Be careful how you read that headline. This is not an announcement of a Facebook credit card. This is about the new ‘credits’ card that Facebook will be selling in Target stores, starting this Sunday, for the upcoming holiday season. I guess the semi-confusing terminology makes sense though since Facebook is never clear about much of anything these days other than its intent to drain everyone’s wallets.
Anyway, USAToday reports
Facebook is coming to a Target store near you.
The social-network giant is getting into the gift card business, starting Sunday, with Facebook Credits cards.
The new Facebook gift cards will be available in values of $15, $25 and $50 at all of Target’s 1,750 retail stores and at Target.com. Two or three more national retailers will start selling the cards in coming months.
This will be the first time Facebook has had any presence in a retail store.
This is a great get for Target because Facebook will advertise the heck out of this one (with a lot of Target’s cash presumably). By partnering with one of the most prominent players on the Internet for both now and the foreseeable future, Target will get a first adopter boost on this program that could make their holiday season during a year where the success of that critical retail period could be very spotty at best.
Facebook is banking that a sizable chunk of its 500 million members will purchase the cards and use them on their favorite social games, applications and virtual goods.
While this blows my mind because I have hidden every reference to any game on my own Facebook account, there are more than 200 million that play free social games on the Facebook platform every month. As more and more of these games sell ‘premium’ options associated with the activity, these cards have tremendous potential to bring revenue to Facebook and the game creators like never before.
The cards can initially be used on more than 150 social games and applications, including titles from gamemakers such as Zynga (FarmVille, FrontierVille), CrowdStar (Happy Aquarium, HelloCity) and PopCap Games (Bejeweled Blitz). Facebook gift cards do not replace Zynga’s existing game cards.
So while I don’t get this craze that doesn’t matter one bit. There are 200 million potential prospects (and their relatives who don’t have a clue what to buy them for the holidays) that would be tickled to find one of these cards in their holiday stocking this year.
Looks like both the social networking giant and the retailer may have hit the target on this one.