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Meta-owned Instagram first began testing sharing NFTs on its platform in May this year. From a select group of users in the US, the company expanded the feature to 100 countries in August, enabling thousands of users to connect their wallets to Instagram and share their beloved digital collectibles. Cut to today, Instagram NFT integration has gone a step further, allowing a few users in the US to use Instagram as an NFT marketplace. In other words, it will allow creators and collectors to buy and sell NFTs on Instagram. Users will also be able to create NFTs on the platform, a feature currently only available on the Polygon blockchain.
In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into Instagram NFTs. We’ll explore what Instagram NFTs are all about, what are the benefits of using digital collectibles on Instagram, how to post NFTs on Instagram, and more.
Meta, formerly Facebook, is one of the earliest tech giants to embrace the Web3 space. While Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg first announced his plans to bring NFTs to Instagram in March 2022, the platform started testing the feature for select US-based creators in May. To explain, the feature allowed users to share digital collectibles they created or bought on their Instagram profile.
At the time, it tested the feature with a few popular NFT creators. This included Gary Vee, Boss Beauties, Women Rise’s Maliha Abidi, and Adam Bomb Squad, to name a few. Later, in August, the company launched the update across 100 countries, including in Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas.
However, it was only in November that Meta added the most important feature: the ability to buy and sell NFTs on Instagram and Facebook. This way, Instagram creators can earn a passive income by directly selling their works to their followers. Besides, the platform also announced that neither the creators nor the collectors will have to pay the gas fees.
Sharing your digital collectible NFTs to Instagram is pretty straightforward. But, first, make sure the feature is available in your location. You can check this by looking for the “Digital Collectibles” option under the three bars drop-down menu on your iOS or Android app. If you have the option, then follow these steps to share your NFT:
At the time of launch, Instagram only supported Ethereum and Polygon NFTs. However, it soon extended the feature to NFTs on Solana and Flow. Nonetheless, Polygon is the main blockchain handling all NFT transactions on the platform. Polygon’s fast transactions and lower gas fees are some of the primary reasons for Meta to choose the blockchain. For collectors, this means they will have to own some MATIC, Polygon’s native cryptocurrency, to buy NFTs on Instagram.
Meanwhile, Instagram will use Arweave, a London-based decentralized storage network (DCN), to store the digital collectibles. In fact, when this partnership was first announced last month, Arweave’s AR token rose 60%.
As of now, Instagram does not charge any fees for sharing digital collectibles on Instagram. However, any NFT purchases on the app are subject to app store fees.
Originally, Instagram NFT integration was only possible through Rainbow, MetaMask, and Trust Wallet. As of December 2022, Instagram supports three additional wallets: Coinbase, Dapper, and Phantom. Currently, these six are the only wallets supported by the Instagram app. Nonetheless, you can connect to a different wallet by logging into the Instagram website via desktop.
In November, Stephane Kasriel, head of Commerce and Financial technology at Meta, said that NFT integration, among many other tools, came as an effort to help creators build their businesses.
“Blockchain…can enable entirely new business models for creators that give them more control over their work and audiences, and how they monetize,” Kasriel tweeted. “By introducing NFTs natively on Instagram, we hope to achieve this and facilitate new forms of connection between billions of people & their favorite creators.”
Already, Instagram automatically turns all posted digital collectibles into reels. Some speculate that this is Instagram “*slowly* rolling out creator monetisation based on reel views.” Illustrator Naomi added, “Could this be another way for artists and holders to make passive income by posting the NFTs they hold/created?”
Under these circumstances, it won’t be too long before Instagram turns into a full-fledged NFT marketplace. After all, select users can already create, buy, and sell NFTs on the platform. Although it is currently only available for a small group of US-based creators, the company will expand to more countries soon. Besides, Meta said it is expanding the type of digital collectibles the platform supports. This means adding video and other forms of NFTs to your Instagram profile.
All things considered, this is good news for the industry as Instagram’s NFT integration makes the space accessible to a wider audience. Additionally, it offers artists and creators a new means to earn a passive income.
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