On October 28, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be adopting the new name, Meta. This was done to signify the company’s contribution to creative and supportive areas of the metaverse. At that time, it wasn’t hard to predict that Instagram — owned by Facebook — would soon jump on the bandwagon. We are currently on the dawn of Web 3.0, characterized by enhanced user experiences and blockchains. And the internet has come full circle as a new generation of artists uses Instagram to display their digital creations.
Digital currencies are a primary focus of Web 3.0. One of the hottest crypto assets of the moment is non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. These are financial securities in the form of digital media files stored on a blockchain. Each unique token can be in a photo, video, or audio form. The market value of every NFT varies based on the file it references.
2020 saw an NFT economy of approximately $82 million. But that was just the beginning. The trading activity from 2020 to 2021 comprised more than $17 billion. And now Instagram has also joined the party!
The NFT Integration
On May 10, Meta announced it would incorporate this crypto ecosystem into Instagram by introducing digital collectibles. This test feature allows selected American creators and collectors to share their NFTs on Instagram. These users can connect their digital wallets directly to the platform and choose which NFT they want to share. Moreover, the creators and collectors are automatically tagged in their digital artworks. A very attractive feature of this test is that there are no fees or charges to share an NFT on Instagram.
The Blockchains and Digital Wallets
Instagram will integrate with select blockchains on a rolling basis to carry out this NFT trial. The first wave includes Ethereum and Polygon. These are two remarkably popular ledgers for hosting NFTs. Soon, in the next stage, Instagram will connect other public blockchains like Flow and Solana.
Crypto wallet support is also limited at the time. Presently, the only ones supported are Rainbow, Trust Wallets, and MetaMask. The following wallets to be added to this program include Phantom, Dapper, and Coinbase.
This limited support ensures the legitimate ownership of NFTs on these public blockchains. As Instagram is a centralized app, it will only post verified digital files.
Here is a closer look at some among the handful of creators selected for the initial test project.
Blue sold his first NFT, “Alchemist,” on New Year’s Eve, 2021. His work is fun, funky, and has a dash of the surreal thrown in. Alchemist is a digital art of a smiling mummy-like figure sporting a halo around its head, gazing into a crystal ball.
However, it is not the first NFT he has created. Blue gives a shoutout to Instagram and Meta for making him part of this project in his post.
With a history of women being ostracized in tech, it is refreshing to see female empowerment in this exclusive club. Boss Beauties celebrates strong women with images of multicultural confidence. The bold, vibrant artworks depict women in all careers, including public service industries, such as police officers and firefighters. Their Memorial Day posting is a tribute to recognize not only heroes but also she-roes. Boss Beauties’ mantra is “stronger together,” as their NFTs create an aura of opportunity and collaboration.
This account belongs to Chicago-based artist Chuck Anderson. Upon viewing his content, it is no surprise that Instagram selected Anderson for this project. His digital art is a metaphoric punch to the face. Anderson’s work is modern, comprising complex colors, designs, shapes, and disproportionate yet brilliant placements. His latest “INFINITE PRESSURE” NFTs are a collection of 90 solo creations and nine other collaborations with different artists.
You can find a complete list of all the Instagram creators selected for this project here.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, also announced the introduction of this feature via a video. He commented that the creator economy is of significant importance to Instagram.
NFTs on Instagram ?— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) May 9, 2022
This week we’re beginning to test digital collectibles with a handful of US creators and collectors who will be able to share NFTs on Instagram. There will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on IG.
See you next week! ✌? pic.twitter.com/VuJbMVSBDr
Mosseri hopes that this trial will create new opportunities for these creators, and he invited others to participate. Mark Zuckerberg also confirmed that Facebook would soon offer a similar feature.
While this new feature is a tremendous opportunity for artists and creators, there is equal room for error. Unless promoted in a planned and strategic manner, even the projects with the greatest potential can flop. A recent example is the marketing missteps experienced by Jake Paul when it came to his Stick Dix NFTs. However, creators can easily avoid such pitfalls by enlisting the services of a seasoned marketing agency.
Facilius Inc. CEO & crypto expert Karishhma Mago is especially enthusiastic about this new Instagram feature. She commented, “This is an unprecedented opportunity for a new generation of artists to showcase their unique work. It is beneficial for both creators and buyers. Instagram is a controlled environment that eliminates fraud and puts all parties at ease. It lets people focus on their creative spirit rather than losing a significant financial asset. Art should be for the sake of art and a celebration of these talented people.”