Instagram expands NFT support to Africa
Creators across the continent will now be able to showcase their digital collectibles on the social media platform.
On August 4, Meta-owned social media service Instagram announced expanded support for non-fungible tokens (NFT) and digital collectibles to 100 additional countries — including African countries. It didn’t give details of the countries where NFT sharing is now supported.
- In May 2022, Meta started trialing support for NFTs on Instagram in the United States. It is now expanding access to this feature to countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the Americas.
- The American company said that it plans to make Instagram an inclusive space for creators globally, adding that it is exploring pathways to NFT monetization for creators.
- Thanks to the expanded support, African creatives and creators can now showcase their digital collectibles on the social media network.
- NFT started booming globally in 2021, including in Africa. The proliferation of NFTs, in part, is due to the involvement of celebrities and the rise of crypto gaming.
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NFT in Africa
- Along with the rest of the world, NFTs grew in popularity in Africa in 2021. That growth has continued in 2022.
- According to Alayonimi, an NFT community builder: “There’s been massive onboarding [in Africa] this year. People are getting more exposed to Web 3, [thanks to] NFTs. I’ve met guys from Tanzania, Kenya, etc. on the ‘Nine23 Capital’ Web3 discord channel.”
- Notably, ART X Lagos, the most prominent art fair in Lagos, Nigeria, worked with NFT platform SuperRare to feature digital artists from Nigeria and other African countries in November 2021.
- Also, Ghanaian pallbearer Benjamin Aidoo made the headlines earlier this year when he sold his Coffin Dance NFT for roughly $1.05 million after the dance videos had gone viral during the 2020 covid-19 lockdown.
Showing NFTs on Instagram in Africa
- African creators and collectors can start showcasing their NFTs stash by connecting their wallets to Instagram. The social media platform currently supports Ethereum-, Polygon- and Flow-compatible wallets. Support for third-party wallets is still in the works, Instagram said.
- It’s yet to be seen how helpful Instagram’s NFT integration will be for African creators. Dayo Olatunji, a Nigerian NFT Degen and Flipper, expressed his skepticism in a WhatsApp chat with Crypto Africa.
- “I don’t think Instagram will help NFTs. The features are limited, [and] you can’t interact as you would on Twitter,” said Olatunji. “[Instagram] also limits your exposure because people may have to follow you before seeing your NFTs consistently, unlike on Twitter.”
- Notably, the meme culture that has helped NFTs gain popularity on Twitter is absent on Instagram, Olatunji added. “NFT projects have Instagram pages, but Twitter still floors it.”