Meta to start testing digital collectibles on Instagram

Meta will start testing digital collectibles and NFTs on a small number of users on Instagram this week, according to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. 

A select group of creators and collectors in the U.S. on Instagram will be able to use NFTs as profile pictures, similar to a move other social media platforms like Twitter have done in recent months.

Users in the test group will be able to post NFTs at no-cost by linking their third-party digital wallets in-app, according to the company. The NFTs will get a special "shimmer" around the photo with attribution to both the creator and the owner. 

The blockchains that are supported include Ethereum and Polygon, with Flo wand Solana launching soon, a company spokesperson confirmed with The Block. Third-party wallets that'll be compatible with the platform include Rainbow, MetaMask, and Trust Wallet, with Coinbase, Dapper and Phantom. 

"Soon, we will roll out digital collectibles on Facebook, and will also soon allow people to display and share their digital collectibles as AR stickers in Instagram Stories, bringing the benefits of this technology to even more creators and collectors," said a rep from the company to The Block. 

How Instagram's layout will change with the new updates.

How Instagram's layout will change with the new updates. [Credit: Meta]

Neither Zuckerberg nor reps from Meta confirmed when the similar features will launch on Facebook. 

Creators will also soon be allowed to use augmented reality NFTs on Instagram Stories through Spark AR, a free studio that lets businesses and private users create their own filters. This move will let creators place digital art into physical rooms and spaces, per the Meta CEO. 

The news comes after a weekend of speculation that Meta will support NFTs from Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana. CoinDesk first reported the news of the then-pending pilot.

Meta recently reported a $2.9 billion loss for its Metaverse-division of the company, Reality Labs, in the first quarter, re-investing that money into the company's metaverse efforts.

Today, Meta also officially opened the doors to its first physical store, to sell hardware for virtual and augmented reality.

“In the Meta Store, you’ll be able to get hands-on experience with all our hardware products,” said a statement from the company. “We want you to interact with everything. We want you to pick stuff up. We want you to feel it.”

This article will be updated with more information on the subject as it unfolds.