Meta Platforms is cutting off support for digital collectibles or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platforms less than a year after rolling it out, as the crypto market continues to spiral.
“We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses,” the social media firm’s fintech head, Stephane Kasriel, tweeted on Monday.
The company rolled out support for creators to share NFTs on Instagram and Facebook last year, when the speculative crypto asset had exploded in popularity, with sales of cartoon apes to video clips touching billions of dollars.
But Bitcoin and other tokens took a beating in late 2022 after major exchange FTX crashed into sudden bankruptcy.
The downfall was worsened by last week’s collapse of three US banks, two of which were crypto-focused.
“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 said.
In November last year, Meta had added a host of new features to Instagram, including a tool to trade digital collectables to help content creators monetize their presence on the social media platform.
Users could support creators by buying their NFTs directly within Instagram, the company had said.
Earlier this month, Meta said it was exploring a standalone decentralised social network for sharing text updates, in what could be a direct competitor to billionaire Elon Musk’s Twitter.
“We’re exploring a standalone decentralised social network for sharing text updates. We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests,” a Meta spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement.
© Thomson Reuters 2023