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Instagram is one step closer to becoming an NFT marketplace

Instagram NFTs // Illustration by Kate Walker

Instagram is one step closer to becoming an NFT marketplace


Future. Instagram is rolling out an NFT test with a select number of creators, allowing them to post and share cryptoart across the platform. While this is just its first foray into seeing how NFTs would work, the platform could set a course to becoming a full-fledged NFT marketplace if user engagement is high… and give Insta yet another shopping feature to collect revenue from.

Crypto curious
After first getting teased by Mark Zuckerberg back in March, Instagram finally felt cute and developed an NFT test.

  • Techcrunch reports that the platform is testing a feature to allow users to post and share NFTs in their main Feed, in Stories, or in DMs.
  • It’s only available to a small handful of creators, including entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, actress/singer Cynthia Erivo, and NFT project Adam Bomb Squad.
  • Creators will be able to showcase NFTs on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains, with support coming soon for Solana and Flow.
  • There will be no fees for putting up NFTs on the platform.

Instagram plans to release more NFT features but wants to get some feedback first from its test. But there’s some tension, which CEO Adam Mosseri acknowledges. Web3 promises a new internet of “distributed trust and distributed power,” and Instagram is, by its very nature, “a centralized platform,” noted Mosseri.

Everything is for sale
No matter how Mosseri navigates this tension, Zuckerberg is bullish that NFTs will play a key role in Meta’s overarching metaverse plans. Facebook, Instagram, and even WhatsApp are increasingly becoming shopping destinations, and the company will probably want to move those functionalities into its Horizon metaverse platform in the future. NFTs will be the way that every item is authenticated.

Additionally, Meta’s other big technology push is in AR, and NFTs will, according to Zuck, will make a splash there too. AR or 3D NFTs will become available to users and can be posted on Stories using Meta’s Spark AR platform.

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