Meta continues to explore ways to develop other money-making products as it seeks to lessen its dependence on advertising revenues.

The latest plan, according to the Financial Times, has seen Meta develop plans to introduce virtual coins, tokens and lending services to its apps.

The group is having to seek alternative revenue streams and new services, as the popularity of its main social networking products such as Facebook falls. In February Meta revealed that that its daily active users (DAUs) was down on the previous quarter, the first time this has happened.

Zuck Bucks

Facebook is facing increased competition from the likes of TikTok and YouTube grabbing user (particularly youth) attention, as well as a squeeze of advertising revenue, and Apple’s privacy changes starting to impact.

Now Mark Zuckerberg is looking to develop virtual coins, nicknamed “Zuck Bucks” by staff.

Zuckerberg also recently revealed that his employees as the ‘Eye of Sauron,’ but insisted it was said with love.

“Some of the folks who I work with at the company – they say this lovingly, but I think they sometimes refer to my attention as the Eye of Sauron,” Zuckerberg reportedly told a podcast host Tim Ferriss during a rare interview in March.

Meanwhile the FT reported that Facebook’s financial arm, Meta Financial Technologies, is looking to develop a range of virtual products – including digital tokens and “creator coins” – to diversify income and revitalise its user base.

This is unlikely to be a cryptocurrency based on the blockchain, some of the people told the FT.

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.

Products being looked at include “social tokens” or “reputation tokens”, which could be used as rewards by users. It is also looking at “creator coins”, which could be used by influencers on Instagram.

Meta is also reportedly looking to enter the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with plans to allow their integration into Instagram and Facebook.

Cryptocurrency failure

The financial move comes after Meta’s ill-fated foray into attempting to create a global cryptocurrency – a project called Libra and later Diem.

Meta abandoned this project in January after issues with regulators around the world, and pushback from lawmakers.

Facebook’s David Marcus. Facebook

That move came after David Marcus, the executive in charge of Facebook’s (Meta’s) cryptocurrency efforts, announced in December he was leaving the firm.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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