Friday, 9 July 2010

Facebook gifts going, but Facebook Credits go offline in Asia

Facebook have announced that they are phasing out their virtual gifts store by August(albeit third party/ branded gift stores like Hallmark will be unaffected), which to me hints of housekeeping ahead of bigger things to come for Facebook Credits.

Virtual gifts have been useful - they proved the willingness of people to exchange virtual objects & place a value on them, paving the way for the development of Facebook Credits as a virtual micro-currency. 

 We can already buy Facebook Credits, and they're well established amongst the social gaming community, with thousands of people paying other people in Facebook Credits to farm their virtual farms for them, but now that Facebook's Opengraph takes Facebook to the rest of the web, I'm sure it will only be a matter of a short time before Facebook credits achieve what governments around the world have failed to.... a single global virtual currency.

On an economic level that raises all sorts of interesting questions - Facebook as a finance house or bank?  What exchange rate will the Facebook Credit trade at versus the pound, the dollar, the yen.....??  It's too hot here this afternoon to think about that so I'll save that for another day, but meanwhile the foundations are being laid for a bigger role for Facebook Credits, with the announcement that in Asia Facebook have done a deal which will see Facebook Credits sold in 7-11's and other real world outlets.

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