Meta (Facebook) wants to make Metaverse its new goose that lays the golden egg

Meta (ex Facebook) wants to enter fully into the new world called “Web3”. After changing its name, Mark Zuckerberg’s firm is now working on new services for the Internet of Values, following Web 2.0 which has devoted social networks and the advertising revenue model. In addition, to follow this revolution, Meta plans to create a virtual currency and financial services, according to an article by the FinancialTimes published on Wednesday. What also bounce back after the failure of its digital currency project and create new sources of income for the giant.

Originally, Facebook had rushed into the wave of cryptocurrencies with its Libra project then “Diem” making payments possible outside the traditional banking system. But under pressure from regulators, the firm had finally abandoned this crypto-asset developed on the blockchain. At the beginning of February, she announced that the independent entity based in Switzerland was going to be dismantled for lack of having been able to convince the authorities.

Convert users to “Zuck Bucks”

From now on, for Meta who believes in the imminent emergence ofparallel virtual universes, new means of exchange and payment have yet to be created for an audience. According to the Californian, he will use augmented or virtual reality glasses to interact, work or have fun. To achieve this, it also spends tens of billions of dollars in investments in the branch Facebook RealityLabs. So many investments that will have to be profitable in the eyes of the shareholders.

For Meta, the potential of its services, if they meet the usage, is colossal. As of December 31, 2021, 2.8 billion people visited one of its four services (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger) at least once a day and 3.6 billion at least once a month, according to the firm.

To seduce them, according to the FT, this future monetization would take the form of tokens nicknamed “Zuck Bucks” (“Zuck’s dollars”, short for Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and boss of Meta) by employees. The boss has also made no secret of his desire to accelerate on NFTs, digital tokens capable of tracing and making unfalsifiable a right of ownership over a property in these universes. For the time being, these are used in the field of art and sport, united by the desire to collect and speculate on a property.

But according to the FT, – a notable difference with the decentralized universe of crypto-assets exchanged thanks to the tamper-proof blockchain – Meta does not plan this time to create a cryptocurrency registered on the blockchain, but rather tokens which serve as exchange currency, as in some video games – Robux from Roblox or V-Bucks from Fortnite for example.

The Californian group would also work on “tokens social“, which would be given to users as rewards for significant contributions. Contacted by AFP, a spokeswoman for Meta said they did not “announcements to make today“.”We are constantly considering new products for users, businesses and creators. As a company, we are focused on building the metaverse and that includes payments and related financial services.”she added.

Be the first on new uses

But Facebook’s bet on these virtual currencies would go further. Like its Instagram subsidiary, which will give influencers the opportunity to offer paid subscriptions to their fans, a new tool for the social network that needs to attract and retain content creators. For Meta, it’s about not losing ground to YouTube and China’s TikTok.

Indeed, the competition, especially against the Chinese, is also increasingly tough. “We also believe that competing platforms are hurting our growth, especially with younger audiences”said Dave Weiner, the group’s chief financial officer when the results were published.

Another brake on its growth in the context, its banishment from the Russian market which should cost it 2 billion dollars in revenue this year, according to Forbes.

As a reminder, Meta achieved a turnover of 33.67 billion dollars, in line with its forecasts, but it generated “only” 10.3 billion dollars of net profit in the fourth quarter, or 8% less than last year.

Maintain network growth

The issue is all the more crucial as the giant has seen the number of users of its platforms stagnate at the end of the year. The original social network, Facebook has thus lost around 1 million active daily users in three months (1.929 billion at the end of December).

At the same time, Meta is also facing numerous investigations and complaints for abuse of dominant position.

Like its neighbors Google and Twitter, Meta seeks to diversify its sources of income beyond personalized and targeted advertising, because this economic model is being questioned, in particular by regulators concerned with better respect for users’ personal data.

Cryptocurrencies: Meta (Facebook) gives in to pressure from regulators and abandons Diem