Meta began testing new NFT features across Instagram and Facebook this week with select users in the US, the company announced Monday.
Testers are able to connect their digital wallets to Instagram and/or Facebook, post their verified NFTs, and tag creators and collectors. Meta has not used the language “NFTs” in posts or statements about the new move, instead referring to “digital collectibles”.
So far, Ethereum and Polygon are the only blockchains supported, but Meta has said ti plan to later include Solana and Flow. The feature supports third-party wallets from Rainbow, MetaMask and Trust Wallet, with wallets from Coinbase, Dapper and Phantom to be rolled out later.
Digital collectible posts come with certain features: The post will have a shimmer effect, a checkmark, and can, but doesn’t have to, display public information about the NFT.
“It’s critical that our early efforts in this space empower diverse voices and that underrepresented groups have access to emerging digital assets like NFTs,” the Meta announcement read.
Accordingly, many of the early testers are Black. Some of the testers include actor/singer Jaden Smith, venture capitalist Gary Vaynerchuck, artist Jen Stark, actress Cynthia Erivo, influencer Michael Le, and several NFT projects, like Adam’s Bomb Squad, Boss Beauties, and Oseon World.
In the announcement, Meta also addressed social and environmental concerns and assured that users could report digital collectible posts that violated community guidelines.
“In addition, we understand that blockchain technology and NFTs raise important questions on sustainability,” read the announcement. “Meta will help reduce the emissions impact that might be associated with the display of digital collectibles on Instagram by purchasing renewable energy.”
The announcement did not mention a concurrent effort for Facebook’s counterpart initiative.
The move to test NFTs is significant. Thus far, the majority of the NFT community congregates on Twitter, which has rolled out some NFT compatibility features. Those features have yet to gain mainstream appeal.
Meta’s digital collectibles features may be intended to draw that community to their platforms. However, it raises the question about whether major Web 2.0 platforms will simply absorb the money making characteristics of Web 3.0 and blockchain technology and take the wind out of the vision for a decentralized internet.