Meta Scraps NFT Support on Facebook and Instagram
Meta has wound down support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Facebook and Instagram. Meta began rolling out NFT support on these platforms less than a year ago with features that supported digital collectibles. The company is now bringing this to an end, most likely in response to the current turbulence in the crypto market.
The commerce and fintech lead at Meta Stephane Kasriel posted the news on Twitter yesterday, adding that Meta will be redirecting its efforts to other products such as Meta Pay.
Some product news: across the company, we're looking closely at what we prioritize to increase our focus. We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses. 🧵[1/5]
— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) March 13, 2023
The support provided NFT creators with the option of sharing their tokens on the portals at a time when the crypto industry was on the ascendancy, hitting sales of billions of dollars. However, in 2022, the larger industry saw a plunge in its fortunes with some of the biggest players collapsing or filing for bankruptcy.
Meta’s move to wind down its crypto support forms part of the adjustments that the company is currently making in its priorities in a bid to bring efficiency to its operations, Kasriel announced.
Kasriel expressed pride in the relationships the company had forged in the NFT sector, stating that the company will still continue supporting creators in the space who are using Facebook and Instagram to popularize their work. Kasriel stressed that the company will still prioritize providing opportunities for NFT creators to connect with their fans and monetize their work via these platforms.
Kasriel assured that Meta will continue to invest in fintech tools that can be used by both people and businesses in the future. Meta, he assured, will continue to streamline payments with Meta Pay and simplify checkout and payouts while also making investments in messaging payments across the Meta ecosystem.
In spite of these assurances, many NFT creators have criticized the company for dropping NFT support on its two mega-platforms. Digital artist Dave Krugman described it as a “short-sighted move” and “a real shame” as the incorporation of digital collectibles provided a lot of potential for developers to interact with their communities and also counterbalanced the weaknesses of attention-based advertising economies.
Meta first introduced NFT support in May 2022 when it announced that select Instagram creators in the U.S. could share Ethereum and Polygon collections on its platform. It eventually rolled out this feature to all Instagram and Facebook users in the supported 100 countries in September.
In November last year, Instagram introduced a toolkit that allows users to create and sell their non-fungible tokens on its platform.
Meta’s decision to wind down support for NFTs comes at a time when the company is taking steps to restructure its operations and become leaner. In November last year, it laid off approximately 11,000 workers representing 13% of its staff. Recent reports emerged that the company is planning fresh layoffs.
Meta’s Reality Labs division posted a loss of $13.7 billion in 2022.