Instagram began testing non-fungible token (NFT) sharing on its platform in May 2022, allowing select U.S. users to connect to their digital wallets and showcase NFTs that they either created or bought. Instagram wrote at the time that it was focused on improving its user experience by creating more monetization opportunities and bringing NFTs to a broader audience.
In August 2022, the social media platform expanded its testing to 100 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas, and added support for Coinbase Wallet and Dapper Wallet. Meta Platforms, Instagram and Facebook's parent company, also started testing the feature on Facebook.
In September 2022, Meta rolled out the ability for all U.S. users across Facebook and Instagram. "Additionally, everyone in the 100 countries where digital collectibles are available on Instagram can now access the feature," Meta noted in their update.
As of November 2022, Instagram is now allowing a select group of digital creators in the U.S. to mint and sell NFTs directly from the platform. The feature will initially launch on the Polygon blockchain and Instagram has pledged that neither creators nor collectors will need to pay gas fees for digital collectibles bought on Instagram at launch.
If you're able to access the feature and want to show off your NFTs, here’s how it works.
What does having NFTs on Instagram or Facebook mean?
The new NFT integration allows users to connect to their digital wallets and choose which NFTs to share with their followers. This feature sort of functions as a digital art gallery and the NFTs you own or have created can be pinned to your feed next to your other images. In the future, users may also be able to mint and sell NFTs directly from Instagram.
Read more: What Are PFP NFTs?
Once a user posts his or her NFT image, the platform adds a shimmery effect to the image and displays public information about the NFT, like a description of the collection, piece or tagging the creator. The shimmery effect functions similarly to the hexagonal profile pic on Twitter, visually indicating authenticity and ownership over the asset.
Both the creator and collector can be automatically attributed in-feed, another function meant to help track the authenticity and ownership of an NFT. Meta says there are no fees associated with sharing a digital collectible on Instagram or Facebook.
The integration is part of Meta’s company-wide exploration into Web3 technologies, which it says is aimed at expanding access, reducing costs and accelerating innovation as it expands its metaverse ambitions. In March 2022, CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased wider NFT integrations across the company's sites, like augmented-reality NFTs that can be shared on Instagram stories, and the ability to mint NFTs from Instagram.
How to post your NFT to Instagram
The best way to tell if the feature is available to you is to check if the “Digital Collectible” option can be found, as shown in the screenshot below.
Currently, users are allowed to connect to third-party wallets, including Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet and Dapper Wallet, with the Phantom wallet to be added soon. The blockchains it supported as of November 2022 were Ethereum, Polygon and Flow, with Solana to be added soon. Instagram will now also allow video-based digital collectibles to be shown on its platform.
Users can connect their digital wallets to the platform by visiting the “Digital Collectible” menu. Once there, a notification will open on your screen taking you through the next steps of connecting to a wallet. You can also connect additional wallets to your account by clicking the “Add Wallet” button. Wallet connection is a one-time authentication, and Meta says it doesn't “publicly surface” your wallet address.
Next, users can view all of their NFTs and share them as a post. Similar to sharing any other post on Instagram, users can tap the plus sign at the top of their screen and then select “Post.” A special verified checkmark will appear above your phone’s library, which will allow you to select any of the NFTs in your wallet. You can add a description to the selected NFT before sharing it to your feed.
When you share your digital collectible, you will be tagged as the owner or creator of that collectible. Instagram confirms ownership of the blockchain address associated with the collectible to authenticate ownership. Users can discover your digital collectibles in-feed, on your main grid and through the platform’s Explore page.
Sharing Digital Collectibles to your Facebook Feed
The process of sharing digital collectibles to your Facebook feed is similar to connecting on Instagram. Users should be able to find the digital collectibles tab under their bookmarks on the desktop version of the platform.
You'll need to connect your wallet in order to access your digital collectibles.
Next, you'll need to select one of your digital collectibles to show off on your Facebook feed. Once selected, you can click "Share to feed," where you'll be prompted to choose whether the in-feed post will be public or shared to only a select group of friends.
You'll then be prompted to fill out your post with additional text, images or other details before posting. Once posted, the digital collectible will appear on your profile and main feed with the hexagonal "Digital Collectibles" badge.
Ways to monetize NFTs on Instagram and Facebook
Connecting your wallet to Instagram and Facebook may be a good way to show off your NFT collection or creations and verify its authenticity. The move follows other social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit that have recently added NFT functionalities.
As of November 2022, users couldn't use certain tools like Collab posting, fundraising, location tagging and monetization features like branded content and boosting that traditionally help content creators make money. The main opportunity regarding monetization was to use Instagram NFTs as an additional way to market or build hype for an NFT collection.
In the future, Meta may expand access to its minting and selling functionality, allowing creators to make their own digital collectibles and sell them both on and off Instagram, giving them an "end-to-end toolkit" for creating, displaying and selling NFTs.