Meta gives up on NFTs for Facebook and Instagram
Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, Stephane Kasriel, recently announced on Twitter that the company would no longer support NFT and digital collectibles features on Instagram and Facebook. This product was only in testing with select creators on Instagram last May and some Facebook users in June. By July, Meta had expanded NFT support on Instagram for creators in 100 countries. However, less than a year later, the company moved on from NFTs.
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
According to Kasriel, “We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses.” He further explained that the company is shifting its investments away from NFTs towards products like Meta Pay and features that enable creators to earn money directly on Meta platforms. One such feature is its tipping feature called gifts. Moreover, the company is currently testing ways for creators to earn ad revenue on Reels.
Kasriel clarified that while the company is moving away from NFTs, creating opportunities for creators and businesses to connect with their fans and monetize remains a priority. Thus, the company will focus on areas where it can impact at scale, such as messaging and monetization opportunities for Reels.
Meta has been reducing costs across the company as it works towards making its metaverse dreams a reality. The company’s Reality Labs, which works on AR and VR products, lost $13.7 billion last year. In November, the company laid off 11,000 employees, around 13% of its global workforce, marking the largest cuts in company history. As the company weathers this storm, the hype around NFTs has significantly died down.
When Meta initially expressed its interest in NFTs, it seemed like it could intersect with its plans for a virtual reality metaverse. CEO Mark Zuckerberg had previously mentioned that he hoped users would one day be able to mint virtual clothing as NFTs. However, as the company prioritizes other products and features, NFTs will no longer be a focus for Meta.