Meta, the parent company of social media giants Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has announced that it will be discontinuing support for NFTs (non-fungible tokens). This move comes almost exactly one year after the digital collectibles were introduced, despite the company’s big plans for them.
Stephane Kasriel, Head of Trading and Financial Technology at Meta, revealed the news on Twitter earlier this week. He explained that the company is now focusing on other ways to support creators, users, and enterprises, and is carefully evaluating which features to prioritize.
Kasriel thanked the company’s existing partners from the NFT market and expressed pride in the relationships they had built while working together.
Despite the discontinuation of NFT support, the company will continue to seek ways to help NFT creators using Facebook and Instagram to improve their work.
Additionally, Meta emphasized that the entire program for handling non-fungible tokens has provided valuable information that will help the company better support creators in the future.
Instagram users were first given the opportunity to create virtual galleries and display their purchased tokens in May of last year. A similar feature was subsequently added to Facebook, and the technology of displaying 3D NFT models in Instagram Stories was implemented using the augmented reality tool Spark AR.
First: a big Thank You to the partners who joined us on this journey and who're doing great work in a dynamic space. 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. [2/5]
— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) March 13, 2023
Meta had initially planned to enter the NFT market in a big way, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg citing tokens as a key element of the Metaverse in an interview early last year.
As an example, he gave the idea of avatar clothing that could be transferred between different “worlds.” Adding some form of NFT support to Messenger and WhatsApp was also informally considered.
While the discontinuation of NFT support may be surprising to some, it is clear that Meta is taking a strategic approach to evaluate and prioritize features that better serve their users and creators.
The company has a history of adapting to the changing landscape of technology and social media, and it remains to be seen what other exciting developments will come from Meta in the future.