15/03/2023 Meta gives up on NFTs for Facebook and Instagram

Image of Meta’s logo with a red and blue background.

Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Vergenone

Meta is “winding down” its work with NFTs on Facebook and Instagram, Meta commerce and fintech lead Stephane Kasriel said in a Twitter thread on Monday. The decision means Meta will end its tests ofminting and selling NFTs on Instagramas well as the ability toshare NFTs on Instagram and Facebookin the coming weeks, Meta spokesperson Joshua Gunter confirmed in an email toThe Verge.

“Across the company, we’re looking closely at what we prioritize to increase our focus,”Kasriel said. “We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses.” Instead, the company isfocusing on“areas where we can make impact at scale,” like messaging and monetization on Reels andon improving Meta Pay.

The NFT integrations seem to be one casualty of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s drive to make 2023 the “year of efficiency,” along with theReels Playbonus program. But their end also follows the shutdowns of theMeta-backed cryptocurrency DiemandMeta’s Novi digital walletlast year.

Still, even as Meta exits NFTs, other companies are rushing into a market that collapsed in 2022 and shed billions in value after stratospheric levels of hype in early 2021. Reddit continues to promote its“digital collectible” avatars that are NFTs, Starbucks recentlysold out a selection of 2,000 $100 NFTsin its Odyssey customer loyalty program, andSesame Streetjust announced an NFT collaboration.