In a 2016 episode of Black Mirror, Bryce Dallas Howard played a woman obsessed with her social capital. In this alternate version of reality, users give each other ratings between one and five stars, which in turn affects their socioeconomic status.
What was once science fiction may be closer to becoming a reality, according to a report from the Financial Times. Sources within the company told FT, Meta is looking to develop “social tokens” or “reputation tokens,” which could be given out as “rewards for meaningful contributions in Facebook groups, for example.”
Meta is also reportedly working on creating a new currency—dubbed “Zuck Bucks” by employees—as the company explores new ways to grow its business after Facebook lost 1 million users in North America last quarter.
The Times reports that Meta’s new currency is “unlikely” to be cryptocurrency. Instead, it is expected to be similar to in-app tokens like Robux in the popular children’s gaming platform, Roblox.
The company is also reportedly toying with launching NFTs and traditional lending services. In an internal memo obtained by the Times, Stephane Kasriel wrote, “We’re making changes to our product strategy and road map . . . so we can prioritize on building for the metaverse and on what payments and financial services will look like in this digital world.”
So far, there haven’t been any official announcements from Meta regarding the reputation tokens or Zuck Bucks. A Meta spokesperson told Fast Company that there are “no updates to share,” adding: “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.”