Time and again, entrepreneurs and other dreamers have tried and failed to create a virtual currency. PayPal is probably the most successful of these, but it has its limitations. The largest online community is Facebook, now approaching 1 billion users. Could Facebook Credits evolve into a true currency? This article explores the possibility, and makes some predictions for the coming year. I've selected and reordered portions of the text, but follow the link to read the article in its entirety.
Although Facebook Credits is still primarily an in-game currency, in 2011 we began to see a glimmer of what Credits will look like when it grows up.
Movie studios like Miramax, Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, not to mention BBC Worldwide began offerings movies and TV shows for rent on Facebook. As an example, in promotion of "Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol," the series' first three movies were made available for rent on Facebook for 30 Credits per rental. In addition, to promote the launch of "Tower Heist," Universal Pictures gave away 1 million Facebook Credits ($100,000 value) in an online scavenger hunt. DJ David Guetta began selling MP3s on his Facebook Page (19 Credits per track) and U.K.'s "Big Brother" and "The X Factor" began allowing fans to vote for contestants using Facebook Credits.
These examples, however, were few and far between in 2011 and it's fair to say that even most Facebook users don't know what Credits are for. 2012 is the year this will change.
Facebook has proven that the Credits model can work in social gaming, which represents between 25-30 percent of Facebook users, and will now utilize the same model to first enter the business of music, movies, TV and any other shareable media, before entering larger industries like financial services and health care in the coming years.
While still relatively unknown, Facebook Credits will emerge and begin to mean very real cash to a quickly expanding group of first-mover entrepreneurs and innovators who are just starting to get a whiff of the opportunities presented by the Facebook Credits economy.
It's for real and it's here.
Similar to Moore's Law, which famously predicted that the number of transistors than could be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles every two years and Mark Zuckerberg's Law that (scarily to some) states that people will be willing to "share" twice as much each year, I believe the Facebook Credits economy will double every year for the next five years.
This is based on the staggering amount of new ways that people will be earning and spending Facebook Credits over the coming years and the international growth, which will follow innovation in the U.S. This is conservative based on reports we've already seen that global revenue from Facebook Credits more than tripled in size from 2010, $140 Million, to $470 million in 2011. By 2016, Facebook Credits could be a $15 billion business.
To read the complete article, see:
Predictions for Facebook Credits in 2012
Wayne Homren, Editor
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