Meta Winds Down NFT Support for Facebook and Instagram

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has decided to end its support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, less than a year after introducing the feature.

Meta Winds Down NFT Support for Facebook and Instagram

The move to stop offering NFTs is part of a cost-cutting plan as Meta directs its focus towards metaverse ambitions, including building payment rails and monetizing short-form videos. Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, confirmed that the firm was "winding down" its NFT support to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses. Kasriel added that the company would instead be focusing on “monetization opportunities for Reels” and “messaging payments across Meta”.

NFTs were first launched on the platforms in May 2022 and expanded again in August. In November 2022, Meta launched an “end-to-end toolkit” for minting and trading NFTs within Instagram. There have been criticisms of Meta's decision to scrap NFT support from the crypto community, with NFT artist Dave Krugman calling it a "shortsighted move" and claiming Meta "quit before [it] had even begun”.

As a result of its metaverse-building division, Reality Labs, Meta reported losses of $13.7 billion last year. A mass layoff of 13% of Meta's workforce, including 11,000 employees, was also undertaken for the first time in the company's history. Despite the decision to end its NFT support, Kasriel emphasized that Meta would continue investing in fintech tools that people and businesses would need for the future, including streamlining payments with Meta Pay.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, announced the push into “digital collectibles” almost exactly a year ago. NFT support was introduced as part of the company's plan to adopt “digital collectibles” across its platform. Zuckerberg suggested that NFTs could play a role in the company's metaverse plans. The reason why Meta is reversing course on NFTs has not been elaborated on. Meta has also cut other projects from its metaverse division, including its crypto wallet, Novi.

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