Barely one year after announcing plans to allow sharing of digital collectibles on its Instagram platform, Meta is pausing the project.
Meta Commerce and Fintech lead Stephane Kasriel announced the change on Twitter. The tech and social media giant is winding down its digital collectibles initiative “to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses,” Kasriel wrote.
Last year, Meta made a big push into digital collectibles after Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Instagram’s parent company Meta, announced that non-fungible tokens—better known as NFTs—would be coming to the picture and video-sharing app at the South by Southwest conference in Austin. The features were only made available to a select group of creators, and never widely released.
In August, to make sharing NFTs easier, Meta added Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow NFT cross-posting between its Facebook and Instagram products.
By November, Meta had also added the integration of a decentralized storage protocol, Arweave, to the platform.
Now, one year after first teasing the project, Meta is stepping away from NFTs.
“We learned a ton that we’ll be able to apply to products we’re continuing to build to support creators, people, and businesses on our apps, both today and in the metaverse,” Kasriel wrote, adding that the company will continue investing in consumer and business facing fintech tools.
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. [5/5]
— Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) March 13, 2023
Between October 2021, when Facebook rebranded to Meta, and December 2022, the price of Meta’s stock dropped 60% from $323.57 to $114.74. The stock recovered somewhat in the 1st quarter of 2023 and is currently priced at $180.90, according to MarketWatch.
“We learned a ton that we’ll be able to apply to products we’re continuing to build to support creators, people, and businesses on our apps, both today and in the metaverse,” Kasriel said.
Kasriel thanked the partners who helped develop NFTs on Instagram.
“Proud of the relationships we built,” he said. “And look forward to supporting the many NFT creators who continue using Instagram and Facebook to amplify their work.”