End of a trend: Meta removes NFT features from Facebook and Instagram

After jumping on the NFT bandwagon during peak hype, Instagram and Facebook are now jumping off again. — Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

NEW YORK: In a sign that the hype surrounding NFTs is well and truly waning, Facebook and Instagram are removing their support for tokens proving ownership of a digital original.

The step is part of the ongoing focus on priorities, according to a tweet by Stephane Kasriel, the responsible manager of the Facebook group Meta, on Twitter.

"We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses," Kasriel said on Monday, making it clear the NFTs are not a priority for Meta.

Among other things, the option to share NFTs via Instagram and Facebook will be eliminated in the coming weeks, a spokesperson explained to tech news website The Verge.

The so-called non-fungible tokens became particularly popular in the art world, where they were used as evidence of ownership of a digital work of art.

Although a digital file of a photo, graphic or some other creative work can have many thousands of copies, NFTs attempt to provide a certificate of authenticity that one person is the owner of the original.

The NFT hype reached its peak about two years ago when a digital artwork was sold for more than US$69mil (RM309mil).

Among other things, NFTs were seen as a way to own and trade digital objects in virtual worlds, like the metaverse envisioned by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Since then, however, the enthusiasm for both NFTs and the metaverse concept has waned noticeably. – dpa

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