Meta to end NFT Instagram project

Tech giant Meta will put a halt to its intent to integrate NFTs on Instagram as the company has announced it will look for other ways to support creators on the social media site. 

This comes following an announcement by Meta’s Head of Commerce, Stephane Kasriel, who took to his Twitter this month to confirm plans to scrap the NFT project were “winding down” whilst thanking the participants during the pilot for their efforts. 

“First: a big Thank You to the partners who joined us on this journey and who’re doing great work in a dynamic space,” said Kasriel.  “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.

“We learned a ton that we’ll be able to apply to products we’re continuing to build to support creators, people, and businesses on our apps, both today and in the metaverse.

“Let me be clear: creating opportunities for creators and businesses to connect with their fans and monetise remains a priority, and we’re going to focus on areas where we can make impact at scale, such as messaging and monetisation opps for Reels.”

Meta began testing NFTs on Instagram in May 2022 with its initial aim to make digital collectibles “accessible for all” by allowing creators and users to create and share NFTs on the social media platform. 

After trialling the NFT program in over 100 countries in Europe, North America, Africa and more, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the program was primed for an international launch with the assistance from various blockchains to facilitate an in-app NFT wallet. 

Despite a launch in September, the program received little traction and this ultimately became apparent to Meta, who are recently enduring a period of difficulty with mass rounds of layoffs (with more expected to come soon), as well as its Web3 division, Reality Labs losing upwards of $13bn in its last quarter. 

However, despite the drawback of NFTs, the company remains adamant on finding ways through Web3 to help creators on Instagram and Facebook, as well as their plans to continue to work on the metaverse.