Meta discontinuing NFTs on Facebook and Instagram
The short-lived NFT features were first launched in May.
By Anna B Kiwanuka
After about 10 months after its first deployment, the large tech company Meta is discontinuing its nonfungible token (NFT) features on its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram.
In his recent tweet, Meta’s Head of Commerce and Financial Technologies, Stephane Kasriel, stated that the company is winding down its NFT support in order to focus on other ways to support creators, individuals, and businesses.
Kasriel added that the firm is still prioritizing ways for users to connect with their fans and monetize and will focus on tools such as building payment rails on its platform and through its messaging apps, along with monetizing Reels, the short-form videos that feature on Facebook and Instagram.
He particularly mentioned a focus on Meta Pay, the firm’s payment platform, which in the future could support cryptocurrency according to trademark filings from May.
NFTs on the platforms were relatively short-lived, as testing began in May with select creators on Instagram before expanding to Facebook in June last year. The NFT features expanded again in August as Instagram made NFT tools available to over 100 countries. In November last year, Meta launched an end-to-end toolkit for minting and trading NFTs within Instagram.
The announcement has received scathing criticism from the crypto community, with most people stating that Meta’s move was shortsighted.
According to Cointelegraph, Meta’s scrapping of its NFT tools aligns with other cost-cutting measures across the company as it directs focus to its expensive metaverse ambitions.
Last year alone, its metaverse-building division Reality Labs recorded its largest-ever yearly losses at $13.7 billion. Meta also undertook in November the first mass layoff in the company’s history, cutting 13% of its workforce, some 11,000 staff.