Meta announced that Instagram is expanding its NFT initiative internationally to more than 100 countries. In addition, the social network is adding support for NFT based on the Flow blockchain. As a result, the FLOW token surged in value, rising about 44% in the 24 hours following the news.
The initiative was first launched in the U.S. for select users in May. At that time, Meta announced that Instagram would begin integrating support for NFT collectibles starting with Ethereum and Polygon-based assets.
The expanding Instagram integration allows collectors to showcase their verified Flow NFTs in their accounts. The initiative has now expanded to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The feature lets users connect a supported crypto wallet to prove ownership of NFT collectibles and choose which ones to display, with both the owner and original creator automatically attributed alongside the asset.
Along with news of Flow support, Meta also announced that users can now connect a Dapper Wallet or Coinbase Wallet as part of Instagram’s expanding Web3 support. It appears that Instagram’s NFT initiative is still not fully open to the public, but it is opening up to more people.
Blockchain networks and NFTs are expected to be a part of an open, interoperable metaverse, and many crypto builders are developing the technology to enable that vision. Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hinted that he’s interested in enabling interoperable assets as part of his platform, but Meta has yet to detail how open its metaverse will truly be.
Not everyone is keen on Facebook’s presence in what some hope will be a decentralized metaverse, however. Yat Siu, founder and chairman of notable metaverse investor Animoca Brands, said that tech giants like Facebook and Tencent are a “threat” to an open, interoperable, blockchain-powered metaverse.
Facebook’s metaverse ambitions have also encountered resistance from regulators. Last week, the United States Federal Trade Commission sued Meta to try and stop its planned acquisition of startup Within, which makes the popular VR fitness app, Supernatural.
Meta would be one step closer to its ultimate goal of owning the entire ‘metaverse’ if allowed to purchase the startup.Regulators alleged in a filing.
Side note: Snapchat explores plans to offer NFTs as AR filters.