Nonfungible tokens or NFTs are slowly becoming mainstream and there is no stopping. After Twitter allowed its users to customize their Twitter profile so that they can show off the NFTs they own in a hex-shaped profile picture on their Twitter account, Instagram might follow similar pursuit. Mark Zuckerberg said during a session at South by SouthWest that NFTs will be introduced to Instagram in the “near term.” While the Meta CEO and founder didn’t go into great detail, he said that non-fungible tokens will be integrated into the company’s photo and video sharing app if the Instagram team worked out some technical issues.
Zuckerberg said, “I’m not ready to kind of announce exactly what that’s going to be today. But over the next several months, the ability to bring some of your NFTs in, hopefully over time be able to mint things within that environment.”
Famously known for wearing the same grey t-shirt every day, Zuckerberg cited his personal purchasing habits as the rationale for expanding Instagram’s role as a shopping platform, stating that “probably most of the stuff that I wear, I probably bought through an Instagram or Facebook Shops or ads.”
This is not the first time there are rumors about Instagram venturing into the world of NFTs. Last year, Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri stated that the company was actively studying NFTs, but that no official announcements had been made. It was earlier reported that Facebook and Instagram teams were working on NFT integrations in January. According to the reports, development has been made on features that allow you to use an NFT as a profile and mint NFTs on the platform, as well as conversations about building a marketplace. When Zuckerberg verified the rumor, he was taking part in a conversation about the Metaverse and the changing environment of digital culture. He spoke about topics like NFTs and the potential, you know, long-term, and expressed his hopes that your avatar’s clothing in the Metaverse can be minted as an NFT and taking “it between your different places,” during the hour-long conversation.
This isn’t Meta’s first foray into the crypto world. In 2019, the company announced plans to launch “Libra” (later renamed to “Diem”), a USD-pegged stablecoin that failed owing to regulatory licensing issues and community opposition. Following criticism from US Senators Sherrod Brown and Brian Schatz, some initial members of the so-called Libra Association quit the initiative within months of its launch. Meta eventually sold the cryptocurrency project for $200 million in January, and Zuckerberg’s comments on NFTs suggest he’s hoping for a breakthrough in the blockchain industry. Although Silvergate Capital bought the project, several former Meta personnel are currently attempting to resurrect the open-source stablecoin by establishing their own network.