Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed earlier reports that video and photo sharing app Instagram plans to add non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the platform. The CEO of Meta Platforms Inc. (FB) told Daymon John of Shark Tank at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas on Tuesday that the popular social media app plans to offer NFTs soon.
“We are working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term,” Zuckerberg said.
Key points to remember
- Mark Zuckerberg confirms Instagram’s plan to add NFTs to the platform in the short term.
- To move aligns with parent company Meta’s vision of integration with the virtual world, known as the metaverse.
- NFTs are Meta’s second attempt to launch a crypto-related product, following the 2019 effort to launch a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency called Diem.
- A growing number of social media companies are testing NFT integration on their platforms.
Zuckerberg hopes users will be able to create their own NFTs on the platform in the coming months, said Platformer newsletter author and crypto influencer Casey Newton. tweeted to its 152,000 subscribers. Last December, Instagram, which has more than a billion monthly active users, said it was actively considering bringing NFT technology to a wider audience.
“I think it’s an interesting place where we can play and also hopefully help creators,” Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s head of programming, told the platform.
Instagram’s NFTs align with Meta’s metaverse vision
Instagram’s shift to NFTs aligns with parent company Meta’s vision of integrating the virtual world, known as the metaverse. In October 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta, reflecting this leadership change. At the time, the company’s metaverse product manager, Vishal Shah, said that Meta would support NFTs. “This will make it easier for people to sell limited-edition digital items like NFTs, display them in their digital spaces, and even resell them to the next person safely,” he said.
the metaverse is a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually.
Lucky second time for a crypto-related product?
NFTs are not Meta’s first attempt to launch a crypto-related product. In 2019, the company planned to roll out a USD-pegged stablecoin called “Diem” – officially called “Libra” to its platform. The digital currency would have enabled in-app purchases and made it easier to transfer money between users without needing it. However, due to a series of regulatory hurdles and internal disagreements over the direction of the cryptocurrency, Meta failed to launch Diem.
When first introduced in June 2019, diem was known as Libra. Its original design called for a digital currency, backed by a basket of fiat currencies, available for use on the social media giant’s network.
Social Media Giants Are Profiting From NFTs
Other social media companies have also decided to add NFTs to their platforms. In January, Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) allowed its premium subscribers on iOS to add an NFT profile picture with plans to roll out the technology to its Android app and website. A few weeks later, community networking site Reddit followed Twitter’s lead, saying it was testing NFT avatars on its platform.
Meanwhile, pay-per-view site OnlyFans announced in February that it would allow content creators to use NFT profile pictures created on the Ethereum blockchain. As cryptocurrencies and digital product offerings grow in adoption, look to social media platforms to continue researching innovative ways to monetize the metaverse.