A group of non-fungible token (or NFT) creators and collectors will soon be able to display their tokens on Instagram. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed in a post today that the company is testing NFTs on the platform, with “similar functionality” coming soon to Facebook.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a video today that a small group of US users will have the ability to display NFTs on their feed, stories, and in messages. NFT details are displayed in a similar way to tagged profiles and products and are named “digital collectibles.” Clicking on the tag will display details like the name of the creator and owner.
Mosseri said the test is small to start so that Instagram can learn from the community. Perhaps in an attempt to tackle distrust of a major social networking platform jumping into NFTs, he brings up a tension between large companies like Instagram and the decentralized ethos of Web3.
“I want to acknowledge upfront that NFTs and blockchain technologies and Web3 more broadly are all about distributing trust, distributing power,” Mosseri says. “But Instagram is fundamentally a centralized platform, so there’s a tension there.”
NFTs minted on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains will be supported initially, with Solana and Flow coming soon, according to Meta spokesperson Christine Pai.
Mosseri emphasizes that support for NFTs on Instagram could help introduce the technology to a broader range of people. Instagram isn’t the first platform to do so: in January, Twitter introduced NFTs on the platform as hexagon-shaped profile pictures. An icon in the corner of Instagram posts of NFTs also appears as a hexagon. Though companies and celebrities have been quick to jump on NFTs, and some recent sales have produced temporary activity spikes, a report by The Wall Street Journal last week said sales have flatlined since a peak last September.
Update May 9th 1PM ET: Updated to include comment from Meta about the blockchains supported on Instagram. Added embed of video announcement from Mark Zuckerberg.