On Monday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram would start experimenting with NFTs on the social network with a small group of U.S. creators and collectors this week. Throughout the test, Instagram will allow these users to share NFTs they’ve created or bought on their profiles for free, setting it apart from Twitter. The blue bird app unveiled NFT avatars in January, but only for subscribers of its paid Twitter Blue service.
Given the meteoric boom of NFTs over the past year (and subsequent bust in just last few months), it was only a matter of time before social media giant Meta, owner of Instagram and Facebook, realised they were popular with users and decided to jump on the NFT bandwagon. As the market performs a spectacular nosedive, Meta has decided to strike while the iron is stone cold.
Zuckerberg originally told the public that the company was working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in March.
NFTs shared on Instagram by either their creator or owner will be identified with a visual “shimmer,” Meta told our sister site Gizmodo. (Can you see a shimmer in the product images? Gizmodo could not.) Both the creator and owner will receive attribution for the collectible.
When the test launches, it will support NFTs on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains. Support for the Flow and Solana blockchains will follow, according to Meta. To use the feature, users will have to link their Instagram to one of three third-party digital wallets: Rainbow, MetaMask, or Trust Wallet. Meta added that Instagram would offer support for other wallets, including Coinbase and Dapper, soon.
Instagram isn’t the only social network in Meta’s “family of apps,” a company coterie which includes the main Facebook app, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, that’s opening its arms to welcome NFTs at the precise moment the entire market flatlines. Zuckerberg also stated that users on Facebook would be able to display their NFTs there soon but announced no launch date.
“We’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so that creators and collectors can display their NFTs,” Zuckerberg told blockchain entrepreneur Tom Bilyeu in a podcast episode released on Monday. “It’s about expression, saying something about yourself. What do you want on your profile? What’s the collection that you want to show?”
In addition, the Meta CEO said that the company would be rolling out augmented reality NFTs, which he described as “3D NFTs” and which would appear as stickers in Instagram Stories.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.