Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, apparently has plans to introduce its own in-app digital currency that employees have started calling ‘Zuck Bucks.’ The company is reportedly working on several new financial endeavors like offering small business loans and NFT integration on Facebook.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Zuck Bucks (a nickname that refers to Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg), isn’t going to be a cryptocurrency working off the blockchain. It’ll be a centrally controlled in-app token, which the report likens to what you found in online games like Roblox.
It would work like Facebook Credits back in the day, which was its virtual currency used to buy stuff in FarmVille. Facebook shuttered Facebook Credits back in 2013 after it was deemed too costly to maintain. Remember FarmVille? It’s still around, but you no longer need a Facebook account to play it.
Meta is looking into “social tokens,” which can be rewarded to users who make “meaningful contributions to Facebook groups.” According to internal documents, the idea is that users who make credible content can be given tokens as payment, allowing Meta to step away from being a content moderator and giving Facebook communities more power in moderating themselves. ‘Creator coins’ is another digital currency tied to specific influencers on Instagram.
Meta isn’t shying away from the blockchain despite recently killing off its Diem (formerly Libra) cryptocurrency project before it even launched earlier this year. A pilot program will launch in May to let you post and share NFTs on Facebook. Next will be testing a feature allowing memberships to NFT owning and minting groups on Facebook. The plan is for Meta to monetize the sales of NFTs on Facebook via “fees and/or ads.”
A Meta rep 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.”
Meta has suffered record losses(opens in new tab) since the rebrand for various reasons, from Facebook’s dwindling popularity among young people to rivals like TikTok to Google’s privacy change limiting Facebook’s data tracking. It makes sense. It explores new avenues of revenue just in case the whole Metaverse thing doesn’t work out.