Instagram plans to introduce a feature to mint and sell NFTs within the application, social networking service’s owner Meta revealed Wednesday. Users will be able to create and sell their own NFTs via Instagram by using the soon-to-be-launched NFT “end-to-end toolkit.”
“A small group of creators will soon be able to create digital collectibles and sell them right on Instagram,” Stephane Kasriel, Head of Commerce and Fintech at Meta, announced.
NFTs are blockchain tokens that represent ownership over a certain piece of information, such as digital artwork. Meta often refers to them as “digital collectibles.”
After the feature goes live, NFTs will be minted on the Polygon blockchain. In addition, Instagram will display collection details to users by pulling metadata from the OpenSea marketplace.
Before introducing NFTs to all its users, the company will first test the new functionality by launching NFTs only for a select group of creators. For instance, Instagram NFT features are available early to photographer DrifterShoots, as well as artists Ilse Valfré and Amber Vittoria.
Meta’s NFTs plan is similar to their other Web3 initiatives. Earlier this year, the company introduced the wallet connection feature, which enables certain creators to showcase NFTs on their Instagram and Facebook pages.
Currently, these two social media platforms can display NFTs on the Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow blockchains. Phantom and Solana wallet support is coming soon.
What’s the deal with NFTs? According to Meta, the company fully supports the concept of Web3 and wants to encourage artists to use NFTs to help them more effectively monetize their work.
“Our strategy for Web3 technologies, including blockchain, is focused on helping creators make a living,” stated Kasriel.
“We believe Web3 tech, like blockchain, will positively enhance the economic model for creators by giving them the ability to create new types of digital assets to monetize.”
In addition to that, Kasriel believes that the crypto space has been overrun with “complex experiences” that prevent its widespread adoption. In his opinion, the user experience should be simplified significantly.
Initially, Meta will not take a fee for NFT sales via Instagram, but that will likely change in the future. Additionally, the company said it would cover Ethereum gas fees for users “at launch,” with no mention of how long the coverage will last.
According to Kasriel. Meta will not charge fees for creating or selling digital collectibles until 2024. However, he also mentioned that Apple’s controversial 30% AppStore tax still applies to all in-app purchases.
Whether Instagram’s NFT features will be integrated into the browser version remains an open question, as well as whether it will be a popular feature among users.
“Instagram was a catalyst in my creative career; it decentralized the publishing of imagery, much like the printing press did for the written word,” said photographer Dave Krugman, a member of the NFT early access program.
“I was able to avoid the limitations of a gatekeep media landscape and access my audience directly. It changed everything for me, and this next step is a clear continuation of that decentralization of access and engagement with our audiences.”