Zuck Bucks shouldn’t surprise anyone. Meta has been pursuing means to lock in users to its sprawling ecosystem for years. Digital dosh has oftentimes played a cardinal role in these efforts.
Dorsum in 2009, the Menlo Park-headquartered company launched Facebook Credits in guild to facilitate shopping on its different platforms. If you ever bought anything whilst playing Farmville, chances are that yous used Facebook Credits to do so. Mark Zuckerberg’s venture abandoned the virtual currency in 2012. The initiative’s staff refocused to create other types of payment methods.
Then, in 2017, Facebook became one of the leading partners behind the Libra cryptocurrency projection. The company even planned to launch its own digital wallet to facilitate spending with the digital dosh. Meta scrapped the projection earlier this year. In the intervening years, Libra had had time to change its name to Diem. Information technology also faced a global regulatory and political backlash, and saw Facebook’due south cryptocurrency tsar, David Marcus, publicly leave the company last year.
The so-called Zuck Bucks are arguably Meta’s latest attempt to lock people into its family of apps. Information technology’s is hardly the showtime company to do so.
“Information technology’s like the Green Stamps of the 1950s and 1960s,” Roger Grimes, data-driven defence evangelist at cybersecurity firm KnowBe4, tells
Verdict. “If you can lock consumers into obtaining pseudo-money controlled by you it’southward far more likely yous can get those consumers to spend them on goods and services controlled by you.”
Meta hasn’t publicly best-selling the existence of a Zuck Bucks project. They haven’t denied it either.
“We have no updates to share today,” a Meta spokesperson told
Verdict. “We continuously consider new product innovations for people, businesses, and creators. As a company, nosotros are focused on edifice for the metaverse and that includes what payments and financial services might look like.”
Despite Meta staying mum on the subject area, others have eagerly offered their opinion on the matter.
has spoken to several market watchers and analysts. They believe it would brand sense for Meta to pursue a project like Zuck Bucks. After all, with Menlo Park’s ambitious superapp and metaverse aspirations being on the horizon, the company could use a new virtual currency. The question is if Zuck Bucks or whatever other iteration of a virtual currency would be more successful than Diem.
What is Zuck Bucks?
start bankrupt the news about Zuck Bucks on Wed April half-dozen. The newspaper, citing people familiar with the project, reported that Meta was in the early stages of introducing new virtual token and cryptocurrencies to its different platforms. Meta would employ the tokens to reward creators and introduce other financial services such as lending.
The cryptocurrencies are internally dubbed Zuck Bucks – a play on words referencing founder and CEO Zuckerberg’southward surname. The company is reportedly not basing the digital dosh on blockchain.
Launching a cryptocurrency without blockchain may sound like an oxymoron. Nevertheless, Meta could have reason for wanting to ditch blockchain.
“You tin can really do about all of the same things ameliorate, faster and more securely with other, already existing, more efficient, tools and methods,” Grimes says.
Blockchain besides has the disadvantage or advantage, depending on how you look at it, of being open. Everyone, including external parties, tin review the underlining code. “[It] is conspicuously non in Meta’s interest to share code,” George McDonaugh, co-founder of investment firm KR1, tells
Meta would also be able to more easily control Zuck Bucks centrally with it non beingness on a blockchain. Recollect of it less like bitcoin and more than like the in-game currencies used on games such as Fortnite and Roblox. Given there is already precedent for this blazon of in-platform currency, Meta may exist able to avoid some of the political pushback that scuppered its Diem plans.
“A alter of approach was inevitable to avoid regulatory scrutiny,” Laura Petrone, principal analyst at the thematic squad at research firm GlobalData, tells
Regulators will probably keep a watchful middle on any financial product Menlo Park rolls out. Nonetheless, maybe these changes from Diem may be something they could stomach.
“Monetary authorities may be fine with Meta launching a second version of [Facebook Credits], JP Vergne, associate professor at the UCL School of Management, tells Verdict. “But antitrust regime will likely pay shut attention to how such an initiative might exist structured. If, for instance, Facebook Credits 2.0 were the only means of payment supported for some use cases, Meta would likely become in trouble.”
A company looking to rebrand itself equally a superapp would surely welcome less policing.
Zuck Bucks is less nearly what came before it and more than about what Meta wants to get. Facebook has been in a state of constant evolution since The Zuck launched the platform from his dorm in 2004. Over the by two decades, Menlo Park staffers have aggressively attempted everything from launching hardware solutions like the ill-fated Facebook Phone to introducing ecommerce projects like Facebook Marketplace.
Ads have, nevertheless, remained at the center of Facebook’s bottomline. Eyeballs on screens accept translated to hefty pay cheques. The pursuit of those eyeballs and, more importantly, users data, have allegedly motivated Meta to prioritse profits over users wellfare. At least, that is what critics like whistleblower Frances Haugen have claimed. Facebook has rejected those claims.
However, the public scrutiny of Meta has only grown over the years. Zuckerberg and his minions have become a common fixture in political hearings. The fact that the people storming Capitol Hill on Jan half dozen, 2021, had been radicalised on social media exacerbated the situation.
The political pressure is one of the reasons behind Facebook’s rebrand to Meta concluding year. It said it was to conspicuously position itself equally a metaverse company. Another reason is that the company is bleeding money. Meta shares are still downwardly 30% from February 2, as noted by
Fortune. That was the day the visitor revealed that its spending on the metaverse had caused a decline in its 4th-quarter profit.
“[They] badly need to diversify their acquirement streams and expect for ways to retain customers,” Petrone says. “As they recently admitted, services like Facebook and Instagram are losing appeal and condign less popular specially among immature users. They besides want to diversify away from a purely advert-funded model that is causing a lot of trouble with regulators. Their ambition is to become the WeChat of the west and this move in their view would aid them fulfil it.”
written report also noted that Meta may be nigh to launch a lending service. This, Petrone argues, would also be a move we’ve seen earlier.
“This is what Tencent and Alipay in Asia accept been doing for a long time, besides ending upwardly attracting scrutiny from regulators,” she says.
Whether real or not, something like Zuck Bucks could potentially evidence vital for Meta’s plans for the future.
YardlobalData is the parent visitor of Verdict and its sister publications.