Instagram announces testing of NFTs this week

Instagram is now on its way to introducing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platform this week. On Monday, Instagram Head Adam Mosseri shared a video confirming the test, saying it will be accessible to “a handful” of US users, particularly NFT creators and collectors. According to him, the test will allow the said users to share the digital collectibles without any fee requirements for posting or sharing them on the platform.

“Right now there are a number of different ways for creators to make money, but a lot of them are unpredictable and changing rapidly,” said Mosseri. “Now, we think one really interesting opportunity for a subset of creators is NFTs – the idea of owning a unique digital item. So what we’re starting this week is the ability for creators and people to share NFTs that they’ve made of they’ve bought, either in Feed or in Stories or in messaging. It’s a limited number of people to start, and 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.”

The details of the digital items will be posted just like the information of the regular tagged profiles and products. They will be displayed as “digital collectibles,” and clicking on their tags will show their details like the creator and owner names.

Mark Zuckerberg also confirmed the announcement by posting a video on Facebook detailing his interview with Tom Bilyeu. One of the main highlights was the NFTs, which are expected to come to Facebook and other Meta-owned apps, as well.

“We’re starting building for NFTs, not just in our metaverse and Reality Labs work, but also across our family of apps,” said Zuckerberg. “We’re starting to test digital collectables on Instagram, so that creators and collectors can display their NFTs. And, you know, a huge part of this, I think, goes back to where you’re saying. It’s about expression, right, and saying something about yourself. What do you want on your profile? What’s the collection that you want to show? So, I’m really excited testing this.”

Zuckerberg also shared his idea about leveraging NFTs on Meta’s platforms by priming to deliver the same functionality to Facebook soon. Most of all, the Meta CEO unraveled the plans to start three-dimensional tokens. “We’re also going to work on augmented reality NFTs, basically 3D NFTs, that you can bring to Instagram Stories using Spark AR, that’s our software AR platform,” said Zuckerberg, “so you can put this kind of digital art into 3D spaces and kind of projected it onto physical spaces, as well.”

On the other hand, Mosseri addressed the “tension” about the real reason why the platform is starting with a small number of users. “I want to acknowledge upfront that NFTs and blockchain technologies – and Web3 more broadly – are all about distributing trust, distributing power. But Instagram is fundamentally a centralized platform, so there’s a tension there,” Mosseri said. “So one of the reasons why we’re starting small is we want to make sure that we can learn from the community. We want to make sure that we work out how to embrace those tenets of distributed trust and distributed power, despite the fact that we are, yes, a centralized platform.”

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