Earlier this year, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the company was toying with the idea of bringing NFTs to its social-media platform Instagram, though he declined to comment on exactly how and when users could expect the rollout. But the tech billionaire has confirmed that the time is now: This week, Instagram will start testing a way for users to display non-fungible tokens on their profiles, per Meta.
“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.”
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The feature will allow users to connect a digital wallet and share digital collectibles, and automatic tagging of both the creator and collector will be enabled if the users’ privacy settings allow it. The company will support integrations with NFTs from the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains initially, with Flow and Solana to follow. Meta will also introduce NFTs to Facebook in the near term, and allow people to display and share their digital collectibles as AR stickers in Instagram stories.
Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri also chimed in on the news, noting the subtle contradiction of bringing decentralized Web3 tech to a centralized platform like Instagram. “One of the reasons why we’re starting small is we want to make sure that we can learn from the community,” he said in a Twitter post. “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.”
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At this time, users won’t have to pay a fee to post or share a digital collectible on Instagram, and it remains to be seen what the broader implications of Instagram’s NFT integration are for creators, who might one day be able to mint and sell their work directly on the app.