Meta continues the metafication of its brands by renaming Facebook Pay, its payment system available through Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, to Meta Pay. According to a blog post by Stephane Kasriel, Meta’s head of commerce and financial technology, the change is set to happen “soon” and is the latest indication that the company formerly known as Facebook is fully into the Metaverse.
“We are focused on enhancing the payment experiences we already offer with Facebook Pay where we are seeing good adoption,” Kasriel wrote. “And with that, an emphasis on quality in the countries we already operate in, rather than expanding into new countries now.” According to Kasriel’s contribution, people in companies in 160 countries use Meta’s platforms to make payments.
Meta is also looking at ways to simplify the payment experience on its platforms. While Kasriel painted a broad picture, he didn’t share much in terms of specifics:
- We see this as a single wallet experience that allows people to represent who they are, what they own and how they pay. We’re still in the very early stages of figuring out what a single wallet experience might look like and will have more to say later. But to break down our early thinking, let’s look at: how you can prove who you are and carry that identity into various experiences in the metaverse; how to store your digital goods and take them anywhere; and how to pay easily and with the payment method you want, whether it’s for a friend or buying from a company or creator.
Kasriel also discussed how Meta thinks about Web3 technologies like blockchain and NFTs. “Imagine a world where entertainers or athletes can sell NFTs that fans buy to display in their virtual Horizon Homes,” he wrote in one example. (Horizon Worlds is the Metaverse social platform.) “Or imagine all of this coming together when your favorite artist plays a concert at the Metaverse and shares an NFT that you can purchase to get a backstage post after the show.” to get a passport.
“Beyond NFTs, there are a variety of other Web3 tokens that we think are compelling – social tokens, community tokens, governance tokens – as well as tokenized real-world assets,” he added. “There are many possibilities here, and we’re taking steps to better understand them and what they might mean for the metaverse.” Meta is already diving into the water with NFTs — it announced this week that it would begin testing the ability to share NFTs on Instagram, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “similar features” will be coming to Facebook soon.
Kasriel took over from David Marcus, who ran Messenger and then Meta’s stalled cryptocurrency project after leaving Meta late last year. While Meta ended this cryptocurrency project in January, according to Kasriel’s blog published Thursday, it’s clear that the company still sees plenty of other opportunities in the areas of payments and blockchain. Incidentally, Marcus is still involved in cryptocurrency; on Thursday, he announced his newest venture, Lightspark, which was founded to “research, build and expand the capabilities and utility of bitcoin.”
Despite its vocal Metaverse ambitions, Meta is slightly reducing its investment in the idea. Reuters reported Wednesday that the company is telling employees at its Reality Labs division to prepare for cuts (although no layoffs are planned). But the company is still pushing hard for virtual reality, with Zuckerberg showing off Meta’s upcoming high-end virtual reality headset in a short demo video Thursday and having big plans for augmented reality hardware.