Meta handles NFT projects to focus on other elements

In another sign that the NFT hype train has slowed to a crawl, Meta announced today that it is ending its NFT display projects on both Facebook and Instagram as it refocuses its resources on evolving priorities .

According to Stephane Kasriel, head of commerce and fintech at Meta:

“We are retiring Digital Collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people and businesses. A big thank you to the partners who have accompanied us on this journey and who are doing great work in a dynamic environment. Proud of the relationships we’ve built. And look forward to supporting the many NFT creators who continue to use Instagram and Facebook to expand their work.”

Kasriel notes that Meta will continue to develop new ways for developers to engage with fans and monetize their work, but will instead focus on areas where the company “can make a difference at scale,” including messaging and reels.

Meta first announced its foray into NFTs in April last year, at the end of the initial hype cycle led by big-name NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cryptopunks. A month later, it launched a live test of NFTs on Instagram with select US creators and collectors.

Back then, Meta addressed the potential for monetizing creators through digital assets, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg also noting the expanded role digital assets will play in the upcoming Metaverse shift.

NFTs would be another cog in that evolution, Meta says – but less than nine months later it’s exiting the project as it seeks to streamline its operations and cut costs where it can.

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With the overall decline in digital advertising spend, Meta, like all digital platforms, has been forced to re-evaluate its spend. The company cut 11,000 jobs last November and reports suggest it plans to cut the same jobs again soon, with various projects on hold due to this postponement.

It appears that its NFT push has become another victim of this – although the broader enthusiasm for NFTs has also waned significantly, impacted by the same drop in spending, along with various crypto market shifts, such as the collapse of FTX.

In fact, if you look at’s sales figures, it’s clear that most of the air has now escaped from the NFT bubble.

Which makes sense because, as many market analysts have noted, JPEGs aren’t really worth anything and probably never were a long-term trend. That’s been watered down even further in recent months as NFT developers turn to AI generators to create their pieces – which really means you’re paying for someone’s ability to write a good command prompt in DALL-E.

For example, you could just write your own – but at the same time, I recognize that there are many NFT-connected communities that have rallied around their enthusiasm for these digital artworks.

Like any other hobby, this element has value. The NFT movement has been somewhat tarnished by the crypto investing aspect and using these artworks as money-making schemes. That being said, in some segments there is a clear passion for the projects themselves and the people involved.

In that sense, the true value of the NFT trend was in the friendships people made along the way. And while I don’t see profile picture and still picture NFTs playing a significant role in the next phase of digital connection, they have provided additional insight into the digital good use case that will play a bigger role in the future.

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Just not on Facebook or IG. There may be another opportunity in the Metaverse to showcase your digital artworks, but they’re not going to be a huge focus for Instagram any time soon.