Facebook and Instagram to End NFT Support from April 11, 2023, Leaving Artists and Investors Scrambling
Meta-Owned Social Media Giants to Discontinue NFT Integration, Deleting Digital Collection Data and Focusing on Other Priorities
Facebook and Instagram, the popular social media platforms owned by Meta, have announced that they will be discontinuing support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from April 11, 2023. This decision has sent shockwaves through the digital art world, leaving artists and investors scrambling to find alternatives to showcase and trade their NFTs.
Instagram, which had been testing NFT features with select creators since May 2022, revealed in a statement that it will begin deleting digital collection data in its system, including wallet addresses, and will no longer be connected or associated with third-party digital wallets.
Meta’s Commerce and Fintech Lead, Stephane Kasriel, confirmed the company’s decision to wind down its work with NFTs on Instagram and Facebook in a recent Twitter thread. Kasriel stated that Meta will be ending its tests of minting and selling NFTs on Instagram, as well as the ability to share NFTs on both platforms in the coming weeks. Instead, Meta will be focusing on areas where it can make a greater impact at scale, such as messaging and monetization on Reels, and improving Meta Pay.
The integration of NFT features on Instagram was only rolled out to users in 100 countries worldwide in August 2022, and the ability for users to mint, buy, and sell NFTs with one another was added in November 2022. However, with the recent announcement of discontinuing NFT support, many creators are left stunned, as they were hopeful that the move would lead to a more equitable creator economy.
As part of the wind-down, Facebook and Instagram will no longer maintain a connection or associate users’ accounts with third-party digital wallets. Users will no longer be able to create new digital collectible posts on Instagram, and any existing collectibles shared will remain as posts without any shimmer effect or blockchain information. Collectible posts that are only viewable in the digital collectible tab of users’ profiles will be moved to their archives. Users will also lose the ability to view their digital collectibles in the associated tab or manage their third-party digital wallet connection settings. Furthermore, Facebook and Instagram will begin deleting digital collectible data in their systems, including users’ wallet addresses.
The decision to end NFT support comes as Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, aims to make 2023 the “year of efficiency” and streamline the company’s focus. Meta has faced setbacks with its Meta-backed cryptocurrency Diem and its Novi digital wallet, both of which were shut down in 2022. However, despite Meta’s withdrawal from NFTs, other companies like Reddit, Starbucks, and Sesame Street have announced new NFT collaborations.
Representatives from Meta have not provided further information about the reasoning behind the decision beyond what Kasriel shared in his tweets. The company has also not specified the exact timeline for disabling the NFT features. In the meantime, Facebook and Instagram are looking to prioritize other areas that support creators, people, and businesses.
As the NFT landscape continues to evolve, artists and investors will need to explore other platforms and options to showcase and trade their digital collectibles. The discontinuation of NFT support on Facebook and Instagram marks a significant shift in the NFT market and raises questions about the future of NFTs in the social media space.
This blog post is intended to provide general information about investing in cryptocurrencies and is not intended to constitute financial advice. All investors should seek professional financial advice from a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Investing in cryptocurrencies is a high risk investment and should only be done after you have researched the topic yourself and understand the risks associated with investing in such assets.