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Meta is testing NFTs on Instagram

by Val Lukhanyu
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Meta will start testing digital collectibles and NFTs on Instagram. Meta says NFTs will help introduce the technology to a broader group of collectors and creators. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg had earlier stated that Instagram will add non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the “near term which finally comes into reality.

Starting this week, a select group of creators in the US will be able to post NFTs at no cost by linking their third party digital wallets to their profiles. Users in the test group will be able to post NFTs on their profiles cost-free by linking their third-party digital wallets in-app, according to the company. The NFTs will get a special “shimmer” around the photo with attribution to both the creator and the owner. 

Instagram lead Adam Mosseri said users will have the ability to display NFTs on their feed, in stories, and in messages. The NFT details will be displayed in a similar way to tagged profiles and products and are named “digital collectibles.” Clicking on the tag will display identification details such as the name of the creator and owner. Mosseri in a video also said the test is small to start so that Instagram can learn from the community.

The blockchains that are supported include Ethereum and Polygon, with Flo wand Solana launching soon. Third-party wallets that’ll be compatible with the platform include Rainbow, MetaMask, and Trust Wallet, along with Coinbase, Phantom and Dapper. 

Mark Zuckerberg confirmed in a post adding that similar functionality is coming to Facebook soon along with augmented reality NFTs on Instagram stories via spark AR, a free studio that lets businesses and private users create their own filters. This will let creators place digital art into physical rooms and spaces.

Soon, we will roll out digital collectibles on Facebook, and will also soon allow people to display and share their digital collectibles as AR stickers in Instagram Stories, bringing the benefits of this technology to even more creators and collectors,” According to a Meta representative

There’s been a lot of speculations onWeb3 and NFTs that continue to disrupt major social networking platforms. Twitter has since introduced NFT Avatars on their platform which appear as hexagon-shaped profile pictures something Instagram is borrowing to have the profile appear hexagon. Twitter NFTs are available for Twitter blue subscribers in case you’ve missed them on your regular feed.

The verge publication also points out that Instagram’s jumping into NFTs brings up a tension between large companies like Instagram and the decentralized ethos of Web3.

“I want to acknowledge upfront that NFTs and blockchain technologies and Web3 more broadly are all about distributing trust, distributing power,” Mosseri says. “But Instagram is fundamentally a centralized platform, so there’s a tension there.”

This is a step for Meta to make Facebook, and Instagram more profitable. The company recently reported a $2.9 billion loss for its Metaverse division of the company.  

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