Instagram's Abrupt Halt on NFT Support: A Turn of the Tide
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 464
In a startling move, Meta has chosen to cease support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Instagram after a brief and underwhelming trial period. Despite initial enthusiasm for using NFTs to monetize content and display profile pictures, the initiative failed to gain significant traction among Instagram's user base.
Stephane Kasriel, Meta's Head of E-commerce and Fintech, announced the decision via a Twitter post, stating that the company's focus will shift to other technologies they perceive as higher priority. Though Kasriel provided no specific rationale behind the decision, he emphasized that "creating financial opportunities for creators remains a top priority.
" Further details surrounding the decision and the exact timeline for disabling the features remain undisclosed.
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.
ð§µ[1/5] — Stephane Kasriel (@skasriel) March 13, 2023
A Brief History of Instagram's NFT Venture
The abrupt decision to disable NFT features comes as a shock to many creators who had eagerly embraced the new opportunity.
Instagram initially began testing its NFT features with a select group of creators in May 2022, expanding to 100 countries by August 2022. However, this initial phase only allowed users to display NFTs they had created or collected, with no provision for buying or selling the tokens.
It was not until November 2022 that Instagram granted a handful of creators the ability to sell NFTs on the platform, giving rise to optimism for a more equitable creative economy.
A Disappointed Web3 Community Reacts
The news of Instagram's withdrawal from the NFT space was met with disappointment from prominent creators.
Dave Krugman, one of the first to respond, expressed his frustration: "Such 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." Other notable artists, including Nyan Cat creator Chris Torres and Connie Ansaldi, CEO and founder of Carnaval Art, also criticized the company for its poorly executed plan.