March 29, 2022Published by: Ankita Bose

NFTs are coming to Instagram – but why should brands care?

In March, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed plans to introduce NFTs to Instagram over the next few months.

Mentioned briefly in his speech at SXSW, Zuckerberg offered scant detail on how the integration of NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – on Instagram would work, but did confirm they were coming. It has left many unanswered questions about how users will display their NFTs and mint new ones within the app.

What are NFTs and how do they work?

Before we consider these possibilities, let’s start with the basics: what exactly are NFTs?

NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets that can comprise of just about anything. It could be a GIF of a cat, a “Gucci Ghost”, or even a bored-looking ape. It could also be a new album – Kings of Leon were the first band to release their latest record as an NFT last year – or a video such as the famous YouTube hit, Charlie bit my finger

All NFTs have a unique valuation – a special digital signature – so they can’t be copied. They exist on a blockchain, which is a ledger of all digital transactions. The blockchain is usually managed by a peer-to-peer network to keep transactions secure. A lot of NFTs are part of the cryptocurrency Ethereum’s blockchain, but other blockchains also support them.

How will NFTs on Instagram look?

Zuckerberg didn't specify how NFTs will look on Instagram, but he did confirm digital collectables will soon be arriving on the app in a new environment that will, eventually, enable users to mint new NFTs. This echoes previous comments from Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, who has stated the app is “actively exploring” the technology and reflects reports that Meta plans to add NFTs to its crypto wallet, Novi.

The latter part of Zuckerberg’s plan to add NFTs on Instagram suggests a new marketplace on the app for the sale of newly-minted digital collectables may be on the way. If this comes to fruition, it will help brands already using blockchain technology to capture consumers’ attention.

How are brands being creative with NFTs?

Last year, sports equipment company Asics launched its unique NFT footwear collection via a digital auction. And, earlier this year, NFTs made their way into the Superbowl after the NFL offered each of the game’s attendees a virtual commemorative ticket. 

Similarly, NFTs are appearing in the music world too. World famous music festival Coachella recently collaborated with cryptocurrency exchange FTX to launch its Coachella Keys Collection – a selection of 10 NFTs that grant its owners access to the festival for life, along with virtual experiences. 

With Instagram set to introduce NFTs to its more than 2 billion active users in the coming months, NFTs look poised to become part of everyday social media use. Brands and celebrities are using them to build hype and use exclusivity to distinguish themselves from competitors – and that looks set to flow into the mainstream in coming months. 

As the metaverse continues to draw attention from big tech and brands, and NFTs become a part of that ecosystem, what was once considered a fad looks set to stay and change marketing, brand offering and products as we know it.

Interested in learning more about NFTs and the metaverse? See how we're helping brands get a step ahead in this burgeoning social space or email metaverse@battenhall.com for more info.

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