If Meta has its way, your favorite artist may start attempting to sell you digital valuables, called blockchain-based tokens.
Meta has stated that it is experimenting minting and selling NFTs on Instagram, similar to how many traditional NFT markets do, with a "limited set of producers in the US" being the first to have access to the service. Instagram's NFT showcase function, which was recently made available to users in over 100 countries, is also being expanded. The announcement comes as the company announces various new options for creators to earn money on its platforms.
Meta claims that their digital collectibles toolkit will allow users to manufacture NFTs on the Polygon blockchain (no link to the video game news source Polygon) and subsequently sell them on Instagram or off the network. When it comes to showing NFTs acquired elsewhere, the business claims you can now show off ones from the Solana blockchain, in addition to the Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow blockchains that were previously supported by the functionality. It's also displaying certain OpenSea metadata, similar to what Twitter does with its NFT profile image feature.
The process of buying an NFT on Instagram
All of this comes as Meta expands additional revenue streams for creators on its platforms. It stated on Monday that it is increasing the deployment of professional mode, which grants access to specific tools and monetization opportunities, such as its Stars virtual currency tipping system (which it is also growing). It's also introducing a new feature on Instagram called presents, which allows fans to contribute money to a creator while viewing one of their Reels – the gifts, of course, are paid with Stars. This, like the NFT creation tools, is currently being tested with a few US-based developers.
The approach appears to be quite similar to TikTok's Coins and Gifts revenue structure or YouTube's Super Thanks function, which is not surprising. Both platforms appear to be in the process of figuring out how to allow creators to monetise their work. Of course, Meta is also attempting to replicate TikTok's meteoric rise in popularity, particularly among young people, and part of that strategy includes getting prominent TikTok producers to also post on Instagram. It's revealing that it's debuting presents with Reels, its TikTok-style films, rather than, say, photo postings.
As Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri stated last year, Meta no longer sees Instagram as a picture sharing platform, but rather as an entertainment app. And performers must generate money, whether through more traditional means such as ad revenue sharing or by selling NFTs and allowing fans to send them money in the form of gifts, coins, or stars.
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