Speaking at a panel titled "Into the Metaverse: Creators, Commerce and Connection" during this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that NFTs will be coming to Instagram "in the near term."
Bringing NFTs to social networks and media platform is a growing area of interest for some of the top industry players. Google recently revealed that it plans to integrate NFTs into YouTube in some form, including a way to mint tokens from media posted on the site.
Like YouTube, Zuckerberg also hinted that you will not only be able to "bring some of your NFTs in," but you'll also have the option to "mint things within that environment." While the exec did note that he expected progress in implementing NFTs over "the next several months," he did not provide a specific timeframe for launch, nor did he explain exactly how they would be implemented across Instagram's primarily photo and video-based social network.
Unsurprisingly, Zuckerberg also talked up the possibility of bringing those same user-owned NFTs into the metaverse, sharing his hope that users' avatars could be clad in NFT clothing, with support for "taking it between your different places." Speculating on his meaning suggests that Meta might intend to create NFT-based, likely monetized, user avatars that can be shown off across its social networks, as well as within its nascent virtual reality universe.
The Facebook founder noted that there were still some obstacles to NFT deployments across multiple platforms, saying, "There's like a bunch of technical things that need to get worked out before that'll really be seamless to happen."
Despite the continually controversial nature of NFTs and essentially all blockchain-based technologies, it appears Meta is now on the growing list of companies that intend to try to get in on the ground floor of a new technology. It remains to be seen if that ascendant tech will fulfill its alleged potential to revolutionize digital asset ownership or if it will crash spectacularly and take hundreds of millions of dollars in value with it.