Meta Platforms Inc. announced today that it’s expanding nonfungible token features on its Instagram social media platform internationally to more than 100 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle-East and the Americas.
Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the move today on Instagram, sharing what he called a “soon-to-be NFT” of an old Little League Baseball card of himself.
Initially during an experimental pilot program that began in May, only a handful of creators could feature NFTs on their Instagram profiles. NFTs are a type of cryptographic asset built on blockchain technology that links ownership to virtual items such as digital artwork and collectibles allowing them to be bought, sold and traded.
Users will be able to connect immediately to third-party crypto wallets including Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Dapper, and Coinbase Wallet. An integration with Phantom is coming soon.
Meta also announced that Instagram supports NFTs that have been minted on the Ethereum, Polygon and Flow blockchains. There are no fees for posting or sharing NFT artwork on Instagram.
Once a wallet is connected, Instagram members can choose which NFTs they want to display on their profiles or share on the platform. Once posted, it will be identifiable with a particular shimmer effect and other users can view information, public metadata in particular, in its description. These posts will be attached to their public profile.
Since NFTs are part of a creator and collector culture and designed to stir conversation, Instagram will also allow them to be automatically attributed with this information. Of course, this is subject to privacy settings as well.
In addition, the ability of digital assets to retain value and spur speculation has led to a booming market that exploded to more than $41 billion in 2021, but suffered a 25% market value decline during the second quarter of 2022 during what was dubbed “crypto winter.”
“We collect and organize public data from open blockchains, such as Ethereum, to provide this feature,” Meta explained in a post. “From this public blockchain data, we can only identify which collectibles belong to collectors and creators when they connect their third-party wallets to Instagram.”
The objective of adding NFTs to Instagram, Meta said, is to empower the community to access this emerging class of digital assets by collecting and displaying them on the platform.
Meta’s pilot program in May followed Twitter’s own move to allow users to use NFTs as profile images, which are displayed as soft hexagons when used.
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