Instagram jumps into NFTs with minting and selling feature
Meta's Instagram will soon allow artists to create and sell their own NFTs both right on the social media platform and off it.
Why it matters: Big Tech wants in on crypto, and the social media juggernaut's entry into NFTs points to growing competition between marketplaces in spite of dwindling trading volumes and falling prices.
Driving the news: IG's feature will roll out to a small group of select creators in the U.S. to start, according to Meta.
- The first creators tapped to test the feature include photographer Isaac “Drift” Wright, known as DrifterShoots, and artist Amber Vittoria.
What they're saying: "My hope is this feature empowers artists to more heavily explore web3," Vittoria tells Axios via Twitter DM.
Details: Meta won't charge fees for posting or sharing an NFT on IG, though, app store fees still apply.
- Separately, there will be a "professional mode" for Facebook profiles for creators to build a social media presence separate from their personal one.
- The intrigue: Artist royalties appear to be a part of the plan.
Between the lines: Minting or the creating of NFTs on IG will start on Polygon, a boon for the layer-2 blockchain (a separate blockchain built on top of Ethereum) given the potential onboarding of IG's billion active users.
- The price of Polygon's token MATIC jumped 17% from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning, boosted by IG news but also, because JPMorgan conducted its first live DeFi trade using that blockchain.
What's next: Here's what we know about Instagram's plans for NFTs:
- The platform is adding support for Solana blockchain and Phantom wallet with the latest feature update, adding them to the list of already-supported wallets such as MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, Dapper Wallet, Rainbow and Trust Wallet.
- Ethereum and Flow blockchains are already supported.
- Info for selected collections with OpenSea metadata, like collection name and description, will show up on IG.
The big picture: IG isn't the only social shop getting into the mix. Reddit's second NFT collection has defied the trends of crypto winter, rolling out "blockchain-backed collectible avatars" in July.
- Twitter is also amping up its NFT features, announcing a connection to marketplaces like Magic Eden just days ago.
- The firm earlier this year allowed "Twitter Blue" users — subscribers who pay a monthly fee for special features — the ability to use NFTs as profile pictures. ( (New owner Elon Musk has previously criticized the profile pictures as "annoying.")
Flashback: The feature rollout is a continuation of Meta's foray into what it calls "digital collectibles," which started with a test announced in May.
The bottom line: "At Meta, we’re looking at what creators are already doing across our technologies in order to improve the experience, help them create more monetization opportunities, and bring NFTs to a broader audience," the firm said in a blog post at the time.