As a platform, Instagram prides itself on inspiring people and pushing culture forwards. With its eCommerce offering and previous new features like Stories and Reels, it has always been at the cutting edge of social media.
Now, Instagram is looking to embrace blockchain technology. As a result, the social media giant is allowing select creators and collectors to share their digital tokens on the platform.
The introduction of digital collectibles on Instagram
Instagram’s new feature allows users to share non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that they have either created or purchased.
This feature involves:
- Allowing users to connect a digital wallet to their Instagram account. These users can then choose which NFTs they would like to share with the platform
- The ability for a user to share a digital collectible on their profile. These posts have a shimmer effect and display public information, such as a description of the NFT
- Automatic tagging of both the creator and the collector (subject to privacy settings)
How does Instagram’s new feature work?
To provide this feature, Instagram collects and organises public data from open blockchains, such as Ethereum and Polygon, which were both supported at launch. Flow and Solana will follow in due course.
Instagram can only identify which collectibles belong to collectors and creators when they connect their third-party wallets to Instagram. The third-party wallets currently compatible for use include Rainbow, MetaMask and Trust Wallet. These will be followed by Coinbase, Dapper and Phantom.
Instagram believes that the company’s efforts will improve NFT accessibility, lower barriers to entry and make the NFT space more inclusive to all communities. There will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram.
To ensure that the change is as positive as possible, Instagram is also deploying tools that will help users keep their accounts secure. The company is also reducing the emissions impact that might be associated with the display of digital collectibles by purchasing renewable energy.
The new feature is only currently available to a handful of US creators. However, the platform expects to expand access to digital collectibles soon. In doing so, Instagram aims to bring the benefits of NFT ownership to even more creators and collectors. In the future, the change will also be rolled onto Facebook and to Instagram Stories, where NFTs will be displayed as AR stickers.
Instagram’s digital collectibles project – the view from Spike
Right now, most NFT adopters communicate and live on Twitter as their preferred social platform, so this feels like a push to keep people in Instagram, whilst also showing support for what is a rapidly growing trend and culture. Meta also fully understands that NFTs will be the entry point to ‘the metaverse’, so it’s no surprise they’re looking at warming up their owned audience to the idea of this.