Virtual Goods

Why Virtual Goods Must Become A Core Component Of Facebook Profiles

Facebook Credits Logo

-Facebook Credits Logo-This afternoon I was having a discussion with a leading app developer about the future of virtual goods on the Facebook Platform. One thing that came up during the discussion was the idea of a centralized virtual goods system on Facebook. It’s something that I first described when Facebook announced that they were killing the gift shop next month, however it has increasingly become a center of focus for me personally. With all these applications selling virtual goods, why isn’t their an easier way to show off the goods that we’ve purchased?
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Why Facebook Killed A $100 Million Baby

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Gifts Wasteland IconThis evening Facebook announced that they will officially kill the company’s gift shop on August 1st of this year. Currently generating tens of millions of dollars for the company a year, one has to wonder why the company would take such dramatic steps. Facebook regularly touts how few developers run each segment of their business, but even if the company was generating tens of millions on a couple of developers, apparently more can be generated with the small gifts team working on other projects. So what does this really mean?
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Farmville Players Send 220 Million Valentine's Day Virtual Gifts In 18 Hours

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zyngaheartWhenever I discuss virtual goods and the Facebook revenue model with people outside the industry, the first thing they ask me is: do people actually care for virtual goods? My answer is always the same: while the goods have no actual physical presence, their context on a social network means their value is social and emotional. And if that doesn’t sell the point, I just point to Zynga. Well, chock up another data node for my point of view: FarmVille players have already sent more valentines in 18 hours than all the 152 million Valentines Day cards exchanged all year according to Hallmark.
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Facebook Credits – Part I: The Story So Far

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With Zynga recently announcing that Farmville is about to use Facebook Credits and a “Buy With Facebook” button on Farmville, the nature of microtransactions on Facebook is poised to change. The implications of Facebook credits in abundant usage across the Facebook application platform are made more clear when we see the popularity of paid Apple iPhone applications. Studies of the success of iPhone applications (and iTunes) have revealed that a secret to Apple’s success is ‘one-click purchasing’. The barriers to buying the application or song that you want are extremely low, and Facebook’s Credits system has the potential to break those barriers in a similar way. Here we look at the long steps Facebook has taken to arrive at this point.

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TOPPS Enters The Virtual Goods Space Through Facebook

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-Cheaties Icon-TOPPS, the company best known for its line of baseball trading cards, is expanding its product line into the world of digital collectibles via their new Facebook application, “Wacky Digibles”. The application, which reminds me of the old Garbage Pail Kids, uses top commercial artists to create collectible virtual goods that you can share with your friends. As was the case with TOPPS baseball cards, these new digibles are not free.
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Facebook Announces A New Gift Shop

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Over the past month Facebook has been testing out an upgraded version of the Facebook gift shop and as of last night the company announced the roll out of the upgraded service to all users. The new gift shop will include music gifts from Lala (as we wrote yesterday) and branded sports gifts. If AdNectar research which suggests branded gifts are 1,000 percent more effective is accurate, the sport gifts could turn into a big business.
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JibJab, GreetBeatz, And someecards Now In Facebook Gift Shop

Facebook has been slowly rolling out tests to select developers that want to integrate with the Facebook gift shop. As of today there are approximately 5 companies that have been participating in tests: American Greetings, RealGifts, JibJab, GreetBeatz, and someecards. The latter three only recently began showing up in the gift shop. However Facebook has been testing out the gift shop as a platform for developers to sell virtual gifts over the past few months.
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Branded Virtual Goods Clicked 10 Times More Than Non-Branded Counterparts

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-Trident Gift Icon-According to data provided by AdNectar, branded virtual goods receive ten times the interaction level of their non-branded counterparts. That number references the percentage of people that click on or send a gift after seeing it. The strong results have driven numerous corporations to launch branded gift campaigns across numerous social platforms. AdNectar has now run campaigns for Fisher Price, Godiva, Gilette, Procter & Gamble, Trident Gum, and Malibu, just to name a few.
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