As of April 11, Meta will discontinue its NFT-sharing feature ‘Digital Collectibles.’ Marking the end of a project that allowed users to display their NFTs on Instagram and Facebook
Initially launched in May 2022, the feature was conceived as a way to better integrate the platforms into the digital collectibles ecosystem. Users could connect a crypto wallet and share the compatible image- or video-based NFTs as a special type of post. These include a slight shimmer effect and automatically tag both the owner and the creator of each digital item.
Existing Digital Collectible posts will be converted to ordinary Facebook and Instagram posts and Meta will no longer connect to third-party wallets.
It may come as a surprise to see Meta winding down the program less than a year after its launch. As recently as November, the Big Tech firm rolled out integration for Solana wallets. Suggesting a continued commitment to NFT compatibility. But that initial enthusiasm seems to have died.
What’s more, Meta isn’t the only company that’s dialed back its support for NFT integrations.
Other Platforms Also Scale Back
Following a wave of hype that characterized the space previously, in July 2022, Microsoft-owned Mojang Studios announced that it would not support NFC compatibility on Minecraft. In a single move, the studio essentially de-platformed projects like NFC Worlds. Which had been building its own metaverse by tokenizing virtual plots of land on custom Minecraft servers.
Alongside platforms abandoning third-party support, many companies that initially jumped on the NFT bandwagon have since curtailed their ambitions in the space.
For example, in another instance of a short-lived project, in October CNN announced that it would wrap up its NFT marketplace Vault. Launched in June 2021, Vault allows users to buy and sell ‘Moments’ — NFTs based on some of CNN’s historically significant coverage. And while it still functions as a peer-to-peer marketplace, the firm has ceased minting new tokens.
UK Shelf NFT Plans
But some NFT projects never even got off the ground. Would-be token developers include the Royal Mint in the UK.
Which in March revealed that it would not be going ahead with plans to mint an ‘NFT for Britain’ any time soon. The Treasury’s economic secretary, Andrew Griffith stated:
“The Royal Mint is not proceeding with the launch of a non-fungible token at this time but will keep this proposal under review,”
While some naysayers will point to the past years’ string of defunct NFT projects as evidence of a bursting bubble, a better analogy is a thinning of the herd.
Just like the 2010s witnessed a boom in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). That too was eventually whittled down to a smaller number of actually-used cryptocurrencies. The young NFT space is still carrying some puppy fat. As it reaches maturity, those platforms that prove their worth and gain traction with users will survive. But many will wither away into obscurity.
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