- Meta is pulling the plugs on many of its projects, including Facebook and Instagram NFTs.
- The company is restructuring and focusing on high-priority projects.
- Meta will also lay off employees in 2023 as part of its restructuring plan.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, is shifting his strategy for 2023. The founder is pivoting from “low-priority” projects, especially NFTs, on Facebook and Instagram.
The company first began experimenting with NFTs for its flagship platforms, Facebook and Instagram, in the summer of 2022. However, what could have been a landmark achievement for both the company and the Web3 space didn’t last long.
After a short-lived ten-month stint, Meta is closing the books on Instagram and Facebook NFTs and is ready to start a new chapter. The company shared that the shutdown will allow Meta “to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses.”
So No More NFTs?
In a Twitter thread posted on March 13, 2023, Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies, revealed that the company is winding down on NFTs and focusing on other ways to support its creators.
Over the next few weeks, Meta will remove all experimental features that utilize NFTs. This includes minting and selling NFTs and sharing them on Instagram and Facebook.
In the thread, Kasriel clarified that removing NFTs doesn’t mean Meta is steering clear of its mission to augment creator experiences. Instead, the company will pivot its focus to other areas where it can “make an impact at scale,” such as Reels and MetaPay.
The head of commerce added that Meta would prioritize developing MetaPay, the company’s payment platform, which could support cryptocurrency transactions according to trademark filings from May 2022.
Zuckerberg Chimes in
Following Meta’s decision to pull out of NFTs, CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared an update with his employees on March 14, 2023. In the update, Zuckerberg introduced restructuring plans to improve the company’s financial performance and execute its long-term vision.
The new plans focus on flattening departments, canceling lower-priority projects, and reducing hiring rates. The CEO added that Meta expects to reduce the team size by around 10,000 people, around 13% of its workforce, and close approximately 5,000 open roles.
The company plans to announce restructuring and layoffs in tech groups by late April and then its business groups by late May.
According to Zuckerberg, a leaner, more technical company would improve business performance and enable its long-term vision with artificial intelligence (AI) at the core. This could mean NFTs are out of the equation for good.
Trial and Quit?
Meta first introduced its NFT feature on Instagram and Facebook, allowing select users to showcase their NFTs. The company later doubled down on digital collectibles by adding support tools to its platforms in September 2022, allowing some U.S. users to mint and sell NFTs on the Polygon blockchain.
For a few months, everyone believed Meta was bullish on Web3 until it decided it was not.
Which is why Meta’s new plan didn’t sit well with the crypto community. The initial announcement from Kasriel received harsh criticism from Crypto Twitter, with some claiming that Meta quit before they started.
Other users shared their concerns about trust in the company and its understanding of what the everyday creator needed.
On the Flipside
- In November 2022, Meta laid off more than 11,000 people.
- Meta-backed cryptocurrency Diem called it quits on February 2023, selling its assets to Silvergate for $200 million.
- Meta shut down its digital wallet, Novi, in September 2022.
Why You Should Care
Meta’s decision to pull out of NFTs could affect millions of creators on Instagram and Facebook.
Follow up on how Meta started testing NFTs:
Meta Begins Testing NFTs for Facebook
Beeple opened up a massive art museum:
Beeple Brings NFT Art to Massive South Carolina Studio.