Instagram and NFTs: How Zuckerberg plans to incorporate digital assets into Meta
Meta (Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg has always been keen on staying on top of the latest trends, whether it is a shift from conventional social media to virtual reality immersive experiences or predicting which online medium or platform has the maximum advertising potential. So it is no surprise that the entrepreneur has shown interest in NFTs, and plans to introduce them via social media.
Starting at the beginning of this year, Zuckerberg had teased at the concept of including “digital collectibles” on Instagram, thereby allowing creators to showcase and sell artwork on their pages and grow their revenue through increased exposure. He had also put forward a notion of “minting” original NFTs through the app itself as well as pioneering three-dimensional, augmented reality NFTs using its Spark AR software, which will be launched through Instagram stories.
In a Facebook post detailing the launch, Zuckerberg also stated that the upcoming release is planned not just in the Metaverse and Reality Labs arenas, but all across the Meta family of apps as well. In fact, the next platform to feature a similar functionality was said to be Facebook. A Meta representative also tweeted details of third-party wallets that would be compatible with the digital release, which included MetaMask, Rainbow, and TrustWallet. The Twitter thread went on to confirm that Instagram will initially support Ethereum-based NFTs, and that Polygon, Solana, and Flow would be incorporated later.
What does this mean for the future of non-fungible tokens and blockchain technology?
To start off, it means digital assets have caught the eye of one of the most influential businessmen in the world today, and this will certainly boost the confidence of the general public to start exploring the world of NFTs, and cryptocurrencies will not be far behind. This could potentially point to a marked increase in the usage of these assets over time, especially if the proposed integration into social media is a success.
Another angle is that the core concept behind cryptocurrencies and digital assets is to provide a decentralised alternative to mainstream currencies and copyright systems. Since Instagram (and its parent company Meta) are the polar opposite of decentralisation, this could pose a possible conflict of interest. Instagram head Adam Mosseri acknowledged this rift and assured followers that the integrity of Web3 technology would be maintained during this time, and they would embrace the tenets of decentralisation even though Instagram is a centralised platform.
It is also relevant to note that Meta is by no means the pioneer in experimenting with NFTs. Twitter was the first to introduce them in the form of hexagon-shaped profile photos replacing the classic circular ones. Other famous brands which have ventured into the world of NFTs include Coca-Cola and Lamborghini. Even though the phenomena garnered a lot of public attention at the time, they eventually panned out and faded into obscurity. Only time will tell how popular the Instagram NFT trend will become.
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