Sometimes you need a virtual magic gem stone right now and you simply don’t have the money to pay for it! What’s a person to do? Same as in real life – charge it!
Facebook is rolling out a play now, pay later plan which will allow people to buy virtual goods on credit then pay off the balance with Paypal or a credit card at a later date. Inside Facebook suggests that this may be a clever way to get people to upload card information which can later be used to facilitate impulse buying. The program could lead to a one-click payment option such as you find on Amazon and that would be a big move for Facebook.
Facebook has already rolled out Facebook Credit Gift Cards which can be purchased offline at stores such as Target and Walmart. These credits can be used to buy virtual items in any one of the more than 200 games in site, but how about making them good for other items as well.
Imagine the possibilities. You could buy real movie tickets while playing a Hollywood studio game. You could go to a virtual concert and buy mp3 downloads of the songs you enjoy. What if you could use your Facebook credits to buy your way into a private, celebrity chat?
Earlier today, I wrote a post about how virtual goods spending is expect to reach 7 billion dollars this year. But even still, spending money on Facebook isn’t an everyday practice for the majority of users. For some, it’s simply not a concept that appeal to them, but for many it’s an issue of trust.
Facebook has had more than its share of privacy woes, and now they want you to put your Paypal account information or credit card on file so you can buy seeds for your farm at the push of a button?
It’s going to happen. People are going to do it and there’s going to be a leak and there will be much hub-bub and then people will go right back to buying virtual goods on Facebook.
We can fight it with rational thinking, but it’s not going to stop the tide. In the next few years, Facebook Credits could become the most frequently used form currency in the world.