Mark Zuckerberg is looking to develop virtual coins, nicknamed “Zuck bucks” by staff for users of Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook’s parent group, Meta, is looking to develop a range of virtual products – including digital tokens and “creator coins” – to diversify income and revitalize its user base, which is increasingly turning to newer rivals such as TikTok.
Zuckerberg has acknowledged that Meta and its group of social media platforms have been losing the fight against the uber-popular video-sharing app TikTok.
“People have a lot of choices for how they want to spend their time, and apps like TikTok are growing very quickly,” he recently said in a statement.
TikTok beat Google to become the most popular website for 2021, according to IT security company, Cloudflare. In September 2021, BBC reported that TikTok has surpassed YouTube’s average watch time per user in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Zuck Bucks are “unlikely” to be a cryptocurrency
Zuck Bucks are “unlikely” to be a cryptocurrency. “Instead, Meta is leaning towards introducing in-app tokens that would be centrally controlled by the company, similar to those used in gaming apps such as the Robux currency in popular children’s game Roblox,” according to the Financial Times (FT).
Roblox has built a huge business selling Robux, and Meta could try to emulate some of that success on its own platforms.
Meta hasn’t totally distanced itself from blockchain products, as the company is also looking into posting and sharing NFTs on Facebook.
The FT says the company plans to launch a pilot for doing just that in mid-May, according to a memo, and soon after, Meta will test allowing “membership of Facebook groups based on NFT ownership and another for minting” NFTs.
The FT previously reported on some of Meta’s NFT plans for Facebook and Instagram in January, and Zuckerberg announced in March that NFTs would be coming to Instagram.
In addition, Meta is exploring “social tokens” or “reputation tokens,” which “could be issued as rewards for meaningful contributions in Facebook groups, for example,” the FT reports. The company is also apparently looking into traditional financial services like small business loans.
“We have no updates to share today,” Meta spokesperson Lauren Dickson said in a statement to The Verge. However, Dickson also added that they “continuously consider new product innovations for people, businesses, and creators…[and] as a company, we are focused on building for the metaverse and that includes what payments and financial services might look like.”