With fierce competition from other social media platforms, Facebook plans to introduce virtual tokens and loans as it seeks new revenue streams.

Due to regulatory setbacks, Meta's hopes to launch a cryptocurrency have been dashed. The company's platforms Facebook and Instagram, which are based on advertising, have seen a large exodus of users.

The tech giant's financial unit is now considering a virtual currency for the metaverse, dubbed "Zuck Buck"' by the company's employees, the Financial Technologies reported.

It is understood that this is not a cryptocurrency, but rather a system of in-app tokens controlled by Meta.

Moreover, the company is exploring rewards for users who contribute meaningfully to the platforms, for instance on Facebook groups, in the form of "social tokens" or "reputation tokens".

On Instagram, creator coins could also be given to influencers.

Reports suggest that Facebook is also exploring traditional financial services, including small business loans.

A spokesman for Meta said: “We have no updates to share today. We continuously consider new product innovations for people, businesses, and creators. As a company, we are focused on building for the metaverse and that includes what payments and financial services might look like.”

There are more advanced plans for introducing non-fungible tokens. Mark Zuckerberg announced last month that NFTs will be integrated into Instagram in the near future.

During the US tech conference SXSW, he revealed creators would eventually be able to "mint", a term for creating NFTs within apps.

The failure of its cryptocurrency project Diem has caused frustration in mass exodus of staff at Meta.

It was launched in 2019 to great fanfare under the name Libra, but failed to obtain regulatory approval. Early this year, US bank Silvergate agreed to buy its assets for $200m (£148m).

Because of TikTok's growing popularity, Facebook's user numbers dropped for the first time. Meanwhile, profits fell because of the company's heavy spending on virtual reality and "metaverse" technologies.

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