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Instagram to Begin NFT Test Run, Facebook Next in Line

Meta CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has confirmed that Instagram would integrate an NFT feature for creators. Zuckerberg also intimated that Facebook could soon get a similar upgrade.

On Twitter, it is not unusual to see a hexagonal-shaped profile picture. In January 2022, Twitter enabled its users to display their NFTs, although this only applies to those on the premium version – Twitter Blue.

In a similar fashion, Instagram is set to allow creators and owners curate their pages and share NFTs. Creators would soon be able to connect their crypto wallets and display NFTs on their profiles at no cost. 

Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement points to the fact that the NFTs can be 3-dimensional, overlapping with augmented reality. The proposed interaction with AR (and possibly VR) is on brand with Meta’s recent rebrand as a metaverse-focused company. 

The “new reality” integrations will be possible with the use of Spark AR, an augmented reality platform. Zuckerberg explained in his announcement:

You can put this kind of digital art into 3D spaces and kind of project it into physical spaces as well.” 

According to Zuckerberg’s quotes in his Facebook post, the founder hopes these new features will elevate AR beyond Instagram.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, also took to Twitter to announce this news earlier today. Mosseri emphasized that the new feature is creator-focused, and established to help them earn in a stable way. The ecosystem will benefit the creators of the art, and also those who want to collect it. 

More Details on Instagram’s NFT Adoption

The new feature will only be available to a few creators at first. Testing, according to Zuckerberg, could begin this week. Afterward, the new features could be available to the general population. 

According to Mark, the collections will be distinguishable from regular photos by the presence of a unique shimmer. Deployment is also going to be a gradual process. First, only NFTs minted on the Ethereum and Polygon chain will be in use. However, support for Solana, Flow, and other popular collectibles platforms will follow swiftly. 

Alexandru Voica, EMEA tech comms at Meta, stated in tweets that have now been deleted that, “in the metaverse, people will buy, use, and share digital goods and experiences, and NFTs are a key piece of the puzzle for making this a reality.”

The announcement of NFTs on Instagram does not come as a surprise to everyone. A few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg gave a teaser while talking with Shark Tank’s Daymond John. in the same vein, he raises the possibility of bringing the feature to Facebook as well. 

Criticism of Instagram NFTs

While Alexandru thinks the development is timely, the move is not without its critics. With the “sparkles and shimmer”, comes good visibility for NFTs according to Voica. This could also create a ripple effect that might result in traction for the metaverse. All this is dependent on the acceptance of the new features of course. In the past, users like Discord’s have kicked vehemently against NFT integrations.

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Also recently, critics are expressing concern about NFTs’ energy implications. With more transactions on the blockchain as a result of the visibility, there are fears that more carbon footprints could become a problem.

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