I read several articles this morning about Facebook's plans to test a new system of virtual money to let users make purchases within applications. Obviously at the moment Facebook already has its "Facebook Credits" ($1 buys 100) that users can use to purchase virtual gifts. However, according to MediaPost, Facebook will be extending this system to its third-party applications. A move that will surely net millions in revenue.
Through a little more digging I then discovered that Facebook confirmed the stories, "We're starting a very small alpha test in a few weeks with a handful of developers that explores ways for users to use their Facebook credits with third-party applications on Facebook.com"
I also saw the following estimations here:
- Facebook's third-party apps will garner their developers between $300 million and $500 million in revenue this year
- Facebook itself will earn between $45 million to $55 million from its gift shop