Has Instagram just saved NFTs?

A screenhot of NFTs being displayed on a phone using Instagram
(Image credit: Meta)

NFTs will arrive on Instagram as early as this week, Meta has revealed. But as the non-fungible token market collapses has the Facebook giant arrived too late or just in time to save this blockchain technology.

NFTs are a way to register digital files, including art, on a blockchain where they are immutable – meaning they can't be deleted, tampered with or altered – creating rarity. We have a guide that answers the question, What are NFTs? if you need more info. Also, take a look at our feature on how to create an NFT for free.

But NFTs are in a bit of a hole at the moment. NFTs have crashed by 92% and are struggling for the first time since last year's boom. Will Meta entering NFTs by enabling people to view, store and trade their art on Instagram come at the wrong time, or will this help push non-fungible tokens to a new level?

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The answer is a bit of both. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in a post on Facebook that NFTs are being tested as early as this week on Instagram, and that Facebook will follow. Backing up his boss, Instagram head Adam Mosseri took to Twitter (above) to post a video confirming Instagram users will be able to display their NFTs on their feed, stories, and in messages. The all-in approach from Meta will, in the long term, help broaden the appeal and use of NFTs. But in the short term things look bumpy.

In a Meta earnings call from 28 April Zuckerberg said he is spending big now to lay "the groundwork for what I expect to be a very exciting 2030s". He clearly sees the current slowdown in NFTs as a blip on the way to something bigger. He could be right, as other large companies hedge towards a non-fungible future, such as video game publisher Square Enix, NFTs are clearly not going anywhere.

Meta's Facebook and Instagram plans could face an uphill struggle

Yet while NFTs may well bounce back, Meta's Facebook and Instagram plans could face an uphill struggle to convince NFT, Web 3 and blockchain evangelists that there should be a place in a decentralised world for corporations. It's one reason why using NFTs on Instagram will be free – unlike Twitter – and why Meta is exploring supporting carbon neutral blockchains such as Flow, Polygon and Solana as well as Ethereum.

While the death of NFTs is not on the cards, what they will look like in 10 years time, and how they will be used is up for grabs. This is the play Meta is making, and why many companies and NFT users are still excited, even as their Bored Ape value drops.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Art & Design

Ian Dean is Editor, Art & Design at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.