What just happened? Are you excited by the prospect of NFTs being integrated into Instagram? While the answer is probably a resounding "no," it hasn't stopped Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg from confirming that non-fungible tokens are coming to the photo- and video-sharing platform.
The news isn't too much of a surprise. NFTs have always been a part of Facebook's/Meta's metaverse plan, and January brought reports that teams at Instagram (and Facebook) were preparing a feature that will allow users to display NFTs as profile pictures. There was also talk of being able to mint NFTs on the platforms and the creation of a marketplace for digital tokens. Moreover, Instagram lead Adam Mosseri last year said that the team was "actively exploring NFTs."
Speaking at SXSW, Zuckerberg announced that NFTs would be coming to Instagram "in the near term." The billionaire didn't go into too many details about what that would entail but seemed to confirm some of the previous rumors.
"I'm not ready to kind of announce exactly what that's going to be today. But over the next several months, the ability to bring some of your NFTs in, hopefully over time be able to mint things within that environment," Zuckerberg said.
The billionaire also talked about how NFTs would fit into Meta's vision for its metaverse. "I would hope that you know, the clothing that your avatar is wearing in the metaverse, you know, can be basically minted as an NFT and you can take it between your different places," he said. "There's like a bunch of technical things that need to get worked out before that'll really be seamless to happen."
Despite most people's opinion on non-fungible tokens ranging from plain indifference to outright hostility—and the fact that numerous entities have seen pushback against their NFT plans—companies continue to embrace them, from Coinbase making NFTs easier to buy, to GameStop's marketplace. Meta has lost $500 billion since its name change last year, so it will be hoping that NFTs and the metaverse concept start getting more love from the public.