Meta abandons NFTs less than a year after Zuck talked them up

  • Meta has said that it will be winding down support of NFTs less than a year after it started supporting them.
  • The firm will continue to support creators but in other ways.
  • The announcement comes after two major banks used by crypto startups and others closed their doors last week.

Around this time last year, Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that NFTs would be coming to Instagram. Now, less than a year later, Meta is turning its back on digital collectibles.

This is according to head of commerce and fintech at Meta, Stephane Kasriel who outlined the change in a Twitter thread.

“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,” wrote Kasriel.

Of course the question this poses is why is Meta abandoning NFTs? For one, the firm fired 11 000 people just a few months ago and is eyeing more job cuts as soon as this week according to reports.

Beyond that, the NFT market and the wider cryptocurrency market are far different than they were a year ago. For one, FTX hadn’t failed catastrophically yet and there was a modicum of trust in the market.

Now, after myriad scams, rug pulls and failed projects – that’s not even mentioning the thefts – NFTs have lost favour in the eyes of the market.

This abandoning of NFTs also isn’t all that surprising as Engadget lays out. The publication reports that Meta has been shuttering NFT support projects like its Novi crypto wallet since last year.

The fact of the matter is that Meta needs to cut costs and supporting glorified databases with cute JPEGs is likely a cost worth cutting.

The recent shuttering of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank after a bank run has likely also spooked investors and businesses.

Despite removing NFTs from its focus, Kasriel said that Meta isn’t abandoning creators.

“Let me be clear: creating opportunities for creators and businesses to connect with their fans and monetize remains a priority, and we’re going to focus on areas where we can make impact at scale, such as messaging and monetization opps for Reels. And we’ll continue investing in fintech tools that people and businesses will need for the future. We’re streamlining payments with Meta Pay, making checkout and payouts easier, and investing in messaging payments across Meta,” said Kasriel.


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