Instagram is about to launch built-in tools for creators to make NFTs and sell them on the application, but in-app purchases have to follow app guidelines.
Meta, Instagram’s parent company, announced Wednesday that the photo-sharing platform is in the works of developing a NFT minting and trading feature on its application. Described as an “end-to-end toolkit”, Meta aims for Instagram to be a one-stop-shop for all NFT needs.
“A small group of creators will soon be able to create digital collectibles (NFTs) and sell them right on Instagram,” said Meta’s Head of Commerce and Fintech Stephane Kasriel in a statement.
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are unique tokens that indicate ownership of a digital asset, such as “digital collectibles” as Meta calls it, gaming items, or virtual land.
Upon the launch of its NFT mint and trade platform, Instagram will be using the Polygon Blockchain for its minting operations. Instagram will also pull NFT metadata from OpenSea, letting users view collection names and descriptions on-app.
As to who’s getting the feature first – a select group of artists and content creators will be able to enjoy Instagram minting and trading privileges before it goes to a wider audience.
Through offering NFT services, Meta aims to support creators who want to monetize their work, while building community with fans and collectors.
“Our strategy for Web3 technologies—including blockchain—is focused on helping creators make a living,” Kasriel said.
“We believe Web3 tech, like blockchain, will positively enhance the economic model for creators by giving them the ability to create new types of digital assets to monetize.”
Once getting access to the feature, users will be able to connect their crypto wallet, share NFTs, and tag creators and collectors for attribution. NFTs can also be shared as posts in a user’s main feed, in Stories, and in messages.
Once a digital collectible is posted, a shimmer will indicate the image’s status as an NFT, where users can tap to public information of the NFT, says Meta.
According to Meta, Instagram currently supports the Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow blockchains. Instagram also supports third-party wallets including Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet.
Meta also notes that there are no fees to be collected when users post or share a digital collectible on Instagram.
“Meta won’t charge fees to create or sell digital collectibles until 2024,” Kasriel said, but highlights that any in-app transactions “are still subject to applicable app store fees” such as Apple’s controversial 30% service fee.
As a result of Apple’s in-app purchase 30% service fee, NFT marketplaces typically create iPhone apps that serve as a virtual, portable storefront. If a user wants to purchase an NFT on the iOS application, they are redirected to an external browser to make their purchase on mobile.
It is unclear whether Meta will also implement NFT features on the internet browser version of Instagram, and whether users are willing to spend 30% tax for convenience.
Just a few weeks ago, Meta began testing NFTs with a select number of creators on Facebook, but at the time said they are not yet offering the option to turn posts with NFTs into ads – for now.
Instagram is a popular platform for creators and artists, as already existing features on the app allow users to network and share content with ease.
Major social media platforms have already been experimenting with NFT features: Twitter has offered users to show off their NFTs as their profile picture, while Reddit has recently launched a NFT-based avatar marketplace which lets users purchase PFP NFTs for a fixed price.
Meanwhile, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is also considering bringing Web3 to the video platform, saying that it will open up more opportunities for YouTube creators to monetize their content.