Facebook creates own currency
Even though this was announced last week, the fact that Facebook has created its own market replacing dollars. Let’s take a step back though, I feel I need to explain myself.
There is this subset of people called gamers who spend hours on their computers playing computer games. These games aren’t the computer game you grew up with like the Sims or Roller coaster Tycoon, these games like World of Warcraft and Farmville allow the user to interact with other gamers in real time, thereby creating a parallel universe that can rival the real one (or so I hear).
In these Farmville’s and WoW games users pay real money for digital tools. Yes, self respecting humans fork over cold hard cash to buy a new plow for their fake farm. I guess we all need a hobby… who am I to judge.
Anyway, smart retailers found a way to harness (read: exploit) these gamers want of fake items and abundant free time; that is to say that companies have started using gamers in exchange for these fake goods. Some companies, like People Browsr, use the gamers as mechanical turks in order to filter through online content. A gamer answers a few question in exchange for an ax or two. Facebook took this one step further by offering shopping as an alternative to paying money.
What!? Why didn’t anyone think of this earlier.
Users earn this Facebook currency by shopping at partner websites. So someone earns a certain number of points for joining Netflix or buying the latest Groupon.
So, Facebook hasn’t created a currency to rival the dollar or the Euro (though who knows what the future holds), it has created an exchange market that while not completely free, serves a certain group of people that could be extended beyond.