Meta plans to end support for NFTs on Facebook and Instagram, less than a year after jumping on the digital asset bandwagon.
The move was announced Monday by Meta commerce and fintech lead Stephane Kasriel.
“Across the company, we’re looking closely at what we prioritize to increase our focus,” Kasriel wrote in a tweet. “We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses.”
An NFT, or nonfungible token, is a blockchain-based technology used to determine ownership of unique digital or physical items such as art, music or even a tweet. NFTs began popping up everywhere in 2021, with some NFTs going for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
NFTs can be a part of a collection or standalone pieces of art. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a single NFT from popular collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, while sales for rarer NFTs can end up in the millions.
NFTs got early support from crypto investors, becoming status symbols for celebrities and the crypto rich. But interest has waned in recent months as the cryptocurrency sector has taken a beating.
Instagram began testing NFTs last May, allowing a handful of US-based artists and collectors to share NFTs on the social media platform. In August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram would expand support for NFTs to more than 100 countries.
Although Meta is pausing its focus on NFTs, the company still plans to work on integrating technology offerings with the financial industry.
“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 and payouts easier, and investing in messaging payments across Meta,” Kasriel wrote.
A Meta representative couldn’t immediately comment on when it expects to end support for NFTs.