Meta has been facing turbulent times since it went from the Facebook branding to the metaverse-friendly Meta brand. The company had begun integrating and supporting NFTs on its platforms, and now it is backtracking on that support, after what looks like a failed pilot.
Meta will be winding down digital collectibles, a.k.a. NFTs, across Facebook and Instagram, said the company’s commerce and fintech head, Stephane Kasriel, in a Twitter thread (opens in new tab). It appears Meta is shifting its focus. The news comes soon after the news of Meta working on a potential Twitter rival.
Some product news: across the company, we’re looking closely at what we prioritize to increase our focus. We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses. 🧵[1/5]March 13, 2023
Meta’s rebrand was slathered with a lot of Web3 and crypto stuff, including NFT support on its platforms, Facebook and Instagram. The NFT support was first announced in May 2022, and it looks like it’s coming to an end in less than a year. Kasriel did say that Meta will be supporting NFT creators to amplify their work, although it remains to be seen how that will happen without integrated support for digital collectibles on their platforms.
It appears that payments will be a big part of Meta’s new strategy. Kasriel tweeted, “And we’ll continue investing in fintech tools that people and businesses will need for the future. We’re streamlining payments w/ Meta Pay, making checkout & payouts easier, and investing in messaging payments across Meta.”
He also said that monetization remains a priority, and that Meta will “focus on areas where we can make impact at scale, such as messaging and monetization opps for Reels.” The company has been heavily criticized in the past for poor monetization for creators, especially with Reels payouts.
The crypto space has been rather unstable for a while now, so one of the primary companies with a recent and huge web3 pivot backtracking on some of is unlikely to inspire confidence. With this move, you will soon be unable to have an NFT profile picture on Instagram, and plans for augmented reality NFTs on Instagram stories on devices like Apple’s best iPhone, the iPhone 14 Pro, are unlikely to materialize.