Instagram to launch NFT functionality on its platform in 100 countries worldwide
8 August 2022
18 August 2022
Despite abandoning its cryptocurrency project ‘Diem’ earlier this year, Facebook parent company Meta continues its campaign to branch out into Web3 and metaverse products, with its latest venture being the integration of NFT functionality on companion photo app Instagram. The initial integration will be available in 100 countries worldwide, across the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.
What are NFTs and what does this mean for the crypto industry and social media?
NFT stands for “Non-Fungible Token”, a special type of cryptocurrency token that is unique and can't be exchanged for equivalent tokens of the same value. Unlike Bitcoin, where each individual coin holds the exact same value as every other coin, each NFT has its own unique characteristics and individual value.
Until now, NFTs have largely been used in the art and technology world by collectors and speculators in a 'trading card’-like manner, using digital images that are arbitrarily considered rare and, subsequently, valuable. Most of these images are just basic JPG pictures that could easily be copy-pasted, leaving many to question why they have any value at all.
So what purpose can NFTs serve on a photo-centric social media app like Instagram?
The new functionality will allow Instagram users to connect a self-custody crypto wallet to their account and upload NFTs with digital verification of ownership. It will also allow Instagram users to upload NFTs that aren't their own and attribute the NFT to the creator.
The integration will support NFTs on Ethereum, Polygon and Flow, and crypto wallets like Metamask,, Trust Wallet, Dapper Wallet, and Rainbow. NFT posts on Instagram will appear with a ‘shimmer’ overlay and a button stating “Digital collectible”.
Due to the transparent and immutable nature of blockchain technology, NFTs provide the perfect way to verify ownership of digital art without the need for a third-party intermediary. This makes it very easy for platforms like Instagram to integrate NFTs without the high cost of managing copyright law disputes or similar administrative issues.
However, the crypto community's stance on NFTs remains divided - while many believe NFTs will revolutionize digital ownership and identity, others claim its just a passing phase. It seems Meta is willing to bet on the former.
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