TECH NEWS – Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and Oculus, is starting to develop its digital currency within its apps, which employees have dubbed Zuck Buck.
Meta is simultaneously embarking on several financial endeavours, including offering small business loans (!?), plus plans to integrate NFTs into Facebook. According to the Financial Times, Zuck Buck (a reference to Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s founder and CEO) will not be a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, but a centrally managed in-app token. We already see something like this in Roblox, for example. It could be similar to the Facebook Credits solution seen in the past (discontinued in 2013 because it was too expensive to maintain). This virtual currency could be spent in FarmVille.
Meta is thinking about social tokens. These will be given to users who contribute meaningfully to Facebook groups. According to internal documents, it could be their payment so that Meta would have a less moderating role and communities would have more power to self-police. The second option could be a creator coin, another digital currency, and it could be seen on Instagram in a form tied to specific influencers.
They are not stepping away from blockchain, although they recently shot down Diem, their cryptocurrency project formerly called Libra, before even launching it earlier this year. In May, they will launch a trial program where NFTs can be posted and shared on Facebook and later test a feature where membership can be granted to groups that own and mint NFTs. Meta plans to monetise sales of NFTs through fees and/or advertising.
A spokesperson for Meta told The Verge, “We continuously consider new product innovations for people, businesses, and creators. As a company, we are focused on building for the metaverse, including what payments and financial services might look like.” Since its rebranding, Meta has seen record losses, as TikTok is more prevalent among younger people than Facebook. Google is also restricting how Facebook can collect data… but is Meta looking at the correct solution?