Facebook Credits Now the First Payment Option in FarmVille, Facebook’s Biggest App

The number of big social applications that use Facebook’s virtual currency, Credits, continues to rise. The latest is Zynga’s smash hit farming game, FarmVille, the largest application on Facebook with nearly 84 million users a month.

The integration is pretty straightforward, as you can see from the screenshot below. Credits is shown as the first of several payment options — others include direct credit card payments, PayPal, and a variety of other payment services, including prepaid cards and offers.

Zynga has previously been running Credits in some of its smaller Facebook apps, like role-playing game Pirates: Rule the Caribbean. Credits is now also appearing on some of its other big applications, like pet-caring title PetVille. However, it’s not on others, including Café World.

However, Zynga, like Playfish, Playdom and most other social gaming companies on Facebook, is not running Credits exclusively. But another big developer is: CrowdStar.

Clearly, many developers are reluctant to make Credits the exclusive way that companies monetize through virtual goods on Facebook. Facebook takes a 30% cut of all transactions on Credits, whereas third party payments companies typically take far less. Credits could play a meaningful role in Facebook’s revenue growth over the coming quarter – we recently reported that Facebook revenues were $600-$700 million in 2009, and could hit $1.1 billion in 2010.

However, the more users who use Credits, the more it will become the de facto way that they buy virtual currency on the site — which could bring in a lot more money for Facebook. The company is going out of its way to promote this, doing things like featuring games that use Credits within its suggested games list within its Games Dashboard. Fine-tuning apps to include Credits may also make the currency more valuable. CrowdStar’s Peter Relan has previously told us that “once you get over the hump, it’s great, and just as profitable.”

Also, rumors have circulated for months suggesting that Facebook wants to somehow make Credits the only virtual currency available on the site, but we have not been able to confirm anything along these lines.

While Facebook has been widely testing it with app developers since last year, we expect to see new announcements coming about it relatively soon. The company is potentially planning to launch a couple other big initiatives at its f8 developer conference in April, including location services and the  “Open Graph” API. It’s possible that Facebook will use the event to further promote Credits — moving it from a now-huge closed beta test to an open one, for example.

Note: The future of payments in Facebook apps and social games will be a central topic at our upcoming Inside Social Apps 2010 conference on April 20th, the day before f8, in San Francisco. For more details, click here.

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13 Responses to “Facebook Credits Now the First Payment Option in FarmVille, Facebook’s Biggest App”

  1. Farmville Defaults to Facebook Credits // RyanSpoon.com says:

    [...] by Ryan Spoon on March 10, 2010 – 6:56 pmView commentsComments I encourage you to read Eric Eldon’s piece on InsideFacebook about how Facebook’s most popular game, Farmville, now defaults to Facebook Credits and [...]

  2. nishu says:

    Hope that gives some currency to facebook.

  3. mustafa says:

    fişh filla

  4. Eileen says:

    As of today it is the only option & is not working, there is no way of getting extra petville cash by purchasing it

  5. Zynga’s PetVille Game Gives New Prominence to Facebook Credits says:

    [...] largest Zynga game, FarmVille, has tested Credits as the first option, but it currently shows it third behind credit card and Paypal payment methods. So, we assume that [...]

  6. Les crédits Facebook : la première monnaie mondiale ? | ReadWriteWeb France says:

    [...] le pointent Chris Morrison de BNet et d’autres, le déploie­ment à grande échelle des Crédits Facebook abais­sera clai­re­ment la bar­rière à l’entrée dans l’économie [...]

  7. Susan says:

    I live in Europe and I mostly use paysafecards for paying in Farmville. That’s a kind of prepaid card and the most comfortable thing for me – also cause most games accept it, not just a few.
    Not a big fan of being restricted OR using personal/credit card info on the inet ;D

  8. Imogen says:

    I also live in Europe, but I’ve never heard about that card. How that works and where can I get one?
    I was thinking about buying some Facobook credits and get that special grip in Farm, but I don’t have credit card, so it seemed impossible.
    Thanks in advance

  9. Susan says:

    @Imogen:
    It works like any prepaid card – meaning you buy it in a shop and then use it online like a “one-time credit card” by entering a PIN instead of your VISA or whatever number.
    They are sold at all kinds of shops, best would be to take a look at their website. They got some kind of shop finder there that shows you the sales points closest to you.

  10. Imogen says:

    OMG! They are just all over the city! I never heard about them before. I think about trying it out. I saw Amazon.co.uk sign on their site. Does that mean you can use this card with Amazon as well? There are some books and games I would like to buy, but I never had the possibility, because -like I said- I don’t have a credit card.

  11. Zynga Switching to Facebook Credits says:

    [...] been offered as an option in most Zynga games for many months (excluding Zynga Poker), with Zynga experimenting with various interfaces to show it among other payment options. The latest payment flow visible in its games today, below, [...]

  12. Deborah Susan Belue says:

    I accidentally bought $652. farmville cash. I need the amount of $106.00 debited back to my checking account as soon as possible. This withdrawal has overdrawn my checking account. I apologize for any inconvenience. You have my checking account info. If you need to contact me by e-mail, to let me know this matter has been taken care of.

  13. Your lunchtime technology newsbucket – links galore | Richard Hartley says:

    [...] ISP's customers, law-abiding or otherwise, were immediately unable to connect to the outside world."Facebook Credits Now the First Payment Option in FarmVille – Inside FacebookFacebook's virtual currency, Credits, is growing in popularityHackers love to exploit PDF bugs, says [...]

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