As its parent company, Meta, goes all-in on the Metaverse, Instagram is aiming to introduce NFTs to a wider audience. Instagram has been looking for a means to integrate NFTs into its social networking platform and its 2 billion users for a while now, and it seems to be finally in the works.
Adam Mosseri, the business’ CEO, revealed that the company is working on developing features that use NFTs. While these one-of-a-kind digital assets are popular as modern day art or video collectibles, they can also serve as a digital key to opening a metaverse by transferring ownership.
In an Instagram story posted right before the new year, Mosseri said: “Nothing to announce yet, but we are definitely actively exploring NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience […] I think it’s an interesting place where we can play, and also a way to hopefully help creators.”
NFTs are exchanged online and are usually recorded on a blockchain. They are often tied to a cryptocurrency. In 2021, there was a surge in public interest in them. So far this year, their overall revenues have risen to a record $12 billion, thanks in part to huge companies like Nike pushing into NFTs and virtual worlds.
When Instagram’s parent company relaunched as “Meta” and refocused on the metaverse, a catch-all name for virtual environments where people can play, work, trade, and connect digitally using avatars, it sparked a wave of interest in the metaverse.
However, crypto-focused firms like The Sandbox, which are aiming for “decentralized” virtual worlds, are concerned that big tech firms such as Meta would come to dominate the metaverse as they do social media.
According to CNBC, Instagram has around 2 billion monthly active users as of December 2021. While Mosseri didn’t go into detail in his Instagram post, his comments hint that the photo- and video-sharing social network may give users tools to promote their NFTs or allow viewers to follow their favorite producers.
Alessandro Paluzzi, an app developer, initially revealed Instagram’s NFT plans in July 2021 by posting screenshots on Twitter. According to the screenshots, Instagram photos may include a “collectible” label to identify NFTs possessed by a user in a special section.
Paluzzi also showed off a feature that suggests users could be able to make NFT bids directly on Instagram, and he mentioned that Instagram will most likely support Coinbase and MetaMask crypto wallets, as well as Facebook’s Novi wallet.
In other news, IG’s chronological feed is set to return this year.
Photo via Financial Times/Getty Images