Amid the current crypto crisis, Meta’s Stephane Kasriel said the company is winding down NFT support to focus on other ways to make ‘impact at scale’ for its users.
Meta is pulling the plug on its support for NFTs, less than one year after rolling it out on Instagram and Facebook.
The decision was announced by Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, Stephane Kasriel, who said the company is “looking closely” at where to focus its efforts.
Kasriel said on Twitter that the social media company is winding down NFT support “for now” to focus on other ways to support users on its platforms. This includes improvements to fintech tools such as Meta Pay and “investing in messaging payments across Meta”.
“Creating opportunities for creators and businesses to connect with their fans and monetise 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,” Kasriel said.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital files with verified identity and ownership. This verification is done through blockchain technology, creating a ‘smart contract’ for owners of the file.
The concept had a surge in 2021 and last year, with companies flocking to support the potential growth of NFT marketplaces.
Meta began its support for NFTs last May, when it allowed some Instagram users to share their NFTs on the platform.
But the NFT market has seen its share of failures since then, as the digital files seem to wane when there are dips in the broader cryptocurrency sector.
For example, NFT sales hit a 12-month low last June as cryptocurrencies worldwide faced a decline in value, The Guardian reported.
Cryptocurrencies are facing another difficult period with the collapse of crypto-exchange FTX last November. The loss of this platform had a knock-on effect, impacting crypto-focused Silvergate Bank which announced plans for liquidation last week.
Last month, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said 2023 would be the “year of efficiency”, hinting that the company would take steps to become “a stronger and more nimble organisation”. This also came with several cost cutting measures announced by Meta CFO Susan Li.
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