In the report issued, Meta justified the absence of a non-blockchain based crypto in their metaverse plans by stating that:
“Instead, Meta is considering introducing in-app tokens that would be centralized by the company, similar to those used in gaming apps like the Robux currency in the popular children’s game Roblox.”
Robux, Roblox’s in-game currency, can be purchased via the game’s apps and then used to purchase upgrades or avatar accessories. Roblox has built a sizable business around Robux, and Meta could be hoping to follow in their footsteps.
Meta has also devised plans to create ‘social tokens’ or ‘reputation tokens’, which will be awarded to users for their contributions on the company’s social platforms, primarily Facebook, according to the report.
“Another effort is to create ‘creator coins’ that could be linked to specific influencers on its photo-sharing app Instagram,” added the report.
Meta’s move away from blockchain-based tokens and crypto-assets comes after the company’s failed attempt to launch a US-backed stablecoin was met with massive regulatory backlash. Then, Silvergate, an American chartered bank, confirmed plans to buy Diem’s intellectual property.
As the popularity of its main social networking products, such as Facebook and Instagram, continues to decline, Meta, led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has been exploring alternative revenue streams.
Facebook lost 1 million daily active users in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Meta’s Q4 2021 and full-year performance results. In February, Meta’s market value plummeted by over $220 billion after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that customers are spending more time on competitors like TikTok.
Meta has been attempting to compensate for these losses by providing more traditional financial services, such as low-interest small-business loans, according to the report.
“While nothing is planned right now,” the Financial Times reported, “the company has previously held discussions with potential lending partners,” adding that “most of the efforts are in the early stages of being discussed and could change or be dropped.”
However, according to reports, the company has finalized plans to add support for NFTs across all of its social platforms, including Facebook.
In mid-March, Zuckerberg announced that Instagram will support NFTs “in the coming months.” According to the Financial Times, Meta also wants to bring NFTs to Facebook.
According to the report, “Meta plans to launch a pilot for posting and sharing NFTs on Facebook in mid-May.”
It also stated that the social media platform will begin testing a feature that could make owning an NFT a requirement for joining Facebook groups.