art in physical spaces.”

Rumors swirled over the weekend suggesting that Instagram would start testing non-fungible tokens in the app this week. CoinDesk reported that Meta would allow integrations with NFTs from the Ethereum, Polygon, Solana and Flow blockchains.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri shed more light on how the NFT integrations will work. Users will be able to share NFTs they’ve created or bought in their feed, Stories and messages. A limited number of people in the US will have access to these features to begin with.

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 we can learn from the community,” he added. “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.”

Users won’t need to pay any fees “associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible” on Instagram, Mosseri said. In his announcement, he suggested NFTs could provide a way for a subset of creators to earn a living on the platform. That suggests users will be able to buy and sell them directly on Instagram at some point. Zuckerberg has said that creators may eventually be able to mint NFTs in the app too. Engadget has contacted Meta for more details.

Meta’s CEO has also spoken about other ambitions for NFTs in the company’s take on the metaverse. “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 at SXSW in March.

Update 5/9 10:52 AM ET: Added more details from Mosseri.

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