Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that his video and photo-sharing app Instagram is preparing to add non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the platform.
“We are working on bringing NFT to Instagram soon,” Zuckerberg said at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. The Facebook founder did not provide details on when the rollout would occur.
Casey Newton, a writer for the Platformer newsletter, tweeted from the conference that Zuckerberg also expressed his hope that Instagram users will be able to create their own NFTs on the platform in the coming months.
At #SXSW, Mark Zuckerberg just said he “hopefully” you’ll be able to create NFTs on Instagram in the coming months — Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) March 15, 2022
Meta did not immediately answer Cointelegraph when the NFT functionality would be launched.
Last October, Meta famously changed its name from Facebook to focus on its Metaverse-related projects. The company’s reports for the last quarter of 2021 revealed for the first time the financial details of its virtual and augmented reality R&D arm Reality Labs, showing a loss of more than $10 billion. To be fair though, since the Metaverse portion of the Metaverse has yet to launch, it will be difficult to profit from it.
This is not Meta’s first attempt at creating a cryptocurrency-related project. In 2019, the company announced plans to create Libra (later renamed Diem), a USD-pegged stablecoin that failed due to lack of regulatory approval and community resistance. The project was bought by Silvergate Capital, although some former Meta employees now want to revive the open source stablecoin by building their own network.
Related: Vale Diem: How Facebook’s ambitious stablecoin project came to an end
Social media companies have been looking to bring cryptocurrencies and NFTs to their platforms following Twitter’s famous decision to add support for NFT profile images in January. Reddit implemented NFT avatars from its own collection, and adult site OnlyFans included NFT profile pictures in December 2020.
Not only social media giants want to take part in the action that cryptocurrency offers. Traditional financial firms are showing interest in the space, and major credit card company American Express is hinting at its expansion into the Metaverse, according to trademark filings.
Applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week indicated that American Express is poised to offer virtual banking and exchange services, cryptocurrency services, and the ability to use their credit cards in the NFT marketplace.