Just after the big news we had this weekend about USDC, Meta also dropped a bomb on the We3 community this past Monday.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced that it will no longer support NFT features on its social media platforms.
The NFT features were first launched in May 2022. But, it will be discontinued as Meta focuses on other ways to support creators, businesses, and people.
This is a bold move for the company. Especially since their biggest ambition at the moment is focused on the metaverse.
With NFTs out of the picture, how can they achieve their dream metaverse?
Meta’s Facebook and Instagram NFT Features
Meta launched its NFT features on Instagram in May 2021, with Facebook jumping on board in June.
The tools were initially available to a select group of creators before they release it to 100 countries in August.
Meta launched a “end-to-end toolkit” for minting and trading NFTs on Instagram in November.
However, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, Stephane Kasriel, announced on March 13, 2023, that the company is “winding down” NFT support.
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
Meta’s Shift in Focus
Despite ending NFT features, Meta is still prioritizing ways for users to connect with their fans and monetize their content.
The company plans to focus on tools such as building payment rails and monetizing Reels. In particular, Meta Pay, the firm’s payment platform, is a priority and could support cryptocurrency in the future.
Meta’s decision to end NFT support has been met with criticism from the crypto community. Some of the community members are calling it a short-sighted move.
And “winding down for now” is just wild. The trust earned over the past year is now squandered, pushing artists even further away
— Dave💧💧💧 (@dave_krugman) March 13, 2023
Cost-cutting Measures as Meta Focuses on Metaverse Ambitions
Meta’s decision to end NFT support may seem like a move away from their ultimate goal. However, it is still in line with their other cost-cutting measures to pursue that goal.
Last year, its metaverse-building division, Reality Labs, recorded its largest-ever yearly losses at $13.7 billion. In November 2022, Meta also have thier first mass layoff. It cuts 13% of the company’s workforce, which is about 11,000 staff.
As Meta directs its focus towards its metaverse ambitions, it will be interesting to see what other features and tools it will prioritize in the future.
Do you think Meta made the right move?