Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the company’s video and photo-sharing application, Instagram, is now preparing to add nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to the platform. While appearing at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, the Meta CEO said:
“We’re working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term.”
Zuckerberg also added that he hopes the nonfungible token minting will become available in the coming months. Nonetheless, the Facebook founder never provided any specifics on when the implementation would happen.
The writer for the Platformer newsletter, Casey Newton, tweeted from the same conference that Zuckerberg also mentioned that he hopes in the coming months, Instagram users would have the opportunity to mint their NFTs on the platform.
Meta is yet to respond to reporters to explain and confirm when the NFT functionality would be live. In recent months, the company has been taking strategic steps to ensure that it ranks among the leaders in various nascent sectors including the Metaverse and NFTs. Notably, the company rebranded from Facebook to Meta to help its push to become a leader in the metaverse space.
At #SXSW, Mark Zuckerberg just said that “hopefully” in the coming months you’ll be able to mint NFTs within Instagram
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) March 15, 2022
In October 2021, the company took the bold step of rebranding to focus on its metaverse-related projects. Based on official company reports from the fourth quarter of 2021, it was revealed for the first time that the financial details of its virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) research and development business, Reality Labs, recorded losses at more than $10 billion.
However, to be fair, Meta’s corner of the Metaverse is not yet live, so it would be quite challenging to turn a profit from it. Notably, this is not Meta’s first trial at a crypto-related project. In 2019, the firm signaled plans to develop “Libra,” later rebranded to “Diem,” a United States dollar-pegged stablecoin.
This project eventually failed due to a lack of regulatory approval and community pushback. The regulators were not ready to let a huge tech firm take over part of the financial system that would cut out some of the regulatory measures set to govern transactions and investments in the United States.
The project was eventually acquired by Silvergate Capital. However, some ex-Meta employees are now aiming to revive the open-source stablecoin by creating a network of their own that is independent of Meta influence.
Instagram Joins In The NFT And Metaverse Race
Social media firms, including Instagram, have been aiming to implement cryptos and NFTs into their platforms after Twitter’s famous decision to incorporate support for NFT profile pictures in January 2022. Reddit has already implemented NFT avatars from its collection while adult site OnlyFans enabled NFT profile pictures in December 2020.
It is not just social media giant firms that are seeking ways to get in on the action that crypto provides. Traditional financial firms are also showing some interest in the space with American Express, a major credit card firm, pointing at its expansion into the Metaverse, based on recent trademark filings.
Earlier this week, applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) showed that American Express is primed to offer virtual banking and exchange services, crypto services, and enabling the use of its credit cards at a nonfungible token marketplace.