Back in May 2022, Instagram started testing its digital collectible initiative with a select few US based creators and collectors, allowing them to share and show off their NFTs. The feature included connecting a Web3 wallet such as MetaMask (Ethereum) or Phantom (Solana), sharing non-fungible-tokens and automatically tagging the creator and collector.
The feature acted similarly to a digital art gallery where NFTs can be placed next to existing images. Instagram has done this to improve its content creator economy by creating more monetization opportunities for them to make money by doing what they love.
Fast forward to the present day and Instagram’s most recent update is a big win for the NFT space. Last week, Instagram said that it will begin allowing a select group of digital creators to mint and sell NFTs directly from its platform. Essentially, this latest update means that creators will be able to make their own digital collectibles and sell them both on and off Instagram. Instagram will give them an end-to-end tool for creating, displaying, and selling NFTs. Initially, Instagram NFTs will be launched on the Polygon network.
The First Instagram NFT Project Sells Out
On November 8th, 2022, a creator named Drift became the first creator to mint and sell on Instagram. Drift listed an edition of 50 digital collectibles called ‘Learning to Handle Change’ for $999.99 each. The NFT tokens consist of a single top-down image of New York City and there are no edition numbers or special order of preference, just the 50 tokens. Each person who minted is eligible to receive a signed print if they choose to.
Going against the grain of the bear market where interest and volume are usually low, this sale generated so much interest that it caused the platform to crash. Instagram’s wallet connection flow went down due to the increased activity, so the mint had to be postponed to ensure that everybody had an equal opportunity to collect.
It’s been reported that this mint sold out in “seconds”, so it’s clear that the collection has been a hit. Additionally, the demand far outweighs the supply. Currently, the floor price sits at a very healthy 2.6 ETH on OpenSea.
Issac Wright, otherwise known as Drift, is an honorably retired Army special operations veteran of six years who began shooting photography to cope with mental illness, specifically PTSD and depression. His work involves capturing the world from never before seen perspectives. Isaac has been featured in many news articles about his daring photography, including The New York Times, which describes him as “a rogue climber running from the law was fleeing his own trauma.”
How Does The Instagram Mint Process Work?
In order to purchase Digital Collectibles on Instagram, you first need to connect your preferred Polygon-compatible digital wallet to Instagram. Then, You can buy digital collectibles on Instagram using payment methods stored in your Apple App Store accounts. Digital collectibles on Instagram can’t be purchased with digital currency/cryptocurrency yet, unfortunately.
The steps to complete a purchase are as listed below (as instructed by Drift):
1. Connect your wallet.
2. Tap the ‘ShopCollection’ button on an NFT listing.
3. Select the Collectible.
4. Tap the ‘Buy Now’ button.
5. Tap the ‘Pay Now’ button.
6. Approve the in-app purchase.
What Is The Future Potential?
“This move represents a remarkable milestone in the evolution of Instagram’s existing NFT functionality and a natural next step to bring Web3 to the mainstream,” said Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal. Nailwal couldn’t be more correct. Instagram has more than a billion monthly users, therefore the potential for exposure and mass adoption is unmatched.
Saying this, Meta has a shaky history with Web3 and crypto. Previously, it had attempted to launch a coin, which failed, suggesting that nothing is guaranteed here. All things aside, this is a huge opportunity to reach and onboard billions of people into Web3, as long as things go smoothly. Knock knock, mass adoption, is that you?