Instagram is developing an NFT coin and vending feature through its app, parent company Meta announced on Wednesday. The upcoming “end-to-end toolkit” for NFTs will allow users to create and launch their own NFTs to sell via Instagram.
“A small group of developers will soon be able to create digital collectibles (NFTs) and sell them directly on Instagram,” Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and fintech, said in a statement.
NFTs — which Meta often refers to as “digital collectibles” — are unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership of an asset, typically a piece of digital art.
At startup, Instagram Use the Polygon blockchain for NFT embossing. The app also pulls NFT metadata from OpenSea, allowing collection names and descriptions to be displayed on Instagram.
Meta will initially roll out the new NFT features to a select group of artists and content creators before rolling out the features to a broader audience, the company said in a statement. Creatives like photographer DrifterShoots, visual artist Ilse Valfré and artist Amber Vittoria are among those chosen for early access to Instagram’s new NFT features.
Vittoria told Decrypt via Twitter DM that she’s excited to see Instagram continue its foray into NFTs.
“Meta and Instagram are constantly finding new and innovative ways to help artists support themselves and their art practice,” said Vittoria.
This slow adoption strategy fits with the rest of Meta’s approach to Web3. Back in May, it announced it would launch a wallet connection feature to select creators to display their NFTs on their Instagram and Facebook profiles.
Today, Facebook and Instagram support viewing NFTs on the Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow blockchains, allowing users to connect their wallets to their accounts to view NFTs. Support for Solana and Phantom wallets is coming.
Why the big NFT push? Meta believes in Web3’s vision – and wants developers to use NFTs to better monetize their content.
“Our strategy for Web3 technologies — including blockchain — is focused on helping developers make a living,” Kasriel said.
“We believe that Web3 technology like blockchain will positively improve the economic model for developers by giving them the ability to create new types of digital assets for monetization.”
But Kasriel also believes the crypto space is awash with “complex experiences” that are inhibiting mass adoption.
“There needs to be a much simpler user experience,” he said.
While Meta will not initially charge its own fees for NFT sales made through its applications, it is on the horizon. It also promises to pick up Ethereum gas fees for buyers “at launch” but hasn’t given an end date for the benefit.
“Meta will not charge any fees for creating or selling digital collectibles until 2024,” Kasriel said, but noted that all in-app transactions are “still subject to applicable app store fees,” such as the controversial 30 -% tax from Apple.
It’s unclear, however, whether users will resort to the convenience of an in-app Instagram NFT purchase — and whether Instagram’s NFT capabilities will roll out to the browser version of its platform in the future.
In response to Decrypt’s request for comment, a meta representative pointed to Kasriel’s statement published on Medium.
“Instagram has been a catalyst in my creative career — it has decentralized publishing of images — much like the printing press did for the written word,” said photographer Dave Krugman, who is also responsible for early access to Instagram’s new NFT features was selected.
“I was able to bypass the limitations of a gated media landscape and access my audience directly. It changed everything for me – and this next step is a clear continuation of this decentralization of access and interaction with our audience.”