Meta is working on a digital wallet for the metaverse, virtual worlds where people will be able to work, play and socialize.
Why it matters
The move shows how e-commerce is part of how Meta plans to make money from its metaverse ambitions.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday the company is working on a digital wallet for the metaverse that will allow people to manage their digital items, identity and payments.
"Ideally, you should be able to sign into any metaverse experience and everything you've bought should be right there," he said in a Facebook post. "There's a long way to get there, but this kind of interoperability will deliver much better experiences for people and larger opportunities for creators."
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, isn't the only company staking its future on the metaverse, virtual worlds where people work, play and socialize. The creation of the metaverse will also provide an opportunity for people to buy and sell digital goods such as clothing, art, music and experiences. In April, Meta said it was testing new ways for creators to make money in its social VR experience Horizon Worlds but reportedly planned to take a cut of up to 47.5% on the sales of these digital goods. This month, Meta also unveiled a digital store on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger where people can buy digital clothes for their avatars from luxury brands such as Balenciaga, Prada and Thom Browne.
Zuckerberg didn't say in his post if users will have to pay to use this digital wallet in the metaverse or when the company plans to release this product, but he added this will benefit creators because "the more places you can easily use your digital goods, the more you'll value them."
The tech mogul also appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" with Jim Cramer on Wednesday and talked about a variety of topics including the company's e-commerce ambitions in the metaverse.
Zuckerberg told CNBC the company hopes to get to around a billion people in the metaverse "doing hundreds of dollars of commerce, each buying digital goods, digital content," and "different things to express themselves." He's said in 2017 he wants to get 1 billion people in virtual reality. The metaverse is much broader than VR, encompassing other technology including augmented reality where digital objects are overlaid onto the physical world.
Meta hasn't made a profit from its metaverse business. In the first three months of this year, Meta's metaverse business Reality Labs lost $2.96 billion, Meta said in an earnings report.