Instagram is introducing NFTs, Mark Zuckerberg announces

By:
on Mar 16, 2022
Updated: Mar 17, 2022
  • CEO of Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, announced NFTs will be introduced to the plaform
  • Users will be able to use NFTs as profile pictures, as well as showcast their collections
  • Since the announcement, Meta's shares have fallen more than 20%.

Rumours of the implementation of NFTs on Instagram have been going on for several months. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Instagram’s parent company Meta, confirmed on Tuesday that NFTs will be coming to the popular social media platform during his speech at SXSW.

Zuckerberg responds to rumours

In December, Instagram leader Adam Mosseri had said the team was “actively exploring NFTs”, but now Zuckerberg said they are “working on bringing it to Instagram shortly”, adding that the feature “will be available in the coming months.”

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This news also confirms an earlier report from the Financial Times in January that Facebook and Instagram could allow users to create and sell NFTs directly on the platforms, and may begin to introduce NFT profile pictures. Users can also share the NFTs already in their collection. NFTs could eventually play a role in Meta’s eventual long-term vision to create a virtual world for its users, Zuckerberg added.

Zuckerberg made the announcement at the SXSW conference. However, he did not give a specific date on which NFTs could appear on Instagram. In his speech, Zuckerberg said he hopes users will one day be able to use their digital avatars’ clothing as NFTs. However, he admitted that there is still work to be done before that can happen.

Meta and blockchain

This isn’t Zuckerberg’s first foray into blockchain technology. In 2019, the CEO infamously tried to launch a digital currency called Libra. However, the effort failed due to massive political and regulatory backlash.

Meta has made an ambitious promise to build out a virtual and augmented reality universe, described as the next stage of the internet. The company has put significant resources into the effort, but Meta’s Reality Labs, the team working on the metaverse, reported losses of more than $10 billion in 2021.

It is still unclear how the NFTs will be integrated into Instagram in the near term. “I’m not ready to announce exactly what that’s going to be today,” Zuckerberg said at SXSW, though he put forward several ideas along those lines. He went on to say:

“Hope you know that the clothes your avatar is wearing in the metaverse, you know, can basically be slapped like an NFT and you can take it between your different places. There’s such a thing as a lot of technical stuff that needs to be worked out before that really happens seamlessly.”

Most recently, at a virtual event last October, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be rebranding to Meta. Furthermore, he said the focus will be on bringing the metaverse to life and helping people connect.

Investors have reacted badly to the news of Facebook’s rebrand and have moved to the metaverse. Since the announcement, Meta’s shares have fallen more than 20%.

Tuesday’s news of the Instagram NFTs seemed to elicit little response from investors. Meta’s shares closed about 3% on a day when the overall market was about the same.

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