2022 in the crypto domain has so far been a year of non-fungible tokens and their derivatives. From the market movements to the huge popularity on social media, esports forums, and many other locations on the internet, it has been hard to check out any aspect of the cryptosphere without stumbling onto NFTs in some shape or form. But, the same expansion in popularity did not take place outside of the grasp of big companies and other institutional players. That is why it comes as no major surprise that Meta, formerly known as Facebook, plans to introduce NFTs to one of its flagship projects.
That is Instagram and soon, this powerful social media hub will get some important tech integrations that will allow the users to get immersed in the world of NFTs. Others will be able to promote their NFT art and potentially boost their earnings through Instagram exposition. That decision is interesting for many different reasons and provides a glimpse into the inner mechanics of Meta, including its CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Also, it is going to be an undoubtedly big push for the entire NFT crypto space, which is presently in a growing need for just such a thing.
The NFT technology and the space it creates is by no means a prerogative of a single blockchain network. Instead, most of the popular blockchain systems are supportive of the non-fungible token technology and can employ the same for the purpose of labeling and tracking basically anything online. Instagram is planning to start its pilot program in the middle of May and thus bring the same ensemble of blockchain tech to its users. The decision comes from Meta, the parent company of Instagram, and the business that runs the famous image-based social media.
According to its announcement, the company wants to introduce integration for a range of networks at the start of the development of this feature. These include ethereum, naturally, as the biggest NFT support system currently in operation. Along with it, there will be a series of additional network integration covering Polyon, Flow, and Solana. All of these are very popular in the NFT minting community and are widely used. That is why those networks’ currencies together host the majority of all NFT trading. Through them, the process of changing the hands of different collectibles takes place. While ethereum holds the biggest market cap, supporting the mega best-seller collections like Bored Apes, other networks are both successful in their own regard and willing to innovate. That technological evolution is what many experts see as the next step of the NFT market maturity.
Instagram clearly has faith in the NFT marketplace, as well as the entire phenomenon of non-fungible tokens. But, it is still rolling out this NFT support in a very limited fashion. The pilot should include a group of fans of NFTs that are based in the US to get some access to these new functionalities. However, there are many open questions related to the same launch that the company has not addressed.
The biggest one is whether or not these users will get access to all four blockchains immediately after launch or will these be integrated gradually, one after another. The initial exposure of the same technology could play a big role in not just the promotion sense – which blockchain was first on Instagram – but also in the way functionality on the same social network shapes itself around these individual blockchains.
Another technically important aspect of the same decision of Meta is to start a process of supporting crypto wallets. One of the certain contenders for that process is the very popular MetaMask. The users of Instagram should be able to plug their existing wallets into their accounts on the same social media, getting on-platform access to their NFTs. These will be able to prove their ownership, but also allow them to do promotional activities, like showcase the same artwork on their profiles and also tag creators who designed the same NFTs.
The same goes for the organizations that publish these NFTs, which will be an important promotional element for the NFT industry. There are also some specific elements related to these wallet features that differ from the NFT integration at Twitter, for example. Instagram will not charge its users for sharing and posting NFTs, unlike the decision that Twitter made for its hexagonal spaces for NFT profile pictures back at the start of the year.
Ultimately, no matter how slowly the integration of NFT tech and Instagram is going, the decision still marks an important cultural shift towards this cryptosphere phenomena. Instagram is one of the most popular social media on the planet. With over one billion active monthly users, it is at the very top of the already huge social media industry. Out of those users, many millions are creators who use Instagram to actively promote their art. Also, in many ways, Instagram is also a gateway to the much bigger platform of Facebook. Right now Mark Zuckerberg or his company is not providing any information about the possibility of NFTs entering this bigger social media. But, it is hard to imagine that the leadership of the company is not actively considering this possibility.
After all, there is much to be gained if the Instagram NFT experience is a success. That is made even more poignant by the fact that Meta is actively working on its metaverse project. Gaining any information and valuable experience in these incoming integration procedures will pay off immensely in the metaverse development. So, it matters little how the coming weeks and months of the Instagram NFT pilot project go. It will likely face hurdles in a range of aspects and the public backlash will be there as well. The overall resistance to the NFT market is undoubtedly alive and well on Instagram too. But, in any case, Meta is clearly doubling down on its desire to move deeper into the cryptocurrency and non-fungible token domain.