As Meta grows its services centered around the metaverse, the platform is planning to introduce a digital currency called ‘Zuck Bucks’ to be used in its family of apps.
Revenue rates for Meta have declined as users are being drawn to new competitors such as TikTok. Its main social networks Facebook and Instagram have seen a drop in popularity. Since February 2nd, Meta’s shares have dropped by 30% and remained down, in part because the company revealed that spending on the metaverse had caused a decline in its fourth-quarter profit. The possible new virtual currency of Meta, a digital token that can only be spent on its platforms, may be what the company thinks it needs in order to create a new attraction to its applications.
Instead of a cryptocurrency per-se, ‘Zuck Bucks’ will most likely be in-app tokens. The tokens will be centrally controlled by the company, similar in comparison to those used in gaming apps like the currency Robux from the favored kids gaming platform Roblox.
To provide incentives for its users, Meta is also aiming to produce “social tokens” or “reputation tokens.” These would be issued as rewards for worthwhile Facebook group contributions. For the Instagram influencers, the company is working on creating “creator coins.”
Meta is further arranging to integrate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with Facebook. Users will be able to create their own NFTs and use them as a gateway to memberships within Facebook groups. Ways to monetize NFTs via “fees and/or ads” is being explored as well.
This is not the first time Meta has attempted to dive into the world of cryptocurrency. In 2019 Facebook announced Libra – a cryptocurrency to be backed by several government currencies – that immediately faced criticism from politicians and central bankers that it would undermine existing currencies. Libra was then renamed as Diem in late 2020 after several partners aborted the project. Diem pegged the virtual currency to the US dollar but it was scrapped this past January.