While Twitter users may be more crypto-native, that doesn’t mean they’re going to win in the NFT arena.
The nonfungible token (NFT) industry has experienced some market turbulence over the past few months, but this hasn’t stopped both Twitter and Instagram from making moves into an industry that some estimate could be worth $231 billion by 2030.
This comes off the back of Twitter having recently announced NFT Tweet Tiles and Instagram releasing an array of different NFT-related tools, and many NFT enthusiasts are naturally starting to deliberate which one will come out on top as the go-to social media platform for NFTs.
Going by their unique value proposition and recent events, it is evident that Instagram currently has more in its favor than Twitter when it comes to NFT integration.
The value of integrating on Instagram
One of the key determining factors for upholding Instagram as having more NFT potential than Twitter is its unique value proposition.
When looking at Twitter’s core offering, most would agree that it is a microblogging platform where users can share short messages (tweets) of up to 280 characters and is primarily used for sharing news, opinions and thoughts with a wider audience.
Instagram, on the other hand, can be characterized as a visual social media platform that is mainly used for sharing photos and videos and is more focused on personal expression and creative self-presentation.
Given how NFTs are highly visual in nature, Instagram’s value offering already makes it much more suitable for NFT integration, as its user experience and interface are much more immersive and slick when it comes to visuals than Twitter, which is primarily designed for rapid information retention instead.
Another important element to consider is the audience base.
Whilst both have strong Millennial and Generation Z user bases, Instagram not only has a much larger user base at 1.3 billion (compared to Twitter’s 365 million), but its engagement rate is much higher than what is seen on Twitter, with Instagram boasting much higher engagement in most areas (including art). As a result, Instagram has a much more established footprint when it comes to brand marketing, and although much of the current NFT focus is on community art and trading, the most compelling (and potentially lucrative) NFT use case is within the fashion and lifestyle industry, which can use Instagram’s gallery-esque user interface and diverse sharing utilities to effectively carry out NFT integration and marketing initiatives.
But this is not to say that Instagram outshines Twitter in all aspects.
What Twitter has going for it is that its user base is more crypto-native and, therefore, more familiar with the technological and financial benefits found within NFTs. This means that there are already enthusiasts on Twitter who are ready to engage with its NFT offerings.
However, given how mass adoption is the end goal for NFTs, it is important to note that a more suitable product for integration is more important for long-term growth than the aforementioned, and thus, what Twitter currently has going for it doesn’t outweigh Instagram’s unique value proposition (UVP), which revolves around photo and video sharing first and foremost.
Twitter’s evolution under Elon Musk
Another strong indicator that NFTs have a brighter future on Instagram is the current trajectory of Twitter’s management and product.
With Twitter having recently come under the ownership and leadership of Elon Musk, there have been worrying developments that may further impact the suitability of the social media platform for being a go-to hub for NFTs.
This stems from Musk having made a cardinal sin by firing close to 50% of its workforce, which, although some might argue may have some merit in certain areas, has also led to some concern with regard to the lack of copyright oversight, questionable accounts being reinstated, and concerns regarding a lack of technical talent for further development growth.
Weekly NFT sales volume from Nov. 2021 through Jan. 2023. Source: Nansen
When it comes to lack of copyright oversight, Twitter has experienced serious copyright breaches as a result of its faulty copyright strike system, resulting in users having the ability to do things such as uploading full-length movies onto the platform. The impact of lax copyright infringement protocols on NFTs needs no explanation.
The recent cuts have also included content moderators whose job it was to curb misinformation, and unsurprisingly, there has since been a noticeable increase of the latter, while highly divisive accounts have also been reinstated en masse. This, in turn, has resulted in many users leaving the platform for alternatives, such as Mastodon, and seeing how NFTs rely upon strong and inclusive communities, Twitter’s new divisive environment does not bode well for its NFT plans.
In terms of concerns regarding Twitter’s tech functionality, while it is true that having fewer engineers may lead to a downturn in many products, due to Twitter not being a mission-critical product, Twitter currently allows for enough uptime, latency and architectural leeway that any faults will not cause it to stop functioning. However, keeping the ship floating is simply not going to cut it when it comes to opening up new markets and new possibilities, and therefore, Twitter’s massive cuts will undoubtedly hinder the execution of technical innovations, including seamless NFT integration.
So, while Twitter is undergoing a lot of chaos, Instagram has released a comprehensive NFT roadmap, which includes rolling out NFT integration in over 100 countries and the launch of an NFT marketplace, which is being trialed in a systematic manner with notable creators, such as Amber Vittoria, Dave Krugman, Refik Anadol and others.
Although it is impossible to know which social media will come out on top for NFT integration, looking at their core value propositions, combined with recent indicators, allows one to have a solid sense of where things are headed.
It is clear that Twitter is not only at a disadvantage from a UVP standpoint but is also suffering from a chaotic transition, which may have severe implications for the future health of the platform as a whole — let alone for the development of NFT utilities.
In other words, Instagram has a lot fewer distractions to deal with, and whilst it, too, will no doubt experience its own shortcomings, the platform’s NFT plans appear to be operating in the same structured and patient manner that allowed Facebook to come out on top over early competitors.
But as is the case in any technological pursuit, things can change in an instant, so it is worth following the development of both closely. But it is Instagram, not Twitter, that currently has more in its favor for NFT integration.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.