END OF AN ERA: Meta Ends Support for NFTs on Facebook, Instagram
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Editing and Additional Reporting by Nathaniel Cajuday
- After supporting the integration of NFTs to social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, their parent company, Meta, will be winding down its efforts with NFTs, an executive confirmed.
- According to Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, Meta will instead focus on creating opportunities for content creators and online businesses who want to earn through their communities and audiences.
- This announcement gained different reactions from the community. Others said that Meta’s move has a negative impact on the NFT industry because it will lessen the exposure and slow down the adoption of NFTs by mainstream social media users. While others said that the move is beneficial for NFT creators to prepare better products and services.
Several months after it allowed the integration of non-fungible tokens (NFT) to its social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, Meta Platforms, Inc. will be “winding down” its efforts with NFTs, according to Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies.
“Across the company, we’re looking closely at what we prioritize to increase our focus. We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses,” he shared in a Twitter thread on March 14, 2023.
Following the news, Kasriel expressed the firm’s gratitude towards its partners, “who joined us on this journey and who’re doing great work in a dynamic space. Proud of the relationships we built. And look forward to supporting the many NFT creators who continue using Instagram and Facebook to amplify their work.”
He then assured that Meta will still prioritize and create opportunities for content creators and online businesses who want to earn through their communities, emphasizing that Meta’s current goal is to make an impact in the industry.
“We’ll continue investing in fintech tools that people and businesses will need for the future. We’re streamlining payments with Meta Pay, making checkout and payouts easier, and investing in messaging payments across Meta,” he concluded.
This announcement has gained mixed reactions from the NFT community.
According to Wale Swoosh, a researcher at the NFT project, Azuki, Meta’s discontinuance of supporting NFTs “is proof that NFTs on Instagram and Facebook have failed for the time being. If the tool had been really successful and popular, it would hardly have been discontinued.”
While JQCrypto, a Pinoy web3 content creator and founder of the Crypto Pinas community, admitted that Meta’s move will lessen the exposure and slow down the adoption of NFTs in mainstream social media users.
However, NFT content writer Hunter Solaire expressed that he is bullish on Meta’s move because it will give more time to BUIDLers in the space to create better product services, gain more experiences, and improve safety measures.
Facebook and Instagram are also not the lone social media giants that have adopted NFTs on their platforms.
Twitter, where the majority of web3 communities live, is now allowing NFTs as a profile picture. Twitter is owned by billionaire Elon Musk, who is also called DOGE Father for being bullish on Dogecoin. At the start of the year, Musk was pushing to turn the social media giant into a payments platform—initially, it will use fiat currencies, then eventually add cryptocurrency functionality.
Meanwhile, Pali Bhat, the Chief Product Officer of Reddit, revealed last October that over three million users of the social media site have used Reddit’s Vault blockchain wallet to create crypto wallets, where 2.5 million of those were created to purchase the Reddit NFT avatars. That made Reddit have more active wallets than NFT marketplace giant OpenSea.
Timeline of Meta Entering the Metaverse
- January 2018: Facebook started rejecting ads related to cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and binary options.
- April 2018: Facebook announced that it has formed its own blockchain unit, hiring cryptocurrency and blockchain professionals. (Facebook is on a Head Hunt for Crypto and Blockchain Pros)
- June 2018: Facebook relaxes its January 2018 decision. (Facebook Relaxes Ban on Cryptocurrency Ads)
- June 2019: Facebook unveiled the Libra cryptocurrency, the native coin of Calibra wallet, Facebook’s subsidiary, which claimed to provide financial services on the Libra network. While the Libra Association is the not-for-profit consortium that will eventually govern the Libra Network. (Facebook-Led Libra Cryptocurrency and Consortium Want to Serve the Unbanked)
- July 2019: Members of the US Congress requested Facebook to stop the development of its Libra Project until regulators investigated properly if such initiative will or will not pose a risk to the global financial system. (US Lawmakers Sends Letter Requesting Facebook to Stop Libra Development)
- July 2019: Facebook Head of Blockchain David Marcus wrote a long post about Libra project and the upcoming Calibra wallet, addressing concerns about privacy, security, and trust in a financial project “headed” by the largest social network. (Facebook Blockchain Head David Marcus Answers Public’s Concerns About Libra)
- August 2019: In its effort to strengthen Libra’s security features, Facebook launched a bug bounty program that will pay security researchers up to $10,000 in rewards. ($10,000 Max Reward for Facebook Libra Bug Bounty)
- October 2019: Visa and Mastercard left the Libra Association, but Libra Association said that it will still continue to function, even without approval from the regulators. (Libra Association Remains Determined Despite Loss of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal) (Facebook Reiterates Libra Will Launch Without OK from Regulators)
- April 2020: The Libra Association pulled back from creating a global digital currency after a major backlash from regulators around the world, planning to instead offer a single-currency stablecoin in addition to the multi-currency coin. (Facebook’s Libra Plans to Develop Stablecoins Tied to Different Fiat)
- August 2021: Facebook’s head of crypto unit, David Marcus, revealed that the company’s leaders behind the project are really committed to launching the digital wallet, which will be called “Novi.” (Facebook Crypto Wallet? Social Media Giant Plans to Launch Digital Wallet This Year)
- October 2021: Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook has changed its company name to Meta. Regardless of the name change, the social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus will be under Meta’s umbrella. The main focus of Meta is to “bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.” (Facebook Changes Its Name to Meta, Will Support NFTs)
- December 2021: Novi Philippines Inc. secured a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). (PayMaya and Facebook Novi Philippines Receive Virtual Currency Exchange License from the BSP)
- February 2022: The intellectual property and other assets of the Meta-backed cryptocurrency Diem Payment Network, formerly Libra, have been officially sold to Silvergate Capital Corporation. This made Libra shut down without even launching. (Facebook’s DIEM Formerly Known as Libra Shuts Down Without Ever Launching)
- May 2022: Instagram confirmed that it will soon allow the display of NFTs on its application, while a “similar functionality” will be coming soon to Facebook. (Instagram Testing NFTs This Week; Facebook To Begin)
- June 2022: Facebook announced its first step of launching its digital wallet “for the metaverse” by changing Facebook Pay to Meta Pay. (Facebook to Launch Meta Pay, a Metaverse Wallet)
- June 2022: Zuckerberg disclosed that Facebook users will now be able to display their prized NFTs on the platform. The initiative was part of the company’s plans to help the creators of their social media apps, Facebook and Instagram, to make more money on the platforms. (Mark Zuckerberg Announces NFT Integration in Facebook)
- July 2022: Facebook officially begins testing the integration of Polygon and Ethereum-based NFTs on its platform. (Meta Launches NFT Display on Facebook)
- August 2022: Zuckerberg announced that the company has begun its international expansion of NFT support on Instagram. (Meta Expands NFT Support on Instagram to 100 Countries)
- August 2022: Meta’s second-quarter report showed their metaverse-specific division suffered a $2.8 billion loss. This brings the division’s loss to $5.77 billion for the first 8 months of 2022. (Meta Q2 Report: Metaverse Division Loses $2.8 Billion)
- August 2022: Meta announced that the 2.9 billion users of Facebook and Instagram are now allowed to post their NFTs and other digital collectibles to their accounts by linking their wallets, including Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet and Dapper Wallet. (You Can Now Post Your NFTs on Facebook and Instagram)
- September 2022: Novi loses its VASP license. (Novi No Longer Included on BSP List of VASP Licensees)
- March 2023: Meta will be “winding down” its efforts with NFTs, according to Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies. (This news)
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