Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta is working on virtual currency for Facebook and Instagram users, dubbed “Zuck bucks” by staff.
It is part of a suite of goods aimed at reducing his platforms’ reliance on advertising in the future metaverse.
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is working on a variety of virtual goods, including digital tokens and “creator coins,” to diversify revenue and re-energize its user base, which is rapidly flocking to upstart competitors like TikTok.
Meta is the largest social media network provider, with revenues rising 37% to $118 billion in 2021.
As advertisers clamored to access Facebook and Instagram’s 4.9 billion monthly active users, TikTok has built up a significant non-ads economy centered on in-app purchases and e-commerce.
Meta is looking for alternative revenue streams
As the popularity of its key social networking sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, declines, the firm, led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is looking for new income sources and features to attract and keep users, a trend that threatens its $118 billion-a-year ad-based business model.
According to many people familiar with the work, Facebook’s finance unit, Meta Financial Technologies, has been researching the establishment of a virtual currency for the metaverse, which employees internally have called “Zuck Bucks.”
“Social tokens” or “reputation tokens” are examples of products that might be utilized as incentives by consumers. It’s also looking into “creator coins,” which influencers on Instagram might use.
TikTok, like Amazon’s Twitch, has a tipping system where fans may buy coins and then use them to buy presents for their favorite producers.
Creators may also buy coins to utilize tools like Promote to raise the popularity of their TikTok videos and gain more viewers or followers.
The projects, sponsored by Facebook’s financial department, Meta Financial Technologies, come after the company’s ill-fated attempt to develop a worldwide cryptocurrency, dubbed Libra and subsequently Diem, which was shelved earlier this year because of regulatory concerns in the United States.
That wasn’t the first time Facebook has considered entering the virtual money realm. It introduced Facebook Credits in 2009 to allow in-app purchases in then-popular games like Zynga’s FarmVille.
While it was a success, it was shut down four years later due to Facebook’s worldwide expansion, which necessitated costly currency changes.
Meta is also considering entering the realm of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with ambitions to integrate them into social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.