Snap Inc. (NASDAQ: SNAP), the parent company of multimedia instant messaging app Snapchat, has abandoned efforts focused on building products for Web 3.0, the much-hyped next iteration of the internet.
The plan was first disclosed by Jake Sheinman, a research and development manager for the Web 3.0 team, via a tweet. He stated that he had been let go by Snap after nearly four years in the firm and about a year with the Web 3.0 team.
After ~4 years at @Snap, today is my last day. As a result of the company restructure, decisions were made to sunset our web3 team. The same team that I co-founded last year with other pirates who believed in digital ownership and the role that AR can play to support that.
— Jake Sheinman (@jakeryanshein) August 31, 2022
His tweet comes after CEO Evan Spiegel sent out a note to employees announcing cost-cutting restructuring plans. In the notice, the CEO said that Snap would axe 20% of its employees and focus all its investment efforts on three priority areas, including community growth, revenue growth, and augmented reality (AR), as the company anticipates an extended period of slow revenue growth.
“We are restructuring our business to increase focus on our three strategic priorities: community growth, revenue growth, and augmented reality. Projects that don’t directly contribute to these areas will be discontinued or receive substantially reduced investment,” Spiegel said in his memo.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the company also confirmed Sheinman’s revelation to Bloomberg, noting that exploration of Web 3.0 is not a priority for Snap as it does not contribute to the company’s continued investment in AR.
Snapchat’s competitors still working on Web 3.0 adoption
Before now, the Web 3.0 team was working on a feature that would enable users to showcase non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as filters on the social media platform, according to a Financial Times report.
While Snap is stepping back from the race to focus mainly on AR software and hardware, its competitors like Meta are going full steam ahead with Web 3.0 and metaverse adoption despite facing similar financial storms.
In August, Meta announced that it would expand its Instagram NFT integration to 100 countries in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific regions. Meta intends to bring the NFT integration to its other social media app, as well as its virtual and AR metaverse platforms that are in development.
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