Instagram introduces Digital Collectibles

Everyday, more and more people are being exposed to the Ethereum blockchain by way of social media. January 2022 saw the launch of Twitter’s NFT Profile Pictures where Twitter Blue subscribers could exclusively set an NFT as their display picture with a distinguishable hexagonal frame. Not long after, Reddit followed suit, releasing Cryptosnoos with the same feature. Now, Instagram is dabbling in NFT waters this week with the introduction of their very own feature, Digital Collectibles.

What is it?

Instagram’s newest feature will allow creators and collectors to showcase their NFTs on their user profiles by connecting to a third-party digital wallet. Crypto wallets such as MetaMask, Rainbow, and Trust Wallet (and more to come) will allow users to verify ownership of their NFT, and hence share it to their feed. 

Once a creator/collector posts an NFT, a shimmer effect will be visible to mark it as a digital collectible. Users will be able to view a brief description of the NFT, its creator as well as the work’s current owner – both will be automatically tagged in the post.

And it’s free! There are no fees associated with posting or sharing an NFT on Instagram.

Source: Meta

Who can use this feature?

Digital Collectibles are not open to everyone just yet. For now, only a small handful of US creators and collectors have been selected to test out the new feature. We don’t know just yet when Instagram will extend its access to digital collectibles, but if you would like to follow the space, you can have a look at these creators: @adambombsquad, @bluethegreat, @bossbeautiesnft, @c.syresmith, @cynthiaerivo, @garyvee, @jenstark, @justmaiko, @maliha_z_art, @misshattan, @nopattern, @oseanworld, @paigebueckers, @phiawilson, @swopes and @yungjake

Instagram head Adam Mosseri believes that this new feature will introduce this kind of technology to a wider range of audiences. Meta’s article argues that a main focus of their efforts will aim to empower diverse voices and overall render the NFT space more inclusive and accessible to all communities. Meta also acknowledges the negative impact the blockchain has on sustainability and states that they will “help reduce the emissions impact that might be associated with the display of digital collectibles on Instagram by purchasing renewable energy.” 

Instagram is one of the global leaders in the attention economy. While this kind of integration is not a novelty, perhaps Instagram’s involvement (and soon, Facebook which was announced in a recent post by Mark Zuckerberg) with the blockchain will be enough to kick-start the integration of NFTs across the entirety of the internet. 

What are your thoughts on Digital Collectibles?

Article written by Beatrice Madamba