• Meta announced it is scrapping its NFT features across its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram
• The NFT tools were first launched in May but are now being wound down to focus on other tools such as payment rails and monetizing Reels
• The decision was met with criticism from the crypto community
Meta Pulls Plug on NFTs Across Social Media Platforms
Big Tech firm Meta has announced that it will be ‘winding down’ its nonfungible token (NFT) features across its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram.
Background on Meta’s NFT Features
The short-lived NFT features were first launched in May of last year, with testing taking place with select creators on Instagram before expanding to Facebook in June. In August, the feature expanded again as Instagram made the NFT tools available to over 100 countries. Finally, in November 2020, Meta launched an “end-to-end toolkit” for minting and trading NFTs within Instagram.
Meta Refocusing to Other Areas
Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, tweeted the news on March 13th stating that Meta is “winding down” its support for NFTs so they can focus on other areas. These areas include building payment rails on their platform and through their messaging apps as well as monetizing Reels – the short form videos featured on both Facebook and Instagram. In particular, Kasriel mentioned a focus on Meta Pay – the company’s payment platform which could eventually support cryptocurrency according to trademark filings from May.
Criticism From Crypto Community
The announcement received some backlash from the crypto community with one artist stating it was a “short-sighted move” and that Meta had quit before even starting.
In conclusion, although short lived, Meta’s foray into offering digital collectibles via their social media platforms was a notable development for the industry – however due to a refocus onto other areas such as payments rails and Reels monetization they have decided to ‘wind down’ this feature for now.