Instagram Is Officially an NFT Marketplace

The Alpha:

  • Meta has started to roll out features that let creators sell NFTs on Instagram, according to information shared with nft now.
  • To kick-start this process, Instagram has made new features available to a select group of creators on its platform. More creators will be onboarded in the coming weeks.
  • The initial round of selected creators includes Amber Vittoria, Dave Krugman, Refik Anadol, Isaac ‘Drift’ Wright, Diana Sinclair, Eric Rubens, Jason Seife, Vinnie Hager, Sara Baumann, Olive Allen, and Ilse Valfre.
  • Meta spokesperson Christine Pai told nft now that, when digital collectibles are purchased on Instagram, neither the creator nor the collector will need to pay any gas fees. However, she stated that this would be true “at launch,” indicating that this may eventually change.

Meta’s NFT journey

Since Facebook changed its company name to Meta in late 2021, much of the tech giant’s efforts have been centered on expanding its reach into the growing Web3 landscape. One significant initiative Meta undertook over the course of 2022 was integrating NFTs into its social platforms, Facebook and Instagram. As early as January of this year, there was buzz that Meta wanted to let users create, display, and (of course) sell NFTs on its market-leading platforms.

But before Meta officially launched its NFT efforts, it had to address a significant issue related to NFT-related content that violated its terms of use.

Specifically, Meta started the year by banning the spurious @NFT Instagram account backed by Mark Cuban. The account inundated its nearly 2 million followers with posts about questionable NFT projects. Ultimately, @NFT was banned because it posted sponsored content about NFT projects without disclosing that the posts were paid for, a violation of Instagram’s terms of use and FCC guidelines.

Several months later, in March of 2022, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he intended to turn Instagram into an NFT marketplace; however, he didn’t reveal any specifics at the time. Finally, in a May update to Instagram, Meta started testing its NFT features. Specifically, it gave select users the ability to share NFTs they created or collected on their profiles and in followers’ feeds. “Similar functionality is coming to Facebook soon, along with augmented reality NFTs on Instagram Stories via Spark AR so you can place digital art into physical spaces,” he said in the official announcement.

In June of 2022, Meta unveiled its entire NFT roadmap. And shortly after, in August of 2022, the company rolled NFT features out to users in 100 countries all over the world.

However, the platforms’ core NFT functionalities had yet to be added. Namely, the ability for users to create/mint, buy, and sell NFTs with one another through Facebook and Instagram. Based on today’s revelation, that’s set to finally change. With this round of public testing, select creators will be able to sell NFTs with their audiences on Instagram.


An Instagram creator responds

Dave Krugman is one of the creators who was selected to test Instagram’s NFT marketplace features. In an interview with nft now, Krugman said that he’s excited about these new tools, as they will let him and his community share in the value they create.

“In the age of interconnected creative communities, the name of the game is incentive alignment. If the things that benefit my audience also benefit me, we are able to create a social symbiosis,” Krugman said. He continued by explaining that NFTs create a financial tie between creator and collector that aligns their priorities. “When someone owns a digital asset that I created, the value of that asset is tied to my own creative success. Thus, our incentives are aligned at a deep level — we share a common goal, and that creates a healthier connection between the community and the creator,” he said.

Krugman also noted that these features could help him better reach specific subsets of his audience. “Digital collectibles allow me to create niche communities within my larger community, micro-economies that help to fund and power my creative craft. The more support I get, the further I can push my ideas. And the further I push them, the more support I get. It’s a virtuous cycle,” he explained.

Krugman added that it’s only fitting that Instagram would be the first to integrate NFTs into its user experience to this degree, given the role it has already played in removing gatekeepers from publishing. “Instagram was a catalyst in my creative career. It decentralized the publishing of imagery, much like the printing press did for the written word. It changed everything for me, and this next step is a clear continuation of that decentralization of access and engagement with our audiences,” he said.

What’s next

In a bid to ensure this process is as seamless as possible for everyone involved, Meta has promised that NFTs sold on its platforms will not incur any additional fees for the parties involved. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are no fees. Purchases made within the Instagram app on Android and iOS operating systems are subject to applicable app store fees. And Instagram may be adding its own fees down the line. However, Pai told nft now that Meta has “made a commitment to not charge any additional fees for selling digital collectibles until at least 2024.”

This point may cause some creators to worry. After all, Meta’s previous statements indicate that it intends to take a massive cut of sales made on Horizon Worlds, its flagship metaverse product.

With a significant focus being placed on ensuring NFT integrations on its platforms are accessible, the fruits of Meta’s NFT-driven initiatives may take some time to bloom. But when they do, we might see one of Web2’s most important platforms growing into one of Web3’s. Krugman, for one, is hopeful. “The NFT community would be wise to understand how intertwined we are with social media, […] I think with our powers combined; we can create a more sustainable system for creatives who work in interconnected online communities,” he said.

Source NFT Now

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