Meta Is Ending Support for NFTs
Meta is winding down support for digital collectibles. Why and what happens next?
Meta is winding down its support for digital collectibles (NFTs) to pursue other ways to help creators and businesses.
The new development appeared in a recent tweet by Stephane Kasriel, Meta's Head of Commerce and Financial Technology—who cited a priority shift as the sole reason for dumping the long-known NFT integration.
According to an extract from Stephane's tweet, "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."
Meta's digital collectible feature has been around since June 2022 and spread full-fledge across 100 countries—later in July 2022. It was a valuable marketing whip for NFT creators and collectors, as they could link their crypto wallets and showcase their digital assets on Facebook and Instagram at no cost.
Facebook changed its name to Meta in 2021 to show its strong lean toward the web 3.0 wall. And it was exciting to see Meta's announcement of its venture into digital collectibles in May 2022. The same document got an update in November, announcing that people can now sell NFTs "on and off Instagram." However, this new feature was only available to a selected few.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta's CEO, also mentioned in a plenary on March 15, 2022, that they plan to turn Instagram into an NFT marketplace, as reported by NFTnow. Unfortunately, it looks like the firm is shifting grounds now.
According to Meta's announcement, "Creators will soon be able to make their own digital collectibles on Instagram and sell them to fans, both on and off Instagram. They’ll have an end-to-end toolkit — from creation (starting on the Polygon blockchain) and showcasing, to selling. People can easily support their favorite creators by buying their digital collectibles directly within Instagram. We’re testing these new features with a small group of creators in the US first, and hope to expand to more countries soon."
Why Is Meta It's Ending NFT Parole and What Happens After?
Although Kasriel didn't state specific reasons for this new development at Meta, it looks like Meta's priority is shifting, as mentioned earlier. So we're not sure why this is happening. But for what it's worth, it doesn't look good for creators and collectors who look forward to what Meta's NFT venture will bring to NFTs in the nearest future.
However, while questioning the state of Meta's Metaverse project, The Guardian pointed out that Meta's Metaverse department, Reality Labs, went short of $3.7 billion in the past three months from November 2022, when it laid off 13% of its workforce.
No one is entirely sure what happens next. But we want to believe Meta isn't shifting focus from the Metaverse idea.
However, as reported by DailyMail, Meta plans to cut thousands of jobs further this year, which will affect employees working on wearable devices in its Metaverse division. After all, Meta might be holding back from its Metaverse project—since the projected layoffs target Reality Labs. But this is still uncertain and subject to speculations.
Thus, it won't be surprising to see Meta taking down digital collectible features across products, including Facebook and Instagram, as time rolls.