Social Media Giant Draws Criticism From Digital Artists
Meta has decided to abandon support for NFTs across Instagram and Facebook less than a year after it began rolling out features supporting digital collectibles.
Stephane Kasriel, the commerce and fintech lead at Meta, broke the news via Twitter on Monday. He said the firm will redirect its resources to other products, including Meta Pay.
“We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses,” Kasriel tweeted.
Kasriel added that Meta is proud of the relationships it built in the non-fungibles sector, adding that the firm looks forward to supporting NFT creators that use Instagram and Facebook to amplify their work.
But NFT creators panned the firm for abandoning support for NFTs.
“Such a short-sighted move,” said Dave Krugman, a digital artist. “Inclusion of digital collectibles has so much potential to help creators engage their communities and counterbalance the pitfalls of attention-based advertising economies… A real shame.”
“Adding the ability to display NFTs on your feed is not really the point of digital collectibles,” said wab.eth, the founder of the Sappy Seals NFT collection. “You guys needed to figure out ways to house community and develop a creator economy, but the point was missed entirely.”
Meta first announced that a select group of U.S.-based Instagram creators could share Ethereum and Polygon-based NFT collections on the platform in May 2022. The feature was made available to all Instagram and Facebook users in 100 supported countries in September.
Instagram also launched a toolkit enabling users to create and sell NFTs on the platform in November.
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The move comes as Meta looks to restructure and become leaner. In November, Meta laid off 11,000 workers, 13% of its staff.
Reality Labs, Meta’s augmented reality and virtual reality division, lost $13.7B last year.