The news: We looked on as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed at a SXSW panel that NFTs will make their way to Instagram “in the near term.” He offered a glimpse of the company’s roadmap for the metaverse and NFTs over the next several years.
How it will work: Much of Zuckerberg’s vision for metaverse creators seems to center on self-expression via digital apparel and accessories. This is where the connection to Instagram becomes clearer, since the platform is so heavily populated by fashion brands and influencers that could play a role in creating virtual clothing and accessories for the metaverse.
- Early implementation could resemble Twitterwhere users can upload existing NFTs as profile pictures (as long as they have a subscription to Twitter Blue). But it will take longer for Zuckerberg’s true metaverse and NFT ambitions for Instagram to come to fruition.
- Meta has released little footage showing what its metaverse will look like, but one of the core features shown so far is customizable avatars, which Zuckerberg said he hopes to tie to NFTs in the distant future. “Long-term, I would hope that the clothing your avatar is wearing in the metaverse can be minted as an NFT,” he said at the conference.
But to really make all of this work, Zuckerberg said that interoperability is necessary to avoid inhibiting creators: “We really want to lean into that because it will be so important to the creator economy.” Still, despite the overnight hype that resulted from Facebook’s rebrand into Meta, this is a project with a much longer horizon. Asked about a realistic timeframe for a developed metaverse, Zuckerberg said maybe by the end of the decade.