Meta has decided to discontinue its NFT and digital collectibles features on Instagram and Facebook, according to a tweet by Stephane Kasriel, the head of commerce and fintech at Meta.
While the company had introduced NFTs to a limited group of Instagram and Facebook users in mid-2021, it has now shifted its focus to other areas such as messaging and fintech tools.
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Meta’s head of commerce and fintech, Stephane Kasriel, revealed on Twitter that the company is planning to shut down its NFT and digital collectibles features on Instagram and Facebook.
“Creating opportunities for creators and businesses to connect with their fans and monetize remains a priority, and we’re going to focus on areas where we can make impact at scale, such as messaging and monetization opps for Reels,”Kasriel wrote.
He added that Meta is planning to continue investing in fintech tools that will be essential for both individuals and businesses in the future. This includes efforts to simplify payments with Meta Pay, improve checkout and payouts, and explore messaging payments throughout Meta’s platforms.
As Meta pursues its metaverse goals, it’s cutting costs across the company. The metaverse division Reality Labs lost $13.7 billion in 2021. In November, Meta laid off 11,000 employees, and last week the company announced even more layoffs. Meanwhile, the hype around NFTs has faded, despite digital collectibles’ potential intersection with Meta’s metaverse plans, such as allowing users to mint virtual items for their avatars as NFTs.
Zuckerberg referred to 2023 as Meta’s “year of efficiency.” As part of this focus, the company has decided to discontinue NFTs, which are no longer seen as efficient by Zuckerberg.
Meta’s VR expert John Carmack resigned before the end of 2022. He stated that he no longer wished to work for an inefficient company.
Meta introduced NFTs last May to a few chosen Instagram creators and some Facebook users in June. By July, Meta had increased NFT support on Instagram for creators in 100 countries. However, less than a year later, Meta decided to leave NFTs behind.
As a major player in the tech industry, Meta’s support for NFTs could have helped popularize digital collectibles among a wider audience. Without Meta’s backing, other companies may be less likely to invest in NFTs and may even follow suit by discontinuing their own NFT features.
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