Facebook turns to ‘Zuck Bucks’ after cryptocurrency failure Business

Facebook plans to introduce virtual tokens and loans as it seeks new revenue streams amid fierce competition from other social media platforms.

Meta, which had hopes of launching a cryptocurrency shattered by regulatory setbacks, has suffered an exodus of users from its Facebook and Instagram platforms, whose business model is based on advertising.

Meta Financial Technologies, the tech giant’s finance unit, is now considering a virtual currency for the metaverse which staff have dubbed ‘Zuck Buck’,” the FT reported.

It is understood that it would not be a cryptocurrency, but rather a system of integrated tokens controlled by Meta.

The company also plans to reward users who contribute significantly on the platforms, for example on Facebook groups, in the form of “social tokens” or “reputation tokens”.

Similarly, influencers on Instagram could receive “creative coins”.

The social media conglomerate is also reportedly exploring traditional financial services, such as small business loans.

A spokesperson for Meta said: “We have no updates to share today. We are always considering new product innovations for individuals, businesses and creators. As a company, we we’re focused on building for the metaverse and that includes what payments and financial services might look like.

Plans to introduce non-fungible tokens are more advanced. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last month that there were plans to integrate NFTs into Instagram in the “short term”.

He told US technology conference SXSW that creators could eventually “monetize”, a term used to describe the creation of NFTs, in apps.

Meta has seen an exodus of staff amid frustration over the failure of its Diem cryptocurrency project.

Originally known as Libra, it was unveiled to much fanfare in 2019 but failed to receive regulatory approval.

It was dissolved earlier this year, with an agreement to sell assets to US bank Silvergate for $200m (£148m).

Meta suffered the biggest one-day drop in value of any company in Wall Street history after posting a string of dismal financial results in February.

Growing competition from TikTok sent Facebook’s user numbers plummeting for the first time, while profits plummeted due to the company’s heavy spending on “metaverse” technologies such as virtual reality.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-06 21:41:52

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