Posted April 7, 2009 11:42 am by with 5 comments

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Facebook is really stretching the boundaries of a lot of things lately. The newest ‘deal’ they are offering their users is, how do I sayfacebook2 this, pretty stupid. TechCrunch goes into some detail regarding this new opportunity for someone to part with their money for no real good reason.

Facebook is offering a virtual gift product that revolves around credits that you toss to your ‘friends’ in lieu of simply liking something they do. Kind of a pay for performance model of friendship. Talk about taking relationships to a new low. For just $1 you can purchase 100 credits that you can give to your ‘friends’ when they do something you like. I don’t know about you but I think that throwing money at my ‘friends’ when they do something I like is not something I consider regularly. I guess my ‘friends’ would like it but it seems pretty ridiculous to me. It’s like treating your ‘friends’ like performing seals. When they honk the horn on the stage by the pool you can throw them a fish and a sincere “Nice job. Atta boy!”

Well, it’s no more ridiculous when done on Facebook. In a not so transparent play to generate some revenue it looks as if the folks at “the ‘book” are thinking that if just a small percentage of their 200 million users are empty headed enough to spend a buck a month to throw credits at their buddies then they can generate some dollars. As TechCrunch put it

And it’s far better than having to return to the capital markets to raise money at what’s likely to be an embarrassing large discount from that ridiculous $15 billion valuation that Microsoft gave them in 2007. Maybe if enough users buy credits that can never be redeemed back for cash they can stretch their runway a little farther.

From a business perspective these are the kind of ideas that makes one wonder if Facebook’s management hasn’t jumped the shark. There has to be another way to pry a dollar out of the pockets of their users. I don’t have one personally but you have to figure that if a few smart people sat in a room over lunch they can come up with something that doesn’t require giving your ‘friends’ the equivalent of an online tip for their efforts.

Hey, if you comment here I’ll give you some credit. Doesn’t that feel good?

  • I cannot stand it when businesses do underhanded things like this! Ever wonder why I do not use Facebook?


    Nate @ Debt-free Scholar’s last blog post..Book Review: Cracking the CLEP

  • I would agree this sounds absolutely ridiculous and I wonder why anyone would engage is this type of online engagement, that is until I thought about Second Life. If you think about it Second Life, while not applying the ‘atta boy’ gift giving, uses real money to purchase virtual goods. There are also MMORPG games out on the market that has the same type of money system where you buy, with real money, points that you can upgrade your character. After all look at World of Warcraft. People E-Bay special items for thousands of dollars!

    When you put all these things in perspective it doesn’t seem that ridiculous anymore.

    Jesse Liebman’s last blog post..Redbox is the 2009 Zappos

  • well, Some sites already have something like this and it does rather well. However 9 out of 10 of them have a reason for it such as giving it to a charity. In this chase the only charity I see is face book which is selfish. If it was for a good cause I would be all over it and happy to use it.
    Seems like a low and worthless tool otherwise to make a quick buck for facebook.

  • I just stumbled upon a cluster of sites that make money on the offers the people complete and ship out game consoles to the people that do offers for them.

  • Phillip

    Im still sort of struggling to understand why google doesnt sue facebook for all the fake get rich quick with google scams that get advertised on your profile. no wonder facebook makes barely any money. after looking at that (and a couple of others), as if you would trust ANYTHING thats advertised. ill never give facebook a cent. just because they think im stupid.