Media creators who want to bring their NFT digital art to a broader audience may soon get help from Instagram.
The social network’s CEO Adam Mosseri has confirmed Instagram is ‘actively exploring’ how to showcase NFTs.
Instagram may also let fans and collectors browse and buy NFTs.
Mosseri agreed that Instagram developers are working on an NFT project, but had no news about when to expect the new features.
“Nothing to announce yet, but we are actively exploring NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience,” Mosseri said.
“I think it’s an interesting place where we can play, and also a way to hopefully help creators.”
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NFTs – short for non-fungible tokens – are unique digital assets collected as mainly modern-day art.
The NFT market is an offshoot of cryptocurrency, where the blockchain records ownership of NFTs.
American artist Kevin McCoy is acknowledged as the creator of the first NFT titled Quantum in May 2014. Today, the colourful, pulsating geometric artwork is for sale to bidders at around $7 million.
The market for NFTs has gone wild in a short time, with total sales of $12 billion last year alone.
The creations don’t have to be works of art. Video, animations, trading cards, and many other sorts of digital ephemera are displayed in online galleries.
NFTs are mainly built on the Ethereum blockchain for smart contracts and fall under one of two standards:
- ERC-721 is a single, unique one of a kind NFT that cannot be divided, like an original artwork
- ERC-1155 is a multiple minting of NFTs that are identical, like a limited edition of 100 paintings that are indistinguishable from each other
NFTs are not interchangeable with each other.
Besides minting on Ethereum, some NFTS are held on the Solana blockchain. Ethereum currently holds around 20 terabytes of NFT data, which equates to hundreds of thousands of image files. However, the information is mainly metadata as the NFTs themselves live on host web servers.
If you want to collect an original NFT, your details are logged by the blockchain, but this still doesn’t stop anyone else copying the NFT on their phones or computers.
But what about cryptocurrencies?
Fungible tokens are minted under ERC-20 and are identical in value and characteristics that are interchangeable, like a $100 bill or a bitcoin.
The first point to remember is Instagram is part of the new Facebook metaverse. Meta is the new name for Facebook and the company wants to be the first to establish a foothold in gaming, virtual reality and Web3.
IntsaNFT is about grabbing users, collecting their data and building advertising profiles.
While Facebook has an ageing user base, Instagram targets a much younger age group that is more tech-savvy.
Along the way InstaNFTs will be called upon to contribute to the billions of dollars of profits Meta makes each year, so part of the NFT project is likely to include a strategy for monetising the market in Instagram’s favour.
Digital content is assigned a unique identifier when minted on the blockchain. The identifier is like an artist’s signature on a painting and verifies authenticity of the NFT.
To post NFTs on Instagram or one of the NFT centric platforms, like Rarible, creators need specialist software such as CocoNFT. The software connects to a digital wallet, typically MetaMask or Torus.
MetaMask is often the wallet of choice for InstaNFT creators. Next, select any Instagram posts you want to publish as NFTs, set the price in ethereum and sign twice – the first time to upload the post and the second to sell the NFT.
All CocoNFT posts are shared on Rarible as well as Instagram.
CocoNFT has a range of charges for the first sale of an NFT, then for subsequent sales.
NFT prices depend on supply and demand. For example, Picasso painted hundreds of pictures but there’s only one original of each – the rest are copies, some authorised and some not. However, with an NFT, as an art buyer you always know if the image you have is an original Picasso.
This helps with setting prices. The standard NFT price for a creator new to the metaverse is 0.5 Ether (US$2,1221/£1,616) but they can pitch the price wherever they want depending on their popularity and if the NFT is a one-off, limited edition or one of millions coming off a production line.
Don’t forget your buyers must pay gas fees when making a purchase. Gas fees are the charge NFT creators pay to process and validate blockchain transactions – much like charges on your account levied by a bank. Some platforms may demand gas fees when minting or selling an NFT.
Don’t worry. If you close your account or delete a post your InstaNFT lives on but some of the links and other metadata may go awry.
When a buyer purchases a signed NFT, they are taking over ownership of the NFT with your signature. This data is held in the blockchain and doesn’t change if something happens to the post.
LIkewise, you cannot edit the post once minted.
If you want to remove a post, Rarible allows users to hide them from public view.
THis is a complicated argument which can depend on the law in the place where you live and copyright rules in the place where the NFT creator lives.
Essentially, a piece of artwork is something you can copyright, providing you are the creator or have had the artwork’s copyright transferred to you.
You cannot copyright an NFT as it’s just a collection of data on a blockchain and as such, you cannot mint the same NFT on another platform once it is listed on Ethereum or Solana.
It’s OK to reference another creator’s work in your NFT, but you cannot copy their work without consent.
Once a work is no longer copyright protected, it drops into the public domain, where anyone can freely use the asset. Typically, copyright lasts for 70 years after the creator dies, although the time may vary between countries – for instance the limit is 50 years in Canada and 70 years in the UK, US and European Union.
- Non-fungible tokens – Ether.org
- Crypto art data – Richard Chen
- OpenSea: the NFT Bible – Devin Fizner
- A beginner’s guide to NFTs – Linda Xie
- Everything you need to know about the metaverse – Foundation team, foundation.app
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