Instagram is the next social media giant to jump aboard the NFT bandwagon. Instagram is part of the Meta group (formerly Facebook), popular social media for image sharing and visual content.
Social media giants and web aggregators such as Twitter and Reddit have already made moves to welcome NFTs. Twitter announced Twitter Blue users can display their NFTs as hexagonal profile pictures to verify the NFT they hold. Reddit released its own Ethereum-based NFT line called CryptoSnoos. It is also testing out features that would allow Reddit users to showcase any NFT as their profile picture.
If you are an Instagram user or have an interest in NFTs, read on! Because we dissect Instagram’s supposedly big move into the world of NFTs.
The debut of Instagram NFTs
Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier in March 2022 that Instagram would integrate NFTs onto the platform shortly. Following this, Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced the testing of features for NFTs with select U.S.-based creators.
In a video on his Twitter, Adam announced that NFTs would present an interesting opportunity for a subset of creators on Instagram to monetize their content and find new avenues to entertain and connect with their audience. Notably, Instagram announced that it would not levy any fees for posting or sharing NFTs on the platform. This is the first of its kind because Twitter limits the NFT feature to Twitter Blue users paying $3/month.
Instagram intends to include NFTs from blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, and Flow. This is Instagram’s small yet steady foray into the world of blockchain and NFTs. Most likely, this one step will help the platform stay relevant in the long term and boost the creator economy.
For years together, the creator economy was fueled through ad revenue and brand sponsorships. While this has seen the light of the day, it is unstable and rapidly changing. NFTs are emerging as an alternative to these by acting as tools for fan engagement on one hand and giving creators more agency and opportunities to earn.
The announcement also addressed the tensions of blockchain’s tenet of distributed power being used by a centralized platform such as Meta. The platform plans on reconciling this by taking Web 3.0 tech to its billion users free of cost in hopes of giving them a semblance of distributed power and trust.
Are These Meta’s First Signs?
Instagram’s announcement is in line with its parent company Meta’s ambitions for the Metaverse, through the integration of augmented reality and 3D NFTs. This is speculated to be the first sign of “Meta” that forms part of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the company.
Crypto enthusiasts speculate that this is just the beginning for Meta and its related platforms. Meta CEO has previously indicated that similar NFT functionalities are in the works for Facebook and other Meta apps.
Besides this, Meta has already taken strides towards its metaverse presence. The social media giant has unveiled its plans to build a free virtual reality platform and online video game called Horizon World and its plans to develop its native NFT marketplace. Instagram also rolled out 3D customizable and expressive avatars that users can post to their Instagram stories and DMs along and also updated the avatars list for Facebook and Messenger.
A Digital Renaissance For Creators
Instagram’s NFT features are just the beginning of Meta’s big vision for the metaverse. While the road ahead might be slow and rocky, Meta plans on staying its course and bringing more functionality to become the world’s first and largest blockchain integrated social media platform.
This would also present a big opportunity for content creators to break free from the shackles of the traditional ad-based model and explore new ways to monetize their content and engage with their audience.