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Meta to cut NFT support on its platforms less than a year after its introduction amid an unstable crypto market


Meta Platforms is cutting support for digital collectibles or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on their platforms less than a year after their introduction, as the cryptocurrency market continues to spiral.

“We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, individuals and businesses,” Stéphane Kasrel, the social media company’s head of fintech, wrote on Twitter Monday.

The company launched support for creators to share NFTs on Instagram and Facebook last year, when the speculative cryptocurrency asset went viral, with sales of animated monkey videos running into billions of dollars.

But bitcoin and other tokens took a beating in late 2022 after major exchange FTX hit a sudden bankruptcy.

The meltdown was compounded by the collapse of three US banks last week, two of which focused on cryptocurrencies.

“We will continue to invest in fintech tools that people and businesses will need in the future. We are simplifying payments with Meta Pay, making checkout and payment easier, and investing in messaging payments via Meta,” Kasriel said.

In November last year, Meta added a bunch of new features to Instagram, including a digital collectibles trading tool to help creators monetize their presence on the social media platform.

The company said that users can support creators by purchasing their NFTs directly within Instagram.

Earlier this month, Meta said it was exploring a stand-alone decentralized social network for sharing text updates, in what could be a direct competitor to billionaire Elon Musk’s Twitter.

“We are exploring a stand-alone decentralized social network for sharing text-based updates,” a Meta spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement. “We believe there is an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.