Facebook-parent company Meta is ending support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) across its social media platforms.
In a March 13 announcement, Meta’s head of commerce and fintech Stephane Kasriel said that the company was winding down support for digital collectibles on Facebook and Instagram.
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
“We learned a ton that we’ll be able to apply to products we’re continuing to build to support creators, people, and businesses on our apps, both today and in the metaverse,” said Kasriel.
The decision to shutter NFTs on its applications comes less than 10 months after the feature was first introduced. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first revealed that digital collectibles were being tested on Instagram in May, before rolling out the feature to 100 countries a few months later.
Even after Meta’s Metaverse division Reality Labs posted a $2.9 billion loss in the second quarter of 2022, Zuckerberg was seemingly unfazed, saying in an earnings call that he still believes “the Metaverse is a massive opportunity” that will “unlock hundreds of billions of dollars, if not, trillions over time.”
In November, Meta debuted an end-to-end toolkit, where creators would be able to mint their own NFTs on the Polygon blockchain and sell them both on and off Instagram. At the time, the firm said it was also adding support for blockchains like Solana and was in the process of testing new features with a small group of U.S.-based creators.
To many in the crypto community, Meta dropping NFTs after less than a year in action seems short-sighted. Unsurprisingly, Monday’s announcement was met with profuse criticism from several industry watchers.
8. In short, Insta’s decision to drop NFTs, which all sold out almost instantly, is based on keeping people in app and increasing its own revenue generation from creators. In other words, they never cared about creators or the tech; it was always about the bottom line.
— exlawyer.eth/tez (@exlawyernft) March 13, 2023
And “winding down for now” is just wild. The trust earned over the past year is now squandered, pushing artists even further away
— Dave💧💧💧 (@dave_krugman) March 13, 2023