Facebook Adding Offers to Payment Options for Credits

Facebook has been expanding payment options for Facebook Credits, its universal virtual currency used in Platform applications, in recent months. Today, it is partnering for the first time with two offer providers so users can earn Credits without having to pay directly.

For users, this means another way to get Credits without paying — this may increase spending on Credits for social games and other applications on Facebook. For developers, that means Credits might be able to bring in more money than they have to date. And for other offer providers, Facebook is now more of a direct competitor, although the payment option is only in early beta testing at this point, and the company’s long-term plans are not yet clear.

Offers are simply online ads, usually drawn from ad networks elsewhere on the web, that let users buy subscriptions and goods, complete surveys, or take other actions in exchange for virtual currency. They were a key early way for social applications to monetize on the platform, although direct payments currently comprise the vast majority of app revenue today (check out our Inside Virtual Goods report for more details on the social gaming payments ecosystem breakdown). Monetization services companies have typically included offers in an “offer wall” as a separate page in apps, beneath direct payment options like PayPal and mobile payments.

However, in the early days of the platform, most offer providers and game developers did not effectively filter offers for quality. So, many of the scammy ads you see on other web sites — quizzes that trick you into mobile phone subscriptions, surveys that craftily collect your personal information, etc. — were commonly found on Facebook. Many established brands stayed away from the ad product as a result; the scammiest offers were often the most lucrative, and so the most popular with many developers.

Facebook began cracking down on low offer quality last summer and fall, especially after widespread media exposure of low offer quality. While developers and monetization providers have worked to filter out bad offers and provide more good ones, Facebook’s move today is going a step further.

The New Offers Test

The current two partners are TrialPay and Peanut Labs, both of whom have made notable efforts to provide higher quality offers for the industry. They are providing the relationships with the offer advertiser, as well as other back-end support, like customer service. The first three developers to test Credits-offers integration are CrowdStar, Playdom and RockYou. Facebook is not disclosing the revenue share with its offer partners.

Offers will be available around the world. The number of Credits that can be earned is dependent on the type of offer, as usual, but ranges from 1 to well above 100.

Ethan Beard, head of Facebook’s developer network, tells us that Facebook has hand-picked specific offers from the partners to run within Credits, using offer quality standards that are higher than what it requires of third parties. All offer payments will be instant (or close to it); excluded offer categories include ads for credit reports, auto-recurring magazine subscriptions and most other recurring online and mobile subscriptions. “We wanted to take a conservative approach with this test” he says. “We work hard to make sure all advertisers and other providers are in compliance.”

Beard sees this test as an early, relatively simple step in understanding how the company can help provide more value to users, developers and advertisers on Facebook. “What we do in the future will be determined based on the information we gather here,” he tells us. “We want to get a better understanding of how we can help our developers be more successful in driving business on the platform.”

We first heard rumors about Facebook testing offers a few months ago, and others have heard the same quite recently. “We’ve been looking at offers, and working with providers as part of broader platform for quite a while,” according to Beard. “Think of this more in light of Credits being in beta beta, as a logical evolution of [already] having credit card, Paypal and mobile payments”The company has been widely testing Credits with developers since last year, and some, like CrowdStar, have made games like Happy Island (see screenshot) that exclusively use Credits instead of other virtual currencies.

Facebook has also been busy cutting deals with third party monetization partners, including mobile payments company Zong and more recently, payment service PayPal. While Credits currently amounts to a fraction of Facebook’s revenue stream, we expect it to grow in the coming year as the service becomes more full-featured and widely available on the platform.

Sponsored Post

Hands-On Social Media Training for Beginners


Social Media 101
In our Social Media 101 boot camp, you’ll determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on personal and professional goals. Starting May 13, you will learn the best practices for using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, along with complete personal profiles on each site. Register today!

Leave a Reply

13 Responses to “Facebook Adding Offers to Payment Options for Credits”

  1. Facebook Rolling Out Offers As Payment For Credits says:

    [...] of the most criticized areas within Facebook applications. Facebook is treading lightly for now, calling this a “beta beta” test, however they’ve rolled it out within a number of large [...]

  2. Facebook Adds Offers to Credits Payment Options says:

    [...] > Continue reading on Inside Facebook. To dig deeper into the social gaming market, check out our new report: Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2010. [...]

  3. Offer Monetisation In Games « Thoughts says:

    [...] Facebook Adding Offers to Payment Options for Credits [...]

  4. 游戏前沿博客 » Blog Archive » Facebook Credits Tests Offer-based Ads With TrialPay, Peanut says:

    [...] conservative approach with this test,” says Facebook Developer Network director Ethan Beard, according to a report from Inside Facebook. “We work hard to make sure all advertisers and other providers are in [...]

  5. Webcentrex – Getting More Facebook Fans and Monetizing Them says:

    [...] or items that infringe upon the rights of a third party. On a related note, Facebook recently partnered with two offer providers so users can earn Credits without having to pay directly. As InsideFacebook's Eric Eldon noted, [...]

  6. Press Quote Round-Up and a Message From Our Team « Peanut Labs says:

    [...] “Peanut Labs … [has] made notable efforts to provide higher quality offers for the industry. They are providing the relationships with the offer advertiser, as well as other back-end support, like customer service.” – Eric Eldon, InsideFacebook [...]

  7. Facebook’s Offers Experiment Continues to Expand says:

    [...] Offers are becoming more broadly available as part of Facebook’s Credits virtual currency expansion, after having first launched as a stand-alone integration within games like CrowdStar’s Happy Island last month. [...]

  8. ||| Handelskraft ||| Der E-Commerce und Web 2.0 Blog - Facebook Credits – Virtuelle Güter, virtuelle Welten says:

    [...] Webinale-Vortrag des Snipclip Gründers Martin Szugat an. Auch die Facebook Credits können dazu verdient werden, indem die User zum Beispiel an Umfragen teilnehmen oder reale Güter in einem Online-Shop [...]

  9. Offerpal Responds to Facebook Credits With Employee Layoffs says:

    [...] has been testing its own advertising offers for Credits, in partnership with TrialPay and RockYou/Peanut Labs, through a selection process that has left [...]

  10. Facebook Credit: Zuckerberg next Treasurer of the Internet App2User | Laurel Papworth says:

    [...] credit cards directly. It partnered with Peanut Labs (via RockYou) and Trialpay last week to begin testing advertising offers that can be taken in exchange for Credits, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it work with more [...]

  11. Group Buying Startups Find Customers through Social Games says:

    [...] TrialPay, which started partnering with Facebook earlier this year to serve offers in exchange for the social network’s virtual currency Credits, has been working with group buying companies including Tippr, Mertado, LivingSocial and Groupon for the past six months. These companies have flourished over the past year, scoring valuations north of $1 billion. Groupon alone has sold 9.8 million coupons, with about $420 million in savings, in a mere 21 months of existence. [...]

  12. Offerpal Gets Another New CEO, Mihir Shah says:

    [...] year’s brouhaha over bad offers on Facebook is far in the past for Offerpal. After Facebook chose TrialPay and Peanut Labs to run offers for Credits, Offerpal realized that it would need to radically change its business plan, along with [...]

  13. Facebook Rolling Out Offers As Payment For Credits - AllFacebook says:

    [...] of the most criticized areas within Facebook applications. Facebook is treading lightly for now, calling this a “beta beta” test, however they’ve rolled it out within a number of large [...]

interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Digital Marketing Assistant

Atlanta Magazine
Atlanta, GA

Digital Media Sales Specialist

Desert Publications, Inc.
Palm Springs, CA

Engagement Editor, HowAboutWe Media

HowAboutWe
Brooklyn, NY

Digital & Social Media Manager

Beauty & Entertainment Company
Brooklyn, NY

Webmaster

County of Napa, California
Napa, CA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Also from Inside Network:   AppData - Facebook & iOS Application Stats   PageData - Engagement Data on Facebook Pages   Facebook Marketing Bible   Inside Network Research
 
home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | about | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | events | forums | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us