Earlier this week Meta – Facebook’s new parent company – announced that testing NFT support on Instagram. Initially, this feature will allow only a select few creators and collectors to showcase their digital collectibles in messages and stories, as well as through DM.
But if from words like “NFT” you have a headache, that’s okay. Here’s what it all means and how it will all work.
Irreplaceable tokens, or NFTs, are some of the busiest Web3 technologies. We have a complete explanation of NFT that you can check if you are a complete beginner in The wild world of the crypt, but in short: what is “interchangeable” is that in which each individual element is interchangeable. The dollar bill is exchangeable. No matter which one 11.7 billion or so the bills you have – they can be exchanged for any others, and you still have the dollar. Most cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are based on variable but separate tokens. Although Blockchain invariably lists who holds which coins (or shares of coins), in real terms it doesn’t matter more than keeping records (and catch criminals).
What is irreplaceable, on the contrary, is not interchangeable. Our homes are incompatible: direct exchanges are likely to put both sides in trouble. As for dollars, an autographed note (say, from a celebrity) is also indispensable. While the dollar, the signature and the circumstances around it distinguish it from any other existing dollar bill.
Want another example? Gold bars are replaceable. Banks don’t care what exactly the 27-pound gold bar they have, they just want it locked in storage. However, the gold wedding ring, which is a family heirloom, is absolutely indispensable.
The crypto NFT – these are unique tokens on the blockchain – most often Ethereum, but also on others such as Polygon and Solana. Although they have a wide range of possible applications, they are usually related to digital art, e.g. Bored Ape Yacht Cluband collectibles like The NBA’s best hit. They allow for an element of digital scarcity. Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 algorithmically generated monkeys – while any you can check the imagesonly one person can own each individual NFT.
This brings us to The goal. The feature, which Instagram is testing, will allow a group of creators and collectors to share their NFT on Instagram in a way to show that it’s not just plain images or videos, but unique and diverse images or videos. It goes much further than Twitter, which allowed people use NFT as a profile image for several months.
Each Instagram post will display a “flicker effect”, have a small “digital collectible” icon, automatically tag the creator and owner (if privacy settings allow), and display information about the specific NFT and the collection that is part of it. To see all of this, users will need to connect a crypto-wallet containing their NFT to Instagram (though having an internet-connected wallet runs counter to the risks).
For starters only 16 accounts will be able to share NFT in such a special way and they are like Meta lists them: “@adambombsquad, @bluethegreat, @bossbeautiesnft, @ c.syresmith, @cynthiaerivo, @garyvee, @jenstark, @justmaiko, @maliha_z_art, @misshattan, @nopattern, @oseanworld, @paigebueckers, @phiawilson, @swopes and @yungjake». At the moment, the rest of us, ordinary people, will only be able to view them, but if it is successful, it is expected to spread to more users.
У a video posted on a social network, Instagram CEO Adam Moseri, framed the initiative as driven by a desire to offer creators more ways to monetize their work. He explained that the test starts small so that Instagram can learn in the community, and tried to prevent reflexive skepticism, saying: “I want to pre-recognize that NFT, blockchain technology and Web3 in a broader sense are about spreading trust. [and] distributive power. But Instagram is, in fact, a centralized platform, so there is tension here. ” He went on to say that Instagram has the power to make NFT available to a much wider range of people, which is certainly true, though not necessarily without potential problems.
У a similar video on FacebookCEO Mark Zuckerberg said the same feature would soon appear on the Facebook platform and then possibly in other company programs. He also said the company is working on “augmented reality NFT” that will project digital art into both digital and physical space.
Unfortunately for Meta, this ad appeared at a bad time for NFT and cryptocurrencies more generally. Whether this transition from Meta is enough to arouse some interest among digital collectors remains to be seen.