Meta Winds Down Its Support for Digital Collectibles on Social Media
The move comes just months after rolling out the digital collectible functionality to over 100 countries.
Barely one year after announcing plans to allow sharing of digital collectibles on its Instagram platform, and rolling out the functionality to 100 countries, Meta is now putting the project on pause. Meta announced that their social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook, will no longer support collectible NFTs.
Stephane Kasriel, Commerce and FinTech Lead at Meta, confirmed on Twitter that the company is winding down support for NFTs to focus on finding "other ways to support creators, people, and businesses." The announcement came as a shock to many creators on the platform, especially as Meta only launched NFT functionality in recent months. Instagram began testing NFT features with select creators in May 2022, and the features were enabled for users in 100 countries in August. However, the platform's core NFT functionalities, including the ability to buy, sell, and mint NFTs, were only added in November.
Despite Meta's high hopes, the demand for NFTs has been dampened by the bear market, and even big names such as Coinbase and OpenSea have struggled to make an impact with their own NFT marketplaces. Last year, Deutsche Bank predicted that if just 2% of Instagram's active users embraced NFTs, it would result in 44 million users, significantly higher than the number of users who use OpenSea. However, it seems that Meta is getting cold feet, having already taken a huge battering because of its heavy investment in the metaverse. This decision is a huge blow to the NFT sector, which had started to gain mainstream recognition after a dramatic bull market in 2021.
That being said, it’s still early days and possibly too soon to forecast the future success and durability of NFTs. Indeed, this February NFT trading hit volumes of $2 billion, representing a spike in recent months and demonstrating the continuing demand for digital collectibles.
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