Facebook Credits

Has social gaming on Facebook peaked?

One of the biggest drivers of Facebook’s success has arguably been the rise of social gaming.

From Mafia Wars to Farmville, Facebook’s platform has become a virtual gaming console of sorts for millions upon millions of consumers, creating a multi-billion dollar virtual currency opportunity for Facebook that it’s exploiting with Facebook Credits.

Facebook Credits may be illegal: lawyers

In the run-up to the Facebook IPO, some observers are casting a skeptical eye towards the social network’s advertising business. Ads, not surprisingly, account for much of the company’s revenue, and there are certainly some areas of concern.

But if two lawyers have their way, Facebook’s virtual currency business, which many believe is also crucial to the company’s future, could be facing major challenges.

How can brands use Facebook Credits?

The full introduction of Facebook Credits, and their availability (in
the US at least) as gift vouchers in offline retailers, opens up a
whole new world for brands on Facebook.

The early adopters are, as
expected, social gamers: Facebook and Zynga settled their differences
earlier this year to agree that players of Zynga games (such as Farmville)
can use Facebook Credits to buy virtual goods.

The implications are
enormous. Suddenly, Facebook offers a new revenue stream for brands, and
has itself a sustainable revenue model that doesn’t rely on the fickle
advertising market.