Meta lead engineer announces end of NFTs on Instagram and Facebook
Amid the crypto slump, Meta has announced it would be parting with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platforms less than a year after launch.
Stephane Kasriel, the Commerce and FinTech lead at Meta said in a Twitter thread that the company will be "winding down" on digital collectibles, specifically NFTs, for now, and focus on other ways to support creators. Digital collectibles like NFTs were one of the pillars of the company's pitch for a 'metaverse'-based future of the internet.
Back in October of 2021, Mark Zuckerberg took a leap of faith as he announced his social media company's major pivot to building a brand new version of the internet, the metaverse. Rebranding his company as Meta, Zuckerberg was hopeful that user behavior during the pandemic would be further strengthened and individuals would seek more experiences in the virtual world rather than the real one.
Meta had been working with creators to explore possibilities of minting and selling NFTs on Instagram as well as sharing them on Meta's social media products. Extremely popular during the pandemic, terms like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, have lost their sheen as the threat from the pandemic has reduced.
Now Meta seems to have abandoned its plans in this area and is instead looking for more avenues for growth in other areas.
Meta to focus on messaging and payments
As Kasriel wrote in his Twitter thread, Meta will continue to support creators who are using its products like Instagram and Facebook to promote their work. However, along with helping creators increase their reach, Meta wants to focus on products where it can make an "impact at scale".
According to Kasriel, the opportunity lies in messaging and monetization of Reels, the video-sharing feature on Instagram. Further, the company intends to invest in its fintech tools and work on making its payments easier to process in the future. Meta is looking to incorporate payments into its messaging across platforms.
Interestingly, the move comes after Meta already dropped the plans for its own cryptocurrency, Diem, and digital wallet last year. Individuals might be so upbeat about NFTs at the moment but major brands like Starbucks and even Sesame Street are working on their NFT collections. So, the real question is, what is Meta really winding down?
Having spent billions on the metaverse last year, has Zuckerberg realized that the world isn't ready for a metaverse yet? To survive far into the near future, the company must dwell in the real world now.
Recently, Interesting Engineering also reported that Meta was looking to launch a text-based social media app to take on Twitter. The metaverse plans seem to be shelved for now.