Exploring the Future of Money, Banking and Philanthropy

Archive for January, 2012

Is Facebook a Central Bank, Too? – Forbes

Facebook’s 27-year-old founder, Mark Zuckerberg, isn’t usually mentioned in the same breath as Ben Bernanke, the� 58-year-old head of the Federal Reserve. But Facebook’s early adventures in the money-creating business are going well enough that the central-bank comparison gets tempting.

Everything started quietly, in 2009, with the experimental launch of Facebook Credits, billed as “the safe and easy way to buy things on Facebook.” Anyone who chipped in $5 from a Paypal account, Visa card or the like, could do the equivalent of changing money on an overseas trip. Voila! — $5 turned into 50 Facebook Credits.

Initially, the Credits-based economy was confined to the virtual world’s trifles. Credits could be spent to buy imaginary gold bars for aficionados of Mafia Wars, or bouquets of virtual flowers for birthday postings on friends’ Facebook accounts. This new form of digital money was cute but essentially useless for mainstream activities.

Lately Credits have become more intriguing. Warner Brothers this summer offered movie-goers a chance to watch “Harry Potter” and “The Dark Knight” for 30 Credits apiece. Miramax and Paramount countered with film-viewing offers, too. In a provocative post this week on Inside Facebook, guest blogger Peter Vogel argues that Credits in the next few years will become more of a true currency.

via Is Facebook a Central Bank, Too? – Forbes.

via Is Facebook a Central Bank, Too? – Forbes.

Plink Launches Facebook Credits-Based Online-to-Offline Loyalty Program – Yahoo! Finance

DENVER, CO–(Marketwire -01/26/12)- Consumer appetite for Facebook Credits is rapidly growing. To satisfy that appetite, Plink (www.plink.com) today launched a Facebook Credits-based loyalty program that rewards Facebook members for dining and making purchases at their favorite restaurants and offline retailers.

Members join at Plink.com through Facebook Connect, then safely and securely register the credit or debit card of their choice, and begin earning Facebook Credits by dining-out or making purchases at participating national restaurants and offline retailers. Today, Plink’s online-to-offline (O2O™) loyalty program includes Dunkin’ Donuts®, Quiznos®, Red Robin® and Taco Bell® among others. Plink members can now earn Facebook Credits at more than 25,000 locations nationwide.

“Facebook Credits is the missing ingredient that’s been needed to connect social media to offline sales,” said Peter Vogel, co-founder of Plink. “Now with the ‘glue’ of Facebook Credits our national restaurant and offline retailer partners have a way to tap into the nearly 800 million users on Facebook, motivate them to become loyal customers, and reward them.”

Consumers use Facebook Credits to buy virtual goods to advance or level-up in popular Facebook games such as CityVille or The Sims Social. In addition, Facebook is constantly adding new ways to spend Facebook Credits including downloading music, watching movies or TV episodes.

“Marketing on Facebook is a tremendous opportunity with a highly desirable demographic,” said Tim Kraus, digital marketing manager at Quiznos. “Plink is helping us crack the code and reach our customers in an innovative and cost-effective way.”

National restaurant chains are the initial focus of Plink as they represent nearly one-third of the total restaurants in the U.S. and spend significant dollars on marketing and advertising. Restaurants, though, do face a number of issues, including stiff competition, difficulty in measuring the results of mass-media campaigns and a desire to avoid couponing or discounts that can devalue a restaurant’s brand. Plink solves these challenges.

via Plink Launches Facebook Credits-Based Online-to-Offline Loyalty Program – Yahoo! Finance.

via Plink Launches Facebook Credits-Based Online-to-Offline Loyalty Program – Yahoo! Finance.

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