Facebook: A Penny for Your Thought?

Except that, in this case, Facebook could possibly be asking you to pay a penny for your thought, rather than the other way round.

Okay. That’s a very misleading title from my side, but I can’t help it. People who claim that Google is the next evil empire, move over. I’m willing to bet some money on the fact that it’s actually the blue-faced Facebook that will wreck more havoc.

Let me introduce you to “Facebook Credits“, now open for applications that not only spam our sorry butts off, but are also about to do some ripping off. Basically, Facebook Credits is a currency that is aimed at making the purchase of virtual goods across Facebook’s apps easier.

How many Facebook Credits do you need today?

How many Facebook Credits do you need today?

Here’s what Deborah Liu, from Facebook’s blog, has to say about it: “By providing a single, cross-application currency, our goal is to making transactions simpler for users, leading to a higher conversion rate for developers. Specifically, our early testing has shown that users paying with Facebook Credits are significantly more likely to complete a purchase than the average Facebook user.”

To make it super easy, Facebook Credits supports different credit cards, fifteen currencies, mobile payments, and recently, PayPal.

The Virtual Goods Economy is All About Green Cows

Facebook Credits

Facebook Credits

As I have already expressed my exasperation over people’s obsession with completely meaningless virtual goods, it’s hard to not see how brilliant of an idea it is from Facebook’s side.

With over 500,000 apps on Facebook, app-makers and the Facebook team are becoming increasingly aware of the ironically high value that the virtual goods in these applications have for their users.

The Facebook cut will be 30 percent of revenue from game and application developers who integrate Facebook Credits into their programs. Facebook has finally found a brilliant way to monetize, and they will make good money from this idea, even if we’re talking a dollar a pop for each transaction made.

Virtual Internet Currency with Facebook?

If anyone can pull of a universal virtual currency, it would be Facebook. Facebook has that personal appeal, where we share our personal pictures with our personal friends. I have seen a few grandmothers on Facebook, as well as a few kids under seven.

If people from all walks of life can manage to feel so comfortable wearing their hearts on their sleeves in their Facebook comfort zone, what would stop them from feeling just as safe with dealing with a Facebook currency, especially with the trend of micro-payments on the rise?

Facebook Credits might eventually turn out to become the de facto currency of the Internet, given how popular the platform is.

What do you think? Does Facebook Credits have the potential to change the landscape of the Internet as we know it today? Or is it just some evil plot to weasel out as much income as possible from unsuspecting teenagers addicted to quite mindless games?

You can read more about Facebook Credits on Facebook’s help section.

Comments and Reactions

6 responses to “Facebook: A Penny for Your Thought?”

  1. Krud says:

    Facebook Credits have the potential to change the landscape of Facebook and related social media. Which, believe it or not, is still a small percentage of the internet, though it seems so dominant. For every person who lives on FaceBook and the like, there are two or three who don't. (Okay, so perhaps that's just wishful thinking on my part, since I know very few people who don't at least have a Facebook account at this point, even erstwhile Luddites.)

    Even though I have a FaceBook account, I only use it to maintain contact with some distant people. I don't use it to grow farms, throw snowballs, recruit mobsters, send imaginary cactuses, grow fish, or whatever else it is you can do there now. So unless they're going to start charging to allow me to post comments on people's pages, or make me pay to keep information private, I for one am not going to consider FaceBook Credits to be the next Flooz (er, that was an earlier “universal internet credit” that never really took off. I'd still have some if they hadn't gone under.)

  2. Richie says:

    Facebook is providing a free service that millions of people use and enjoy.
    People have a choice first of all whether or not you want to use it, and then whether they want to pay for apps or other services on fb.
    Why should they not, as a business, be able to make as much money as they can? They are after all providing a great service that people obviously love and have given many app designers the opportunity to make a good income in many cases!

    Facebook credits could indeed become pretty big, considering the staggering size of facebook as it is now and the continued growth it's still getting. I'm not sure I would use them but you never know, it might become one of the easiest currencies to use online!

  3. Roba says:

    You're right of course for people like you, and I agree a 100%. I wouldn't use Facebook Credits either, even to post comments on other people's pages. The Facebook users who will use these credits for games, JPEG gifts, etc. are a younger, less internet-savvy people than you.
    It might be the next Fluz… but I doubt it :)
    by the way, your Twitter background is absolutely AWESOME!

  4. Roba says:

    Richie, of course you're right. It is a great opportunity for people to make money from Facebook, and it's also a great chance to have an Internet currency. I just hope that it doesn't reach the level of scams, kind of like what happened with PayPal. Plus, Facebook audience is a little amateur, don't you think that that might create problems?

  5. Beiruta says:

    Although I am very very tempted to purchase money for my Cafe on Facebook, I would never really do it… I still don't trust applications with information such as my credit card number and password!

  6. M.Bamieh says:

    Think about all the grama spending their pension to expand their farms, cafes or whatnot … Facebook is like arcade land for the over 40 and under 10…. SCARY !

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