Following the launch of NFT features by big tech firm Meta in May 2022, the company has decided to end the program across Facebook and Instagram.
This was revealed through a tweet from Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies.
He started the Twitter thread by saying:
“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.”
He added that Meta’s main goal now is to find ways for users to “connect with their fans and make money” by focusing on features like monetizing reels, adding short-form videos that feature on Facebook and Instagram, and building payment rails.
Stephane also disclosed more info about Meta Pay, which is the company’s payment platform that is likely to accept crypto payments in the future.
What You Should Know About Meta’s NFT Features
Launched in May 2022, the Non-fungible Token (NFTs) feature was built to enable users on Instagram and Facebook to share and earn through digital collectibles.
The program started testing on Instagram with some creators before moving to Facebook the next month.
Meta went ahead to make NFT tools on Instagram available to more than 100 countries in August thereby expanding the program.
An “end-to-end toolkit” was also launched in November to mint and trade Non-fungible Tokens within Instagram.
However, Meta has been focusing on its expensive metaverse ambitions by cutting costs across the company and this move on Non-fungible Token features aligns with such measures.
Its Metaverse team, Reality Labs, recorded an all-time yearly loss of $13.7 billion last year. This was after the company laid off 13% of its workforce in November 2022.
Reactions From The Crypto Community
Many people in the crypto industry have taken to Stephane Kasriel’s comment section to react to the announcement.
One of them is NFT artist Dave Krugman who said that it was “a short-sighted move” and that Meta “quit before [it] even started.” According to Krugman, the trust earned by Meta in the NFT market is now squandered.
Marc Colcer, a podcaster and NFT investor added that the move “seems short-sighted for a company that’s supposed to be thinking long term” while asking Meta to be more transparent in its decision to pull the rug on NFT features.
The co-founder of Web3 firm Earth Labs, Allen Hena, was another person who reacted to Stephane Kasriel’s tweet.
Allen claimed that Meta stopped the features because it realized that creators cannot be exploited through public crypto networks.
How This Could Affect The NFT Industry
Although Meta has been clear about its ambition to join the Metaverse community, the announcement means that the firm will stop allowing users to trade digital collectibles on Facebook and Instagram.
This has also left some users doubting if Meta can go long-term on its metaverse ambition, because one of the major keys to success in the NFT industry is trust, and once broken could have a crucial effect.
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