Meta is “winding down” its support for NFTs on Facebook and Instagram less than a year after its push to adopt “digital collectibles” across its platform. The update comes as the social network has laid off thousands of workers and shuttered numerous projects amid what Mark Zuckerberg has described as the company’s “year of efficiency.”
“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 wrote in an update shared on Twitter. “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.” He added that the company would instead be focusing on “monetization opps for Reels” and “messaging payments across Meta.”
The update comes almost exactly a year after Zuckerberg took the SXSW stage to announce that Instagram was working on NFT support, which debuted last May. The company announced another significant expansion of the feature in November, when it revealed plans to allow creators to mint and sell the collectibles directly on Instagram.
Kasriel didn’t elaborate on why Meta was reversing course on NFTs, which Zuckerberg had suggested could play a role in the company’s metaverse plans. “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 said during his SXSW appearance last year.
But it’s not the only once-ambitious initiative that has fallen flat in the last year. Meta also shuttered its crypto wallet, Novi, which was once rumored to have NFT support on its roadmap, last year. The company has also cut projects with its metaverse division, Reality Labs, and its program that paid bonuses to Reels creators.