Having mastered the art of adopting all the fashionable tricks (before abandoning them some time later), Meta is taking his first steps into the marvelous universe of NFTs. An experiment will begin this week on Instagram. Some American creators and collectors will be able to share, free of charge, their works accompanied by their digital property certificate.
A small badge “Digital Collectibles” will appear at the bottom of the images concerned. A tap on it will reveal the name of the work, its description, its owner and its creator. NFTs from the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains will be supported to begin with, before being joined by those from Solana and Flow.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, recognizes that there is a contradiction between the centralized aspect of the social network and the decentralized aspect of NFTs, which are linked to the equivalent of distributed account books. That’s why he wants “start small” and have the opinion of his community on this novelty, without however sketching the slightest way to resolve this fundamental contradiction.
NFTs on Instagram 🎉
This week we’re beginning to test digital collectibles with a handful of US creators and collectors who will be able to share NFTs on Instagram. There will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on IG.
See you next week! ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/VuJbMVSBDr
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) May 9, 2022
But wouldn’t Meta jump on the bandwagon too late? NFT sales have plummeted in recent months, from 225,000 units per day in September to 19,000 units in early May, according to statistics from the NonFungible site. The number of NFT wallets has also dropped by 88% to around 14,000 lately. The recent launch of cryptocurrency giant Coinbase’s NFT platform flopped with just 150 transactions on the first day.
At the same time, stories of loss-making resales of NFTs are on the rise. Blockchain company executive Sina Estavi had acquired the NFT of the first tweet in history for $2.9 million in March 2021. A year later, when he relisted that NFT, the bids did not exceed $14,000.
Despite everything, Mark Zuckerberg wants to believe in NFTs. He announced that Facebook should also welcome them, before perhaps generalizing to the group’s other apps. It’s true that it would be a shame to do without a significant potential windfall of income. In its Horizon World metaverse, Meta expects to take a 47.5% commission on sales of virtual goods.