Meta makes Instagram users suffer with new NFT features

Instagram feature showcasing NFT
(Image credit: Instagram)

Instagram head Adam Mosseri has announced that much to our dismay, NFTs are finally coming to Instagram this week in order to “help creators make a living doing what they love.” To make matters worse, Facebook is getting the feature “soon,” too.

As showcased in a Twitter video, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) that are shared on Instagram, either by the feed, stories, or messages, will come with a new tag named “digital collectibles” to prove that the post is the real deal. Users who tap on the digital collectible tag will be able to see information such as the collectible’s current owner and its creator. 

As some small mercy, this feature is only being given to a limited number of creators in the US to start with, however, Instagram is planning to roll out the feature with more functionality over time, so it may not be long before our entire Instagram feeds are nothing but NFTs.

Following Mosseri’s announcement, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed in a Facebook post that, after NFTs have been sufficiently tested and implemented across Instagram, Meta will be bringing similar functionality to Facebook, as well as its other Meta-owned apps, so soon there may be no escape from the plight of NFTs.

Analysis: Why Instagram, why?  

While some may argue that NFTs are a perfect fit and harmless for Instagram and its content, especially since the current implantation appears to only be adding metadata on top of images, the technology is far from innocent, as transacting an NFT requires a huge amount of energy thanks to its connection with the blockchain. 

Beyond the inherent energy costs that make NFTs bad for everyone not shilling them, social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have no incentive beyond greed to endorse this technology, as users could already state they owned an NFT in the text of a post and have the blockchain prove them right. 

With Mosseri claiming on Twitter that “there will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on [Instagram],” the company has literally nothing to gain from pushing this technology beyond laying the groundwork for the potential future of digital collectibles.

While this is obviously exactly what Meta wants, this hypothetical future should be kept at least a few years out of reach for everyone’s benefit, as the last thing the world needs right now is another drain of its resources. 

Once the blockchain can be made to run on entirely renewable energy and be carbon-neutral, or better yet carbon positive, only then, it will be time to embrace NFTs with open arms as at least vaguely useful technology.

Alex Atkin

Alex has been writing since 2017, with his work seen in MSPoweruser and now TechRadar.

He's got a passion for gaming and tech, especially when it comes to Software, which is where you'll mainly see his work around these parts.

Living in Stoke, he's known to chat all about his gaming ways, and where he thinks Windows 11 should go, now that Sun Valley 2 is seemingly nowhere to be found.