Meta and Twitter are entering the blockchain world using NFTs, validating a nascent market but it’s not clear yet if this move is innovative or a PR stunt. Meta announced plans to incorporate NFTs into its social media platforms. For its part, Twitter has implemented these tokens as profile pictures for Twitter Blue users.
NFTs, an Addition To Zuckerberg’s Metaverse
The platform focuses on developing and building its metaverse, and now we see that they are also contemplating NFTs. In recent weeks, Meta has begun experimenting with NFTs on its Instagram platform and plans to incorporate them into Facebook soon. According to the Financial Times, users will be able to deploy NFTs on these social networks.
Meta has been recruiting developers and has seen a massive transition of Apple and Microsoft employees to work in Zuckerberg’s metaverse. It is evident that the metaverse is a priority for Meta and their first step is incorporating NFTs into their social networks. This announcement is not something new for Meta, as Instagram’s CEO announced in December 2021 that the platform was actively exploring the world of NFTs.
Nothing to announce yet, but we are definitely actively exploring NFTs and how we can make them accessible to a wider audience.Adam Mosseri, Instagram CEO, IG Stories, December 2021.
The Multi-Billion Dollar NFT Market
It’s no surprise that Zuckerberg has NFTs as a priority. In January of this year, it saw $3.5 billion worth of NFTs sold on the OpenSea platform. Meta doesn’t want to be left behind, so it plans to open a marketplace where NFTs can be created, sold, and exchanged.
Looking at the best-selling collections of NFTs, such as Beeple’s work that sold for $69 million, Zuckerberg doesn’t want to feel left out and has taken the definitive step of developing NFTs for Meta. With this shift towards cryptocurrencies and digital assets, Meta’s CEO’s direction for the future is clear.
Instagram Enters The NFT World
Although Meta announced its intention to incorporate NFTs into its apps in January, it wasn’t until May that they began the journey of NFTs on Instagram. They will arrive on Facebook soon.
Some IG users, such as collectors or artists, can already display their NFTs in their posts, profile pictures, or direct messages. At the moment, this functionality is free of charge. However, it is not yet available to everyone as it is a pilot plan. Still, users can see them reflected in the app and information such as owner, creator, and collection.
Initially, only NFTs forged on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains were supported. Probably, Solana and Flow blockchain will follow.
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How NFTs work on Instagram and Facebook
It is unclear how Zuckerberg’s metaverse will incorporate NFTs. Although Ethereum is the preferred network for publishing NFTs, Meta could use networks such as Solana, Avalanche, or Flow to create these digital assets. Terra would be in question as a payment option due to its recent 95% drop in recent days.
However, according to the Financial Times report, Meta’s digital wallet, Novi, will be indispensable for users to interact with the platform’s NFTs.
Twitter and NFTs
A few hours after Meta announced the incorporation of NFTs on its platforms, Twitter made public that users subscribed to Twitter Blue have the option to change their profile picture to an NFT with a hexagonal design.
Throughout 2021, many people changed their profile picture to NFTs, such as CryptoPunks or BAYC. However, these were the only images that did not demonstrate any ownership. Therefore, on January 20, Twitter implemented a verification mechanism to ensure that the deployed NFTs were official.
This option is only available to Twitter Blue subscribers using the iOS operating system but will soon be available to users of all operating systems.
Steps to Place NFTs as Profile Picture
- Open Twitter and hover over your profile picture to bring up a menu.
- Select «Twitter Blue» and click on «Edit profile.»
- Click on the image and select the «Choose NFT» option.
- Select the crypto wallet where your NFT is stored.
- Click «Connect» to link the profile to the wallet.
- Select the desired NFT, and that is it.
How Twitter Deploys NFTs
Twitter indicates that we need to connect our digital wallet with which the NFT was purchased or created in its documentation. Then, Twitter connects to our wallet and allows us to choose any NFT from our collections.
For now, Twitter only connects to the Ethereum blockchain and recognizes static NFTs generated with the ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards. It means that NFTs created as GIFs or videos are not available now.
Twitter took the lead in implementing NFTs as profile pictures, so their advantage over Meta is that they are just in their pilot plan. A company representative indicated that other blockchains will be available in the future and that this is just the beginning of these new Twitter options.
Twitter emphasized security measures when publishing an NFT as a profile picture. The social media company connects the profile with a digital wallet and approves the connection between both platforms through a digital signature. This signature does not give Twitter access to our funds, and it only allows displaying an NFT as a profile picture.
Once a user uploads an NFT as a profile picture, any user can observe its description: collection, properties, or contract address.
With this new update, Twitter has become one of the first platforms to use digital assets such as NFTs, which unites the crypto world with the mainstream world.
NFTs, the Digital Assets of the Future
An interconnected digital world would not be possible without the help of blockchains and everything they offer, from exchanging fungible goods immediately and transparently to creating digital real estate with the help of NFTs. Zuckerberg has already taken the first step in incorporating NFTs into his Instagram platform and is well on his way to his vision of the metaverse.
The news from Meta and Twitter tells us that the digital future is getting closer and closer. Technology is advancing at an accelerated pace, and if we stop to doubt it, it is very likely to get ahead of us.
Updated on May 26, 2022, by Sarahy Uribe.
Translated from Spanish on June 1, 2022, by Shebatt Quiñones.