Stephane Kasriel, Head of Commerce and Financial Technologies at Meta, said on March 13 that his company plans to discontinue its non-fungible token (NFT) features.
Meta will pursue fintech instead of NFTs
Kastiel stated in a Twitter thread:
“We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses.”
Kasriel implied that NFT features will no longer be available on Facebook and Instagram, as he said that Meta aims to support creators who continue to use those platforms.
He additionally said that the company will give users other ways to monetize their work. Specifically, he said that Meta aims to offer monetization opportunities on Facebook’s video platform, Reels, and through streamlined Meta Pay and messaging payments. He emphasized that the company will “continue investing in fintech tools.”
The decision to discontinue NFT support has been with significant backlash, as commenters have criticized the company’s short relatively short involvement in the NFT space.
Facebook’s failed NFT plans
Meta first hinted at support for NFTs in December 2021. It began to roll out the feature on Instagram in May and gradually expanded support in the following months. By September 2022, Meta allowed all U.S. users to share NFTs on Facebook and Instagram.
Additionally, in May 2022, Meta began to work on an NFT platform in partnership with Polygon. That effort, which would have allowed users to mint and sell NFTs, was still in the testing stage as of November 2022, according to reports from Polygon itself. Today’s news presumably means the project has been or will be halted.
Expectations for NFT support were also closely tied to Meta’s virtual reality (VR) and “metaverse” efforts. However, those products did not ultimately use NFTs for their tradable items, and the company’s VR unit as a whole saw significant losses in late 2022.
Facebook’s waning NFT ambitions may be linked to declining NFT market activity. According to data from DAppRadar, the unrelated NFT platform OpenSea saw just $750,000 in daily volume on March 13. At the height of the NFT craze — between August 2021 and May 2022 — OpenSea consistently saw volumes in the tens of millions of dollars.
Facebook’s main competitor, Twitter, continues to offer support for NFTs in the form of profile pictures (PFP) and marketplace links.