Meta Platforms Inc which owns Instagram has decided to join the nonfungible tokens (NFTs) party and is expected to test its digital collectibles later in the week, according to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
NFTs are digital assets that are designed to represent real-world objects and are purchased and sold online. Zuckerberg said that the social network is now testing NFTs on Instagram with ‘similar functionality’ planned for Facebook in the future.
Instagram’s push for NFTs comes at a time when sales of NFTs have dropped by a staggering 92% since September 2021, based on data from the NonFungible websites. Sales plunged to a daily average of 19,000 in the past week from a 225,000 peak in September.
Instagram will use exclusive US creators, as highlighted by Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri. Those who will participate in the testing will be allowed to develop or purchase NFTs.
That is a new way for the content creators to earn money on the platform and is in addition to the subscription plan that Meta recently started testing. The social media platform has already integrated with Polygon and Ethereum blockchains to facilitate this endeavor, while Solana and FLOW are set to follow.
Zuckerberg confirmed that the social network is currently testing NFTs on Instagram, with some “similar functionality” planned for Facebook soon. He stated:
“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.”
The firm will also be developing 3D NFTs and augmented reality NFTs, as highlighted by Zuckerberg. Meta sees NFTs as an important part of its quest to commercialize the metaverse and is also exploring many other Web3 options apart from NFTs.
Mosseri stated in a video that will be no fees that will be associated with sharing or posting a digital collectible on Instagram, adding the purpose of NFTs and blockchain networks, and Web3 more widely is to distribute trust and power.
However, Instagram is fundamentally a centralized platform, according to Zuckerberg. It means that there is no tension there, though support for NFTs on Instagram is expected to popularize the technology.