Meta is cutting off NFT support across its platform less than a year after the initial rollout amidst the growing crypto market crash.
According to a tweet issued by Meta’s Head of Commerce and Financial Technologies, Stephane Kasriel, Facebook and Instagram are winding down their digital collectibles feature.
Kasriel stated Meta had learned a lot from the project and would apply the lessons to future projects “to support creators, people, and businesses on our apps, both today and in the Metaverse.”
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He added that the company is set to shift its focus towards “messaging payments across Meta,” amongst other things. According to a trademark filing in May, Meta’s payment platform may add support to crypto payments.
Meta’s digital collectibles have become the latest project shuttered by Meta as the company seeks to become more efficient and laid off thousands of workers.
A major reason for the decision may be the collapse of the crypto markets, which began in 2022. The crypto markets have continued to take a beating since May with the downfall of LUNA. The situation was exacerbated by the failure of FTX in November 2022.
The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank may have further spooked investors and forced Meta to reevaluate its plans for digital collectibles.
Meta’s NFT project was one of its most short-lived blockchain-based projects. It began in May 2022 on Instagram and later expanded to Facebook in June. Its initial foray into blockchain technology was with Facebook Libra, which was later abandoned due to regulatory pressure.
It is worth noting that at the beginning of February, Meta highlighted that it was not planning to change its strategy on Metaverse despite the significant operating loss. In 2022, Reality Labs, Meta’s virtual and augmented reality hardware and software, lost almost $14 billion in 2022.