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Instagram is testing NFT integration

Patrick Devaney

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Instagram is a very visual and, dare I say it, artistic social network. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that Instagram is looking to become more and more involved in the current art-related NFT trend that has seen digital artists and art collectors making hundreds of millions of dollars between them. Let’s see how the social network is going to get involved.

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Instagram has been testing features related to NFT-like “Collectibles” since at least June 2021. Those early tests included ways to showcase digital art, but also showed bids, which seemed to indicate that purchasing these collectibles would be possible too.

Instagram is testing NFT integration

Now, Adam Mosseri, the head honcho at Instagram, has released a video via Twitter talking about “a handful of US creators and collectors who will be able to share NFTs on Instagram.” It seems that at the moment, the test is only enabling artists to showcase their work on Instagram but isn’t offering them a way to sell art just yet. In his post, Mosseri says that there will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram, which marks an interesting distinction from fees associated with selling.

To do all this, Instagram is partnering with Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution, Polygon for its NFT integration, and will soon support NFTs on the Solana and Flow Layer 1 blockchains too.

This sets Instagram up to be a shop window for NFT artists to display their work and frankly, it is a great place for them to do so and marks a step forward for NFT art to gain more widespread retail interest. Once that interest in the art is there, however, it is highly likely that the sales will take place elsewhere. Mark Zuckerberg, head of Meta, Instagram’s parent company, recently stated that all NFTs sold on Meta’s Horizon Worlds VR metaverse platform would be subject to a 47.5% cut on every sale. If Instagram follows its parent company’s example, artists and collectors will likely sell their art elsewhere, such as on platforms like OpenSea and NFTrade, which typically only take 2.5% of sales with the original creator taking between 5-7% per sale price on top.

Still, it is very cool that Instagram is testing NFT integration and offering artists and collectors a way to display their art on their profiles. The new Collectibles feature allows artists to connect their digital wallets to the platform so that they can select the works they’d like to share. Once they’ve shared their work on their profiles it will be recognizable as an NFT by the special shimmer effect added to it, and these new types of post will include a description of the NFT too. Finally, pending the artist’s privacy settings, the creator and the collector will be automatically attributed to the NFT post.

It’s interesting to note here that this test will apply to both artists and collectors, which does open up the feature to a wider adoption beyond artists alone. It is not inconceivable to see a future that includes everybody showcasing their favorite pieces of art from their own personal collections on their Instagram feeds. If you think this sounds like an exciting future and would like to sell some of your own digital art on Instagram, you should check out our Adobe Photoshop guide to brush up on your digital art skills.

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