Metaverse logo on a mobile phone

Meta gives up on NFTs

Meta (NASDAQ: META) is winding down its non-fungible token (NFT) program for Facebook and Instagram, a top official at the social media giant has announced.

Stephane Kasriel, the head of commerce and fintech at Meta, announced the move on Twitter, citing the company’s decision to prune non-priority projects.

Meta launched NFT integrations last May, starting with a limited pilot for select Instagram users. At the time, NFTs were soaring and setting new daily trading volume records.

The social media conglomerate then launched NFTs on Facebook in June and expanded Instagram support to 100 countries a month later.

Mark Zuckerberg’s grand ambition of becoming a big player in the NFT space—just like his other plan to dominate payments through a stablecoin—hasn’t panned out, and the company is cutting his losses.

“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,” said Kasriel, who previously served as the CEO of freelancing platform Upwork (NASDAQ: UPWK).

The company will continue to work on other avenues to empower content creators, said Kasriel, such as Reels, Meta’s competitor to TikTok. A company spokesperson added that it will focus on Meta Pay, its payment rail across Facebook and Instagram. It also intends to invest in other ways to allow content creators to make money on its platforms, like its tipping feature.

While he has cut off NFTs from Meta, CEO Zuckerberg is still splashing billions on his metaverse division. Known as Reality Labs, it remains Meta’s biggest lossmaking venture, recording a $13.7 billion loss in 2022.

Reality Labs has remained insulated from the broader budget cuts across the Menlo Park, California-based company. Last year, Zuckerberg laid off 11,000 workers, the firm’s first major job cuts in its 18-year history.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that the company is planning layoffs that could match last year’s scope. The layoffs are in line with Zuckerberg’s pledge earlier in February that this would be “the year of efficiency.”

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