Instagram is discontinuing its work on digital collectibles. Surprisingly, Stephane Kasriel, Commerce and FinTech Lead at Meta, announced that NFT features on the platform will be disabled. Kasriel shared that the company is prioritizing other ways to support creators, people, and businesses. Additionally, winding down NFTs is part of this focus shift. Although Kasriel did not provide a reason for this decision, he assured creators that creating financial opportunities for them is still a top priority. This news came as a surprise to many creators who had only recently gained access to NFT features on the platform. So, what actually happened?
Instagram’s NFT Integration: A Brief History and Sudden End
Starting in May 2022, Instagram tested NFT features with a few creators. Initially, users could only display NFTs they created or collected. But in November 2022, Instagram enabled selected creators to start selling NFTs on the platform. These creators hoped it would lead to a more equitable creator economy. Instagram introduced their NFT marketplace features only four months ago. So it’s no surprise that this decision has left many creators confused.
When the Instagram NFT news broke creators responded, of course. Creator, David Krugman called it a “short-sighted move” and criticized the company for giving up before giving it a chance. Meanwhile, Connie Ansaldi, CEO and Founder of Carnaval Art, accused Instagram of lacking foresight and making decisions based on fear. Nyan Cat creator Chris Torres also joined in the criticism, mocking Instagram’s poorly thought-out plan.
Instagram and Meta have not given a detailed explanation for their decision to end NFT features, leaving it unclear whether financial losses were a factor. Regardless, it seems that Meta’s metaverse takeover plans may not be off to a great start.