If Meta gets its way, your favourite creative may start attempting to sell you digital collectables, called blockchain-based tokens.
Meta has stated that it is experimenting with minting and selling NFTs on Instagram, similar to how many conventional NFT markets do, with a “limited set of producers in the US” being the first to have access to the service. Instagram’s NFT showcase function, which was recently made accessible to users in over 100 countries, is also being expanded. The announcement comes as the company announces various new options for artists to earn money on its platforms.
Meta claims that their digital collectables toolkit will allow users to manufacture NFTs on the Polygon blockchain (no link to the video game news source Polygon) and sell them on Instagram or off the network. When it comes to showing NFTs acquired elsewhere, the business claims you can now show off ones from the Solana blockchain, in addition to the Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow blockchains that were previously supported by the functionality. It’s also displaying certain OpenSea information, similar to what Twitter does with its NFT profile image feature.
All of this comes as Meta expands additional revenue streams for artists on its platforms. It stated on Monday that it is increasing the deployment of professional mode, which grants access to specific tools and monetization opportunities, such as its Stars virtual currency tipping system (which it is also growing). It’s also introducing a new feature on Instagram called presents, which allows fans to contribute money to a creator while viewing one of their Reels – the gifts, of course, are paid with Stars. Like the NFT creation tools, this is currently being tested with a few US-based developers.
The approach seems to be quite similar to TikTok’s Coins and Gifts revenue structure or YouTube’s Super Thanks function, which is not surprising. Both platforms seem to be in the process of figuring out how to allow artists to monetise their work. Of course, Meta is also attempting to replicate TikTok’s meteoric rise in popularity, particularly among young people. Part of that strategy includes getting prominent TikTok producers to also post on Instagram. It’s revealing that it’s debuting presents with Reels, its TikTok-style films, rather than, say, picture postings.
As Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said last year, Meta no longer views Instagram as a picture-sharing platform, but rather as an entertainment app. And performers must generate money, whether via more conventional means such as ad revenue sharing or by selling NFTs and allowing fans to give them money in the form of gifts, coins, or stars.