Meta is “winding down” its work with NFTs on Facebook and Instagram, Meta commerce and fintech lead Stephane Kasriel said on Twitter recently. This means that Meta will end its tests of minting and selling NFTs on Instagram as well as the ability to share NFTs on Instagram and Facebook in the coming weeks. According to Kasriel, Meta is planning to continue investing in fintech tools that will be essential for both individuals and businesses in the future. This includes efforts to simplify payments with Meta Pay, improve checkout and pay-outs, and explore messaging payments throughout Meta’s platforms.
The NFT integrations appear to be one of the casualties of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s drive to make 2023 the “year of efficiency,” along with the Reels Play bonus scheme. Yet, their demise coincides with the closures of the Meta-backed cryptocurrency Diem and Meta’s Novi digital wallet last year.
As Meta pursues its metaverse goals, it’s cutting costs across the company. In November last year, Meta laid off 11,000 employees, and last week the company announced even more layoffs. Meanwhile, the hype around NFTs on Instagram and Facebook has faded, despite digital collectibles’ potential intersection with Meta’s metaverse plans, such as allowing users to mint virtual items for their avatars as NFTs.
Even though Meta is exiting NFTs, other companies are rushing into a market that collapsed in 2022 and shed billions in value after cosmic levels of hype in early 2021. Reddit continues to promote its “digital collectible” avatars that are NFTs, and Starbucks recently sold out a selection of 2,000 $100 NFTs in its Odyssey customer loyalty program. We continue to observe.