Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire entrepreneur behind the world’s biggest social media platform, Facebook, now known as Meta, has made it official. Instagram will definitely be getting into the NFT business. This is one was that the platform, wholly owned by Facebook, will try to make a comeback against TikTok, which has overtaken it in popularity.
Instagram has recently tried a number of ways to improve its service, like adding more video options to become more like TikTok. But Mark Zuckerberg’s app, like its parent company Facebook, has also been in trouble over revelations made by whistleblowers that it new its service was harming the psychology of many youths and did nothing about it.
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So what is an NFT and why should anyone buy one anyway, especially a multi-billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg?
Well here’s the deal. A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a kind of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Only in this case, it is a specific digital file whose unique identity and ownership are verified on a blockchain. NFTs can be bought with cryptocurrency and resold. NFTs have different values and so they are not interchangeable.
Confused? The keyword here is fungible. This means something that has a set value. So Bitcoin has a set value for each coin at whatever the going rate is. So all Bitcoins are equal in value at all times. But each NFT is unique. And the NFT itself is not used as a currency.
Reportedly, Mark Zuckerberg made the revelation in a conversation at the SXSW conference in Austin recently. “We talked about stuff like NFTs and the ability, you know, long-term, I would hope that the clothing that your avatar is wearing in the Metaverse can be minted as an NFT, and you can take it between different places,” he said.
“I think that there’s a bunch of technical things that need to get worked out before,” added Mark Zuckerberg. “But we are working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term. I’m not ready to announce exactly what that’s gonna be today but, over the next several months, [people will have] the ability to bring some NFTs in, and hopefully over time be able to mint things within that environment.”