Meta will begin testing NFTs this week


Creators and collectors of non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) will soon be able to display their tokens on Instagram. In a blog post today, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the platform is testing NFTs, with "similar functionality" coming soon to Facebook.

In a video posted today, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said that a small group of US users will be able to see NFTs in their feeds, stories, and messages. NFT details are referred to as "digital collectibles" and are displayed similarly to tagged profiles and products. When you click on the tag, you'll see information like the creator's and owner's names.

According to Mosseri, the test will be small at first so Instagram can learn from the community. He brings up a tension between large companies like Instagram and the decentralized ethos of Web3, perhaps in an attempt to address distrust of a major social networking platform jumping into NFTs.

“I want to acknowledge upfront that NFTs and blockchain technologies and Web3 more broadly are all about distributing trust, distributing power,” Mosseri says. “But Instagram is fundamentally a centralized platform, so there’s a tension there.”

According to Meta spokesperson Christine Pai, NFTs created on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains will be supported first, with Solana and Flow coming soon.

Support for NFTs on Instagram, according to Mosseri, could help introduce the technology to a wider audience. Instagram isn't the first platform to do so; Twitter introduced NFTs as hexagon-shaped profile pictures in January. A hexagon appears as an icon in the corner of NFTs' Instagram posts. Though companies and celebrities have been quick to jump on NFTs, and some recent sales have resulted in temporary activity spikes, sales have flatlined since a peak last September, according to a report published last week by The Wall Street Journal.