Interesting: Facebook Now Testing Virtual Currency Gifting Program with Branded Virtual Gifts

A few weeks ago, Facebook started publicly testing a gifting program around its virtual currency, “Facebook credits”. In the test, users were able to give each other Facebook credits as public reward for content they posted to their stream – a kind of “Super” Like. Now, Facebook has expanded its virtual currency gifting experiment to branded virtual gifts in a test that’s currently running with Mars.


Here’s how it works: When fans go to a Facebook Page of a Mars candy bar like Snickers, Twix, or Milky Way, Facebook has installed a special version of the Gifts application on the Gifts tab. In this version, the branded virtual gifts (in this case, a virtual candy bar) also come bundled with 10 Facebook credits.

In other words, Facebook is enhancing the virtual gift with a virtual gift certificate (worth about one tenth of a standard Facebook Gift) to the Facebook Gifts store.


By this point, it’s clear that Facebook has broader ambitions for its virtual currency than simply directly selling items from the Facebook Gifts store. The company is hoping to broaden the utility of its currency by more deeply integrating it into the social actions already happening on the site. For example, rewarding a status update or interesting photo.

For advertisers, this means Facebook is working hard at trying new things to increase the volume of branded virtual gifts sent through the Facebook system. Branded virtual gifts are one of the more promising new forms of online advertising in social environments, because studies show they’re often a form of advertising that people actually like to receive.

Whether or not Facebook integrates its virtual currency with applications on the Facebook Platform, Facebook credits are quickly becoming an increasingly visible part of Facebook’s monetization strategy. Branded virtual gifts are likely to become  a mainstay part of its direct sales efforts, but there’s no reason why Facebook couldn’t expand the program to more advertisers in the future.

This particular campaign is part of the “Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act” and Free Chocolate Fridays: every Friday from now until September, Mars will be mailing out 250,000 coupons that you can redeem for full-size packages of chocolate that you can get from its website

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Leave a Reply

8 Responses to “Interesting: Facebook Now Testing Virtual Currency Gifting Program with Branded Virtual Gifts”

  1. Jamie Ellis says:

    I got 0 Facebook credits however going to sneakers they do not have any gifts left

    is there some form of time period, geolocation or requirement that i have facebook credits (or they just ‘out of stock’

  2. Jamie Ellis says:

    Surprise the coupon codes you can redeem (if it from the ad at the top is US Only
    Sorry People of the world outside the 50 states :(

    Also Twix and Milky Way etc there so much fake public profiles i stop bothering to attempt to find them

  3. FB_307820 says:

    Hi James,

    I hear your concern about too many fake (read: Consumer Generated) brand pages out on Facebook. This should change soon as FB should understand the need for authenticity and curb the CGM brand pages growth. This will help on the search efforts by minimizing redundancy of pages. I’m positive FB will ramp up their internal search efforts this year so as to avoid the problems that other social networks (e.g. MySpace) have faced–search leads to nothing!


  4. Walter Roth says:

    Love it, gateway gifts…

  5. Confirmed: Facebook to Launch Virtual Currency Test in Platform Applications Soon says:

    [...] are usable elsewhere throughout the site (including recent tests around currency gifting and branded virtual gifts) and bear the Facebook name, and Facebook will want to have increasing numbers of direct billing [...]

  6. Facebook Testing Bundling Credits with Branded Virtual Gifts on the Home Page says:

    [...] weeks ago, we noticed that Facebook had begun testing its virtual currency gifting program with branded virtual gifs. In the test, users were able to give friends special virtual gifts – in this case, Mars candy bars [...]

  7. aimmus says:

    is there any gifts left for me.

  8. A Running Summary of Facebook’s Virtual Currency Tests says:

    [...] 4. Virtual Currency Gifting with Branded Virtual Gifts [...]

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