Meta has new plans for virtual coins, tokens and lending services on its apps, with the company looking into more ambitious finance goals, Financial Times said Wednesday (April 6).
Citing unnamed sources and company documents, FT said Meta is exploring alternative revenue streams and new features to attract users. So the company wants to make a virtual branded currency for its metaverse.
This comes as popularity has waned on the main Facebook social media app.
The currency is not likely to be based on the blockchain, according to sources. Meta will instead roll out in-app tokens which would be controlled centrally by the company, like those used in gaming apps like the Robux currency in the children’s game Roblox.
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Facebook offered Facebook Credits in 2009, a virtual currency for in-app purchases, typically in games such as FarmVille. It was shut down in 2013 as it was too costly to maintain.
In addition, Meta is looking into making “social tokens” or “reputation tokens” which might be issued as rewards for meaningful contributions in Facebook groups. There’s also an effort to make “creator coins” which could be associated with some influencers from Instagram.
The report said Meta has been looking more into traditional financial services too, focusing on providing small business loans at good rates, according to sources.
Many of these efforts are still in their early stages and they might be changed or discarded. However, the company is looking into more developed plans to make NFTs more integral on its apps.
According to a memo from last week, Meta has plans to launch a pilot for posting and sharing NFTs on Facebook as of mid-May, which will be followed by testing a feature to allow membership of Facebook groups based on NFT ownership, along with minting NFTs.
PYMNTS wrote about Evvio recently, the New York FinTech that is working on branded currencies like what Meta is doing.
Evvio has recently debuted its Fluid Commerce technology, which promises “frictionless eCommerce without the need for the traditional financial system, including credit cards, bank accounts and other third-party transactions processors.”
Founders Adrian Jones and Bradley Albright said the goal was to get rid of third parties like banks, card issuers and other intermediaries, to help make better value exchange.
“What we had in mind was to allow for more direct engagement between transaction counterparties and to eliminate the need for third parties to be involved,” Albright said.