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Logo illustration in India - 3 May 2022

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Meta has announced it is rolling out NFTs for Instagram, and will later add them to Facebook. In a Facebook post and video announcement on May 9, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “This week, we’re starting to test digital collectibles on Instagram so creators and collectors can display their NFTs on their profile.” He added that “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.”

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Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, tweeted that the company will begin to test digital collectibles this week “with a handful of U.S. creators and collectors who will be able to share NFTs on Instagram.” He added that “there will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on IG.”

Zuckerberg had hinted at the plans in March, saying at South by Southwest that “over the next several months, the ability to bring some of your NFTs in, hopefully over time be able to mint things within that environment,” according to Gizmodo.

In the announcement, Zuckerberg added that Meta plans to bring NFTs to “other apps in our family.”

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NFTs on Instagram will have a unique “shimmer” effect to differentiate them from traditional images and photos, and will be attributed to both the collector and the original creator, according to Decrypt. In addition, Instagram will add support for NFTs on blockchains including Ethereum, Solana, Flow and Polygon.

Ryan Wyatt, CEO at Polygon Studios, also tweeted about the partnership, saying in part: “We’re excited to share that Meta is partnering with [Polygon] as they make their push into Web3.”

Some experts, however, voiced their dissatisfaction with Meta’s foray into NFTs. Hugo Feiler, CEO and co-founder at blockchain network Minima, told GOBankingRates that “while NFTs are decentralized and have the associated benefits of being tamper-proof and accessible, it seems that this approach by Meta to integrate NFTs on various platforms is another sign of them not truly understanding the purpose of the underlying technology.”

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“Blockchain wasn’t meant to be leveraged by a few powerful parties to increase stickiness of their platforms and therefore ad revenue. It’s a technology that, when used right, empowers individuals, from artists to art lovers and anything in-between,” Feiler added.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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