Gadgets & apps

This article was published on April 7, 2022

Sorry, no F8 this year — metamates are busy making ‘Zuck Bucks’

To the metaverse


Sorry, no F8 this year — metamates are busy making ‘Zuck Bucks’ Image by: Flickr
Ivan Mehta
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Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Meta is not hosting its annual F8 developer conference this year, likely because it’s focusing on building other things, like its metaverse and ‘Zuck Bucks.’

To be clear, it’s actually hosting a couple of smaller events this year. In May, it’s hosting a Conversations event that’s all about business messaging. And later in October, it’s going to have a Connect event, and that will be all things metaverse.

In its official statement, the company said this is a break from its usual schedule; it makes me unsure about whether we’ll see an F8 event in the next few years.

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The second part of the news from Meta is about ‘Zuck Bucks’ — a digital token that the firm is building to cater to purchases and rewards in the metaverse, according to a report by Financial Times.

Don’t worry, the virtual currency won’t be literally named ‘Zuck Bucks.’ It’s just an internal name employees metamates are going with.

The report notes a few key points about this project. It’s not going to be a cryptocurrency, and it won’t be on a blockchain. It would be similar to an in-game currency like Pokécoins in Pokémon Go and Robux currency in Roblox.

Notably, Facebook shut down its cryptocurrency project Diem in January, and sold its assets to US-based Silvergate bank.

Facebook discontinued its Diem project earlier this year
Facebook discontinued its Diem project earlier this year.

FT’s reports highlight that the social network company is also exploring the possibility of rewarding people with special tokens for “meaningful contributions” in Facebook groups. Plus, it’s also looking at rewarding separate tokens to creators on Instagram.

It’s not a novel idea. Indian short video platform Chingari — which has more than 35 million monthly active users — is already experimenting with a native crypto token called GARI for creators.

There’s no clarity if all these tokens will be interchangeable with ‘Zuck Bucks,’ or if you’ll have to redeem them separately.

All these projects are in the works, so it’s possible they might materialize in a different form, or not see the light of the day after all.

Notably, Facebook’s daily active users fell for the first time this year. So the company will try and get those numbers up, and gamifying more activities on the social network could be one way to get there.

But let’s not forget both Apple and Google are making money from any mobile app that’s selling in-app tokens, as part of the conditions for hosting them in their app stores. So they’ll likely be keeping a close eye on how Meta will implement this.

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