Instagram is testing crypto art NFT – Facebook is ready to follow

metaverse
Instagram starts test run with crypto art NFT

Instagram is testing the crypto art NFT. “Similar features” will follow soon on Facebook.

© Andre M. Chang / Picture Alliance

The digital parallel world Metaverse was also to develop into a giant trading platform for digital goods. The NFT technology used is now being tested on Instagram in the metagroup.

A group of artists and collectors from the US will soon be able to showcase their digital NFT artwork on Instagram. It was announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram boss Adam Mosseri on Facebook and Twitter. NFTs (“Non-fungible Tokens”), which are currently booming in the art scene, make it possible to deliver digital content with a non-fungible certificate of ownership. From a technical point of view, NFTs are entries in an infinitely updated digital register, the so-called blockchain.

Zuckerberg said in an interview that his company is testing NFTs on the platform and that “similar features” will soon be available on Facebook. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced that a small group of US users will be able to see NFTs in their feed, stories and messages.

Instagram wants to learn from users

The information about the NFTs is displayed in the same way as profiles and products that use keywords (“tags”). Clicking on the tag reveals information such as the name of the creator and owner. Mosseri said the test will initially be on a limited scale to allow Instagram to learn from the community. There are therefore no fees for posting or sharing the digital collectibles on Instagram. The focus is on the opportunity for creative people to make money with NFTs. But collectors are also allowed to show off their works of art.

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“I want to acknowledge up front that NFTs and blockchain technologies and Web3 more broadly are about the distribution of trust and power,” Mosseri said. “But Instagram is basically a centralized platform, so there’s a tension here.”

Twitter introduced NFTs in January

Proponents of blockchain technology use the term Web3 to claim to have created the third generation of the web. The first generation (Web 1.0) describes the era when companies and organizations filled the web with their websites. Web 2.0 is characterized by the emergence of social media services such as Facebook, where the content is primarily generated by the users themselves. In Web 3.0, users should also own digital valuables online.

The NFTs, which may be featured on Instagram in the future, are technically based on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains. In particular, Ethereum has come under criticism due to the high transaction fees (“gas fees”) and the huge energy requirement to secure transactions. Mosseri stressed that supporting NFTs on Instagram could help introduce the technology to a wider audience. In January, Twitter had already introduced NFTs on the platform as hexagonal profile pictures.

Experts believe that the promotion of NFT technology is part of the group’s larger Metaverse plans. In the virtual parallel world of Meta, users should be able to move around and interact with each other in the form of digital avatars. It must also be possible to trade with digital goods and status symbols. For example, Zuckerberg suggested that clothes worn by an avatar in the Metaverse could be taken to different locations using NFT technology.

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