After announcing that Target will sell Facebook credits gift cards, Wal-Mart and Best Buy have also been added to the list of retailers offering Facebook fun at a price. Beginning this week, Wal-Mart and Best Buy will offer Facebook credits in increments ranging from $5 to $50, which can be used for purchasing virtual goods on social games, such as FarmVille and Bejeweled Blitz. The cards can also be used to contribute to charities like Nothing But Nets, a United Nations foundation to fight malaria.
But out of all of the people buying these Facebook credits card, who really is going to donate their hard-earned credits to fight malaria when they could buy a cow, scarecrow, or bundle of crops for their exquisite farm on FarmVille?
It’s extremely interesting to see Facebook’s presence in retail stores like Target and even when Zynga games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille had promotions throughout 7-11 stores. Facebook already has an arrangement with online payment services through PayPal and MOL to purchase credits. These stocking-stuffer sized gifts couldn’t have made for better timing, as the holiday shopping season is right around the corner.
The momentum behind the social games is expected to grow to $6 billion by 2013. And if you have already forgotten about the recent commotion over these games leaking user information to third parties, make sure to check out my recent article here.
It may just be coincidence that these easy-to-find and easy-to-use Facebook credits giftcards have been introduced into the market shortly after the games in which the credits can be applied, have gotten a slap on the wrist for releasing thousands, if not millions, of users’ personal information to third parties associated with advertising and Internet tracking.