Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has decided to drop its support for NFTs on its platforms, Facebook and Instagram. The is coming in less than a year after the company started pushing for the adoption of digital collectibles on its platforms.
Meta’s Head of Commerce and Financial Technologies, Stephane Kasriel, announced the decision on Twitter and stated that the company had learned a lot from the initiative that could be applied to products that support creators, people, and businesses on its apps, both now and in the metaverse.
Kasriel did not provide a reason for the decision but said the company would focus on monetization opportunities for Reels and messaging payments across Meta.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital assets that use blockchain technology to verify ownership and authenticity. They can represent a wide range of digital content, such as art, music, videos, and tweets. NFTs have gained popularity as a way for creators to monetize their digital works and for collectors to own unique and rare digital items.
Mark Zuckerberg had previously announced Instagram’s work on NFT support at SXSW in March 2021, and the feature was launched in May of the same year. The company announced its expansion in November 2021, allowing creators to mint and sell collectibles directly on Instagram. Zuckerberg had suggested that NFTs could play a role in Meta’s metaverse plans, stating that he hoped users could mint their avatar’s clothing as NFTs and take it between different places in the metaverse.
Meta has been in a period of restructuring, and many initiatives have been shut down. The company has laid off thousands of workers and shut down numerous projects in what Zuckerberg has described as the company’s “year of efficiency.”
Meta’s crypto wallet, Novi, was sacked last year, and rumours that it would have NFT support on its roadmap have not materialized. The company has also cut back on projects with its metaverse division, Reality Labs, and its program that paid bonuses to Reels creators.