NFTs on Instagram: What does that mean for Marketers?
Supposedly in the near term, NFTs will be brought to Instagram as Zuckerberg said on 15 March 2022 according to Engadget. He continued: “I’m not ready to kind of announce exactly what that’s going to be today. But over the next several months, the ability to bring some of your NFTs in, hopefully over time be able to mint things within that environment.” Ok, there’s a lot unclear, how about we start with what we do know.
NFTs in a nutshell
NFTs are non-fungible tokens, which are cryptographic assets on a blockchain. In other words, they’re unique identification codes. Their metadata ist what distinguishes them from other assets. However, they’re not a cryptocurrency as they can’t be traded or exchanged at equivalency. Hence, fungible tokens like cryptocurrencies are identical to each other and can serve as a medium for commercial transactions.
Particularly, NFTs are more like a receipt on a blockchain that can point to anything using a hyperlink. These basics are good to keep in mind:
- NFTs cannot be replicated. They are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain.
- NFTs represent items from the real world, such as artworks or real estate.
- While reducing the likelihood of fraud, “tokenizing” real-world tangible assets facilitate buying, selling, and trading them efficiently.
- NFTs can additionally represent individuals’ identities, property, rights, and more.
NFTs don’t actually have an enforcement mechanism, as NFTs are again, no more than a receipt. Anyone who desires can claim ownership over the same digital file and can buy almost anything. That’s exactly the reason why Zuckerberg says that Instagram will let users display their NFTs.
Is Instagram turning into a NFT marketplace?
Zuckerberg could be planning to open a marketplace for people to sell NFTs of their photos. However, transforming Instagram to a dedicated NFT marketplace seems like the app is begging to be abused, as many other NFT platforms are already having troubles with claims of copyright scams and infringement.
Other NFT marketplaces are currently having an entrance-barrier for selling NFTs, which are called gas fees. Thus, does Instagram aim to have a gasless marketplace then? No one knows and Zuckerberg isn’t yet ready to tell. Obviously though, he aims to go all in for Web 3.0, as he just recently released ideas on a Metaverse.
However strange this news may sound, it does not come completely out of the blue. Rumors had it that this was coming, as Instagram lead Adam Mosseri stated last year that the team was “actively exploring NFTs”. According to a report in January from The Financial Times, Meta was exploring NFT integrations “at an early stage [that] could yet change.” However, the plan seems to be to let users create, showcase and sell NFTs on Facebook and Instagram.
The FT also reported that teams were “readying” a feature to enable users displaying NFTs as their profile pictures and were also working on a prototype to let users mint new NFTs. The marketplace idea doesn’t seem far-fetched as others at Meta reportedly discussed “launching a marketplace for users to buy and sell NFTs.” Zuckerberg himself has not yet referenced it in his talk at South by Southwest.
The profitable site of NFTs and where to find them right now
As stated before, most people know NFTs from purchasing of drawings, thanks to the Bored Ape Yacht Club or initiatives within the artworld. For instance, Russia’s State Hermitage Museum has two projects around NFTs. After they sold a tokenised Leonardo, they claimed: “We have no doubt NFTs. are art”.
Some NFTs are selling for millions of dollars, like the Nyan Cat meme or the “deal with it” sunglasses. Gaming, certain media and communications agencies as well as the luxury goods industry have been quick to position them in this booming NFT market. Especially the fashion industry has made quite some effort to transform into the digital by using NFTs and blockchain technology to attract, verify and connect with consumers on a global level.
For instance, RTFKT, established in 2019, became a specialist in selling virtual sneakers. Gucci is the first major luxury fashion house that engages with NFTs, although it’s not clothes that they are selling. Instead it’s a 4 minute film, inspired by their “Aria” collection and in collaboration with Alessandro Michele, auctioned off for 25,000 million USD. Brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, or Auros Boros have followed suit with their own projects.
NFTs and social media
Using NFTs might hold a few benefits for brands, marketers, influencers and any social media user, because they grant content creators to monetize and sell their content. Usually, digital content is accessible for everyone, which makes it difficult, even impossible, to find any tangible value despite their efforts.
Creators can turn their art and content into NFTs, by simply tying it to a crypto-based token. This token enables creators to stand out with their product and also to sell it. Having these opportunities in mind, Meta is right to stay up to date with the popularity of NFts. Social media platforms might indeed act as mediators to buy and sell NFTs, possibly even as direct sales assistants.
Marketers, content creators and influencers must bear in mind the rightful copyright of the artwork or content that is tokenised. This applies to whatever users may upload, varying from digital art to photographs or music, and mint their work by giving it an NFT value. They transform something that we are solemnly used to consume into a unique piece, as stated by the NFT source code.
Surely, NFTs couldn’t be what they are without digital platforms, such as SuperRare, MakersPlace, and WazirX, and not (yet) Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.
Social media has given many the opportunity to show their art and reach an audience with it. What better and faster way then, to communicate an NFT offering, set up an auction or announce a sale than on social media platforms. Instagram and Co are now already used to connect people around the world, it’s in fact their core value. Marketers of course utilize this common ground between a buyer and seller, between brand and consumer and perhaps soon with and through NFTs.
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