Instagram is currently the go-to social media app for sharing photos and videos with friends. Starting this week, Instagram is expanding its reach with support for NFTs. Although NFTs have technically existed since 2014, 2021 was the year that non-fungible tokens really took off and became a mainstream talking point. They became a constantly trending topic on social media, major news publications started discussing NFTs, and we’ve seen numerous NFTs sell for multiple millions of dollars.
What’s been especially interesting is seeing how other companies have reacted to the NFT craze. YouTube is dabbling with NFTs, Twitter users can have NFT profile pictures, and even Starbucks has announced plans for an NFT loyalty program. Back in March, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that NFTs would soon be coming to Instagram.
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Fast forward to May, and it looks like that day is upon us. In a video published on May 9, Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced that NFTs will begin rolling out to Instagram users starting this week. Mosseri says a ‘limited number of people’ will initially have access to NFTs. Furthermore, Mosseri says that “there’s a lot more functionality that we’re going to need to build over time, but we wanted to start small and learn from the community.”
What NFTs Will Look Like On Instagram
So, what will that ‘small’ starting point look like? At launch, users will be able to share NFTs on Instagram. NFTs will be shareable on the Instagram Feed, Instagram Stories, and direct messages. NFTs appear with a ‘Digital collectible’ tag on them, and tapping one shows details about its creator, owner, and the collection it’s a part of. Zuckerberg previously hinted at people being able to mint NFTs directly in Instagram, but at least right now, NFT support is limited to sharing.
In a follow-up announcement from Meta’s Alexandru Voica, it’s confirmed that Instagram will initially support NFTs from the Ethereum and Polygon blockchain. In the future, Instagram will also support Flow and Solana NFTs. Furthermore, Instagram will allow users to connect third-party blockchain wallets from Rainbow, MetaMask, and Trust.
On the one hand, Instagram’s venture into the NFT world isn’t surprising in the slightest. It’s a major trend, something its competitors are already involved with, and a potentially lucrative business venture for the company. But NFTs are already showing a massive decline. The Wall Street Journal reported just days ago that NFT sales have decreased by over 90 percent since peaking in 2021. That’s not to say NFTs are completely dead, but it’s evident that the monetary interest in them is nowhere near as high as it used to be. Regardless, that isn’t stopping Instagram from throwing its hat in the NFT ring — for better or worse.