Instagram Embraces NFTs With Digital Collectibles Feature
Many of those advocating for Web3 have been wondering when popular Web2 media platforms will begin embracing Web3 trends, and it looks like Instagram has taken a significant step in that direction. Instagram announced that millions of users can now mint and sell NFTs directly on the Instagram platform.
This may not be a complete surprise to some, especially considering that Meta owns Instagram. Meta, formerly Facebook, has undergone a massive pivot to focus on the metaverse, where NFTs will play a major role in establishing digital ownership. Let’s examine what Instagram is doing and why it’s important.
Instagram NFTs Are Here
First and foremost, Meta has been experimenting with NFTs on both the Instagram and Facebook platforms for some time now. This feature, which Instagram has been testing since May, was originally available to a select group of U.S. users. Now, the Digital Collectibles feature is available to every user in the U.S.
While the Digital Collectibles feature is not available to every Instagram user, the platform stated: “Today we’re announcing everyone on Facebook and Instagram in the U.S. can now connect their wallets and share their digital collectibles,” Meta said in the post. “Additionally, everyone in the 100 countries where digital collectibles are available on Instagram can now access the feature.”
One also has to wonder whether Instagram’s timing has anything to do with Reddit’s recent success with NFTs. We spoke about Reddit rejuvenating the non-fungible token space here, and Instagram might have been inspired to speed things up once seeing how the market has reacted to Reddit NFTs.
How Will Instagram NFTs work?
The goal is for NFT creators to be able to mint and sell NFTs directly on the Instagram platform. Digital Collectibles will also offer an end-to-end toolkit to create and sell NFTs, initially on the Polygon blockchain. Polygon surged 10% immediately after the Instagram integration announcement.
Instagram has also stated that it will soon add support for the Solana blockchain and Phantom Wallet for the Digital Collectibles feature. The platform already supported the Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow blockchains. Users can also connect third-party wallets like the Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet, and Dapper Wallet.
While Meta made it clear that it won’t charge fees for displaying or sharing Digital Collectibles and won’t charge any additional fees for selling Digital Collectibles until at least 2024. Unfortunately, this does not mean that users will avoid any and all fees.
The platform clarified that app store fees will still be applicable, stating: "digital collectible purchases made within the Instagram app on the Android and iOS operating systems are subject to applicable app store fees." At launch, neither creators nor collectors will have to pay gas fees for Instagram Digital Collectibles.
What does this mean for Meta and Web3?
Meta has embraced Web3 quite openly, and this feature is yet another step in its bigger Web3 strategy. Stephane Kasriel is the head of commercial and finance technology at Meta. He stated:
“Our strategy for Web3 technologies—including blockchain—is focused on helping creators make a living. We believe Web3 tech, like blockchain, will positively enhance the economic model for creators by giving them the ability to create new types of digital assets to monetize.”
Twitter and Reddit have recently embraced NFT integrations and functionalities. Others suggest that Meta is not just thinking about Web3 but trying to figure out ways to motivate its user creator base - many of whom are taking advantage of competing platforms like Tiktok. As Meta moves towards the metaverse, motivating these creators will help them build out virtual worlds in the future.
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