Just as everybody was likely leaning toward the weekend a little early this past Friday afternoon, Facebook snuck in a pretty significant announcement before the start of the weekend. Around 4PM that day, a post in their developer blog went up about the advent of in-app currency now being offered to Facebook users in exchange for completing offers from advertisers. The post goes on:
Facebook gives users the ability to earn virtual currency by completing advertiser offers. For app developers, these offers can be a valuable additional source of revenue by helping them monetize users that may not otherwise pay for virtual currency. Today we’re launching in-app currency offers, which lets developers award users with their own in-app currency (e.g., Fred Currency in Fred's game) upon completing an offer.
Previously, developers were able to integrate Credits offers, where users earned Facebook Credits by completing offers. The new in-app currency offers product is in addition to the Credits offers product, and you can utilize either or both in your app.
Honestly, the concept that app developers can "monetize users" sounds a little crazy, as if we're all being shoved into a transmogrifier in order to be zapped into money that can be used to purchase things, but that's pretty much the best way to describe it. Just check out the screen grab below to preview your future lived as currency if your name is Fred:
That's right, Fred: you, too, can now be spent.
The new app product works alongside two previous virtual currency models on Facebook, Offerwall and Dealspot, although it's not exactly spelled out what exactly Facebook users can spend the in-app currency on. Maybe you can buy more ads to watch from the app developer. If anybody knows out there, comment below to share your experience with trading in or utilizing in-app currency on Facebook apps.