NFTs are coming to Instagram ‘soon’, Mark Zuckerberg warns

‘The clothing that your avatar is wearing in the metaverse ... can be basically minted as an NFT’, Mr Zuckerberg also said

Adam Smith
Wednesday 16 March 2022 11:58 GMT
(Getty Images)

Mark Zuckerberg has said that NFTs will be coming soon to Instagram.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are pictures bought and sold using cryptocurrency with their receipt kept on the blockchain.

Some have argued that it is the future for artists and musicians, but others have pointed out that they cause vast environmental harm in lieu of platforms simply paying creators more.

“We’re working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term," the Facebook founder and Meta chief said at the SXSW conference in Texas.

"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.”

Mr Zuckerberg suggested that people would be able to display existing NFTs and potentially mint new ones on the platform. They could also play a role in the company’s vision of the metaverse, a digital reality with dystopian roots that exists alongside the real one. Mr Zuckerberg believes this is the next evolution of the internet.

“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.”

Meta’s plans to introduce NFTs have not run smooth. In January, the Financial Times reported that Instagram could even have a marketplace for buying and selling tokens.

At the time, Meta’s digital currency wallet Novi was said to be vital to the plans, but reports indicate that the company has now frozen development of the project. This comes as Meta’s attempt at a global cryptocurrency, known as Diem, was shuttered.

“Despite giving us positive substantive feedback on the design of the network, it nevertheless became clear from our dialogue with federal regulators that the project could not move ahead”, Diem chief executive Stuart Levey said in February.

As well as Meta, YouTube is also entering the NFT space so that fans can “own” creators’ videos.

It is unclear exactly what YouTube means when it says that creators can own creators’ videos, since NFTs do not inherently transfer copyright to owners.

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