UK Markets close in 2 hrs 30 mins

Meta ‘winding down’ work on NFTs for Facebook and Instagram

Meta ‘winding down’ work on NFTs for Facebook and Instagram

Meta will be shutting down support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other digital collectible features across its platforms.

Facebook’s parent company had only begun testing the feature last year on its platforms, including Instagram, but has now announced it will focus on other ways to support users.

“We’re looking closely at what we prioritise to increase our focus. We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses,” Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, tweeted on Tuesday.

NFTs are pictures that are bought and sold using cryptocurrency whose receipts are kept on the blockchain.

Last year, Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg said users would be able to display existing NFTs and potentially mint new ones on Instagram, hinting that the digital token technology could also play a role in the company’s metaverse vision.

“I would hope that you know, the clothing that your avatar is wearing in the metaverse, you know, can be basically minted as an NFT and you can take it between your different places,” he had said

But now the company seems to pivot to ideas like payments on messaging and “monetisation opps for Reels.”

“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 monetisation opps for Reels,” Mr Kasriel said.

“Proud of the relationships we built. And look forward to supporting the many NFT creators who continue using Instagram and Facebook to amplify their work,” he said.

The company is looking to streamline payments away from NFTs and via products like Meta Pay to make checkout and payouts easier.

“We learned a ton that we’ll be able to apply to products we’re continuing to build to support creators, people, and businesses on our apps, both today and in the metaverse,” the commerce and FinTech head said.