Let’s find out how this new feature works and what this means for creators, collectors, and the NFT ecosystem in general.
Instagram introduces digital collectibles
Highlighting the crucial role of the creator economy as a driver of culture, Instagram announced that the platform would begin testing this new feature as its first step into the NFT world.
The new integration basically allows a select group of creators and collectors to share the NFTs they have created or bought on Instagram. That means that they’ll be able to connect their digital wallets to Instagram and choose which NFTs they would like to share.
Once a creator or collector posts an NFT on the platform, it will be visible on their profile and have a shimmer effect and a badge to distinguish it from regular posts. Also, both the creator and collector can be automatically attributed in the digital collectible post.
To make this all possible, Instagram will collect and organize public data from open blockchains when people connect their third-party wallets to the platform, which only supports Ethereum and Polygon right now. Flow and Solana will soon join in.
What’s the catch?
While it’s pretty amazing to see mainstream social media taking steps toward NFTs adoption, one truth remains: blockchain-based technologies embrace decentralization, but Instagram is a centralized platform at its core.
So, to do away with any potential concerns, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri addressed this issue:
“Instagram is fundamentally a centralized platform, so there’s a tension there. So, one of the reasons why we’re starting small is we want to make sure that we can learn from the community. We want to make sure that we work out how to embrace those tenets of distributed trust and distributed power, despite the fact that we are, yes, a centralized platform.”
Indeed, there’s some tension. While some appreciate the efforts made by the platform to get up to speed with the fast-paced world of NFTs and blockchain, others believe integrating NFTs into a centralized platform defeats their purpose.
Meta is planning to ride the NFT wave across all its platforms.
The next step for Instagram will be to allow people to display and share their NFTs as AR stickers in their Stories. Then, Meta wants to roll out digital collectibles on Facebook, too, and it will continue to explore additional features to benefit creators and collectors.
And no platform wants to be left behind. With more and more musicians actively exploring the digital collectibles market, Spotify is jumping into the bandwagon and is reportedly testing NFT galleries on musician profiles “in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
We’re still in the early days —early hours, even. It’s too soon to make predictions, and there are still many concerns about how this will unfold. But it’s positive to see that big social media and streaming platforms are open to NFT integration and are willing to learn from this tightly-knit community.
Maybe we’re closer to widespread adoption than we thought.