Tech Updates

Instagram must create anti-theft tools before introducing NFTs

The inevitable is happening. Last night at SXSW, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed NFTs are coming to Instagram soon.

The Meta head didn’t spill any details about how this would work, but he said they’re coming in the near future:

I’m not ready to kind of announce exactly what that’s going to be today. But over the next several months, the ability to bring some of your NFTs in, [and] hopefully, over time, be able to mint things within that environment.

This isn’t the first time we’re hearing about it. Last December, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said the company is “actively exploring” NFTs.

A report from the FT in January also noted Meta is planning to let people show off their digital collectibles through profile pictures on Instagram — a feature that Twitter’s testing with its subscription service.

Neither Zuckerberg’s words nor Instagram’s plans are surprising. And for a company this size, executing these features might not be a big deal. However, in my mind, the biggest thing Instagram has to worry about is NFT thefts.

The scale of digital robbery

Last month, OpenSea — one of the biggest collectibles marketplaces — said that 80% of NFTs minted from its free tool are either plagiarized or spam.

Over the last year, the popularity of NFTs has shot up, and so has the number of artists posting about their art being stolen.


If you think these are only a few incidents over the course of months, you’d be wrong. The regularity is so striking there’s a Twitter account called NFTthefts tracking these incidents.

To gauge the impact, go to Web3isgreat — a site built by software engineer Molly White — and filter for Art theft incidents.

Web3 is not doing that great.