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Meta sparked a media frenzy this morning with surprise updates to their NFT saga. Since Spring 2022, the social media monolith has been busy at work integrating blockchain tech into their various platforms’ offerings–first Instagram in June and then Facebook at the start of July.
These pilot programs initially opened to an elite squad of creators based in the United States like Boss Beauties, Swope, and Jen Stark. This morning, however, Meta announced they’re expanding the IG pilot to 100 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the Americas.
“Additionally, we now support wallet connections with the Coinbase Wallet and Dapper, as well as the ability to post digital collectibles minted on the Flow blockchain,” Meta also wrote in the announcement, issued as an update to their original NFT blog post, which first went live in May.
“As of today, we support connections with third-party wallets including Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet,” Meta continued, “and Dapper Wallet coming soon. Supported blockchains at this time include Ethereum, Polygon and Flow.”
Folding in Flow was part of Meta’s plan, if you’ll recall. The layer-1 blockchain, powered by the native FLOW token, has also partnered with Warner Music, the NBA, Binance, and many more.
There are no fees for users to post or share a digital collectible (NFT) on Instagram–connect your digital wallet to get going. Reminder, however, that at present, Instagram isn’t gearing up to act as an NFT marketplace. Instead, their functionality includes sharing NFTs on photo feeds, stories, and messages, followed by tagging creators and collectors for attribution. “Once you post a digital collectible, it will have a shimmer effect and can display public information, such as a description of the NFT,” TechCrunch said.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook today to commemorate the occasion and remind the masses he’s a carbon-based being. “In honor of expanding digital collectible NFTs to 100 more countries on Instagram and launching new integrations with Coinbase and Dapper, I’m sharing my soon-to-be NFT old little league baseball card, which someone recently found and sent to me,” he apparently wrote.
We’re not convinced proof of childhood alone can humanize this alleged man. He was a cute kid, but there’s nothing funny or remarkable about the photo. Maybe check with Metropolis Comics & Collectibles for the backstory, as he suggests.
Full steam ahead, Instagram users can also expect to start seeing AR and 3D NFTs on Stories soon–powered by Spark AR, Meta’s software AR platform. “Today, the company has revealed that it’s starting to allow people to display and share their digital collectibles as AR stickers in Instagram Stories,” TechCrunch said.
“Digital assets appear to have become one of Meta’s core components for expansion,” Cointelegraph pointed out. “During the second quarter of 2022, the company’s revenue fell 1% year over year to $28.8 billion while its operating income decreased by 32% to $8.36 billion in the same period.”
Zuck’s been quoted on calls acknowledging that TikTok and its cohorts are gaining ground. Web3’s their final frontier, and Meta’s put all their might into manifest destiny–and run up against antitrust laws in the process.
They’re not alone in the race either–other titans like Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit are hot on Meta’s tail. Hopefully, they can make nice because if one platform alone dominated then, we could all quit the overarching pilot program at play, building Web3 on decentralized principles.
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