Instagram’s NFT Business Lasts Seven Months as Meta Winds Down Unit

Meta’s Commerce and Fintech head Stephane Kasriel says the social media platform will now “focus on other ways of supporting creators, people and businesses.”
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Quick take:

  • Meta’s commerce and Fintech head Stephane Kasriel says the company is winding down NFTs on Instagram.
  • The social media platform will focus on other ways to support creators, people and businesses.
  • The announcement comes barely seven months after Instagram rolled out NFTs globally.

Meta has pulled the plug on its digital collectibles business on Instagram barely seven months after going global. The company’s Commerce and Financial Technology head, Stephane Kasriel said on Monday evening Instagram will be winding down its NFT business “to focus on other ways to support creators, people and businesses.”

Making the decision public via a Twitter thread, Kasriel posted: “Some product news: across the company, we’re looking closely at what we prioritize to increase our focus. We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses.”

Acknowledging the valuable lesson the company learned from its short stint in the ‘wild west’ of NFTs, Kasriel said Meta will try to use that knowledge to apply to new products it will be bringing to its users on apps and in the metaverse.

However, fans did not take the decision positively, with one Twitter user, Dave Krugman, calling the decision a “short-sighted move.”

“Inclusion of digital collectibles has so much potential to help creators engage their communities and counterbalance the pitfalls of attention-based advertising economies. You guys quit before you even started. A real shame and undoing a lot of really smart work by great people there,” Dave wrote

But Kasriel was quick to clarify that the decision was taken for the best of creators, adding that the company will focus efforts on monetisation opportunities for Reels.

“Let me be clear: creating opportunities for creators and businesses to connect with their fans and monetize remains a priority, and we’re going to focus on areas where we can make [an] impact at scale, such as messaging and monetization [opportunities] for Reels.”

Reels is Instagram’s version of TikTok, a segment of social media that Zuckerberg last year admitted his company was late in acting on the opportunity.

Meta announced multi-year partnerships with leading web3 service providers including Coinbase Wallet and Dapper Wallet, which allowed Instagram users and creators to pay and receive crypto payments for digital collectibles.

Kasriel said Instagram will “continue investing in fintech tools that people and businesses will need for the future.”

Meta’s own digital wallet service, Meta Pay appears likely to gain traction with Kasriel putting it at the centre of the company’s plans for streamlining payments.

“We’re streamlining payments w/ Meta Pay, making checkout & payouts easier, and investing in messaging payments across Meta.”


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