Excerpt from a timely Facebook reality check
At the same time, the potential implications of a virtual global currency are staggering, if not difficult to pin down precisely. Facebook users have already shown a willingness to shell out for virtual goods in online games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars. The software company behind these, Zynga, is expected to make more than $450 million this year, the bulk from virtual purchases.
With a beefed-up Facebook credits program, users both domestic and abroad may soon be purchasing real goods through companies that utilize Facebook Connect. It isn't difficult to imagine going to the Crate & Barrel website and purchasing a wedding gift with Facebook Credits.
Consider what one-click purchasing could do for targeted Facebook ads: Advertisers and social marketers might have unprecedented access to real-time data on spending patterns and international purchases. Mobile carriers stand to benefit, too, as international consumers are increasingly more adept at using smartphones for financial transactions.