Meta’s Instagram plans NFT Minting, trading tool

Meta’s Instagram plans NFT Minting, trading tool

Instagram is developing an NFT minting and selling feature through its app, parent company Meta announced on Wednesday. The upcoming “end-to-end toolkit” for NFTs will allow users to create and launch their own NFTs for sale via Instagram.

“A small group of creators will soon be able to create digital collectibles (NFTs) and sell them directly on Instagram,” Meta’s Head of Commerce and Fintech Stephane Kasriel said in a statement.

NFTs – which Meta often calls “digital collectibles” – are unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership over an asset, usually a piece of digital art.

Instagram will also pull NFT metadata from OpenSea so that collection names and descriptions can be viewed on Instagram.

Meta will roll out the new NFT features to a select group of artists and content creators first before offering the features to a wider audience, the company shared in a statement. Creator as a photographer DrifterShootsvisual artist Ilse Valfréand artist Amber Vittoria are among those selected for early access to the new Instagram NFT features.

Vittoria told Decrypt via Twitter DM that she’s happy Instagram continues to push into NFTs.

“Meta and Instagram consistently find new and innovative ways to help creators support themselves and their art practice,” said Vittoria.

This slow rollout strategy matches the rest of Meta’s approach to Web3. Back in May, that announced it rolled out one wallet connect feature to select creators to display their NFTs on their Instagram and Facebook profiles.

Today, Facebook and Instagram support EthereumPolygon and Flow blockchains, allowing users to link their wallets to their accounts to view NFTs. Support for Solana and Phantom wallets is coming.

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Why the big NFT pressure? Meta says it believes in the vision of Web3 – and wants creators to leverage NFTs to better monetize their content.

“Our strategy for Web3 technologies – including blockchain – is focused on helping creators make a living,” said Kasriel.

“We believe Web3 technology, like blockchain, will positively improve the economic model for creators by giving them the ability to create new types of digital assets to make money.”

But Kasriel also believes the crypto space is overflowing “complex experiences” that inhibit mass adoption.

“There there must be a much simpler user experience,” he said.

Although Meta will not initially charge its own fees for NFT sales via its applications, it is on the horizon. It also promised to cover Ethereum gas fees for buyers “at launch,” but did not specify an end date for the benefit.

“Meta will not charge fees for creating or selling digital collectibles until 2024,” Kasriel said, but noted that all In-app transactions “remain subject to applicable app store fees” such as Apple’s controversial 30% tax.

What’s unclear, however, is whether users will jump for the convenience of an Instagram NFT in-app purchase — and whether Instagram’s NFT features will also roll out to the browser version of the platform in the future.

In response to Decrypt’s request for comment, a Meta representative pointed to Kasriel’s statement published on Medium.

“Instagram was a catalyst in my creative career — it decentralized the publishing of images — much like the printing press did for the written word,” said photographer Dave Krugman, who was also selected for early access to Instagram’s new NFT features.

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“I was able to avoid the constraints of a street-controlled media landscape and gain direct access to my audience. That changed everything for me – and this next step is a clear continuation of that decentralization of access and engagement with our audience.”

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