Meta, formerly known as Facebook, announced that it is shutting down its support for cryptocurrency-based digital collectibles, commonly known as NFTs, on Instagram and Facebook. This move comes after the company introduced support for NFTs in May 2022, which was later expanded to all users in the U.S. who could connect their digital wallets to Meta’s apps and share their NFTs.
Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s Commerce and FinTech lead, announced the news on Twitter, stating that the company is “winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses.” He further added that the company is focusing on building new ways for creators and businesses to connect with their fans and monetize their content.
Although it’s unclear how much traction Meta’s NFT products had, the company’s recent layoffs of 11,000 employees suggest that it is focusing its resources on a smaller number of high-priority growth areas, such as the Metaverse. This move is part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to shift the company’s resources onto areas that are more likely to generate significant growth and impact.
Meta’s decision to shut down its NFT program is not surprising given its recent history with cryptocurrency-related projects. The company’s ambitious Libra (later Diem) cryptocurrency was buried by regulators before it even began, and its cryptocurrency wallet Novi was shut down in July 2022.
Despite this setback, Meta remains committed to building fintech tools such as Meta Pay and exploring other ways to support creators, people, and businesses. The company plans to continue investing in messaging and monetization opportunities for Reels, which allows creators to earn money from their short-form videos.