A new form of currency has been developed by the King of social networking: Facebook Credits. Already being used for virtual goods in a variety of applications, the move into the physical world is the next step.
The motion has already begun, with stores such as Target, Walmart and Best Buy offering Facebook Credit gift cards in time to welcome the holiday season.
With the ability to purchase items at the virtual cost rather than real currency, it makes it easier and more affordable for the user. Facebook has signed a deal with both Electronic Arts and Zynga Game Network Inc., agreeing to have Facebook Credits be the only accepted form of payment for social games such as Pet Society and FarmVille.
Redeeming these credits through social games is only where it starts. Virtual gifts such as greeting cards or digital birthday cards from non-game apps such as Hallmark or The Family Tree, to charitable donations for organizations such as Stand Up to Cancer and Nothing But Nets are some additional ways these credits can be used.
Facebook Credits could also reach beyond these realms and allow credits to be used for news sites allowing users to continue reading a breaking story or watch an important video, as well as the potential for purchasing music as well.
With Facebook announcing this new form of payment, an increase in user engagement and interaction develops. As Facebook Credits make way to the physical world, this social networking site reflects an economy in itself.