Meta is pulling the plug on its NFT initiatives. At least for now.
The “winding down” of its digital collectibles efforts comes as the company scrutinizes its priorities, according to Stephane Kasriel, the company’s head of commerce and fintech. The move follows a rocky 2022 for the company’s stock, one of a number of big tech companies whalloped by macro forces, including interest rates.
“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 impact at scale, such as messaging and monetization opps for Reels,” Kasriel added in a separate tweet.
Meta first publicly detailed its plans to expand into the NFT space in May 2022, saying at the time it would use public blockchain data to verify which collectibles owners and creators hold. News of the social media giant’s move began to surface at the beginning of last year.
“This is obviously a very expensive undertaking over the next several years,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an earnings call last June. “But as the metaverse becomes more important in every part of how we live from our social platforms and entertainment to work and education and commerce, I’m confident that we’re going to be glad that we played an important role in building this.”
Last August, less than a month after debuting its digital wallet integration, Meta said it was set to allow select creators and NFT collectors to post their digital property on both Facebook and Instagram.
The net losses endured by Meta’s division responsible for producing metaverse-related technology have grown in recent quarters, with the damage amounting to nearly $4.3 billion in the final three months of 2022.
In total, Meta’s Reality Labs — a unit comprising augmented reality, virtual reality and the company’s metaverse software platform — tallied a $13.7 billion net loss last year.
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