Give Facebook Real Money So You Can Give Friends Fake Money

    April 7, 2009

Facebook is really stretching the boundaries of a lot of things lately. The newest ‘deal’ they are offering their users is, how do I sayfacebook2 this, pretty stupid. TechCrunch goes into some detail regarding this new opportunity for someone to part with their money for no real good reason.

Facebook is offering a virtual gift product that revolves around credits that you toss to your ‘friends’ in lieu of simply liking something they do. Kind of a pay for performance model of friendship. Talk about taking relationships to a new low. For just $1 you can purchase 100 credits that you can give to your ‘friends’ when they do something you like. I don’t know about you but I think that throwing money at my ‘friends’ when they do something I like is not something I consider regularly. I guess my ‘friends’ would like it but it seems pretty ridiculous to me. It’s like treating your ‘friends’ like performing seals. When they honk the horn on the stage by the pool you can throw them a fish and a sincere “Nice job. Atta boy!”

Well, it’s no more ridiculous when done on Facebook. In a not so transparent play to generate some revenue it looks as if the folks at “the ‘book” are thinking that if just a small percentage of their 200 million users are empty headed enough to spend a buck a month to throw credits at their buddies then they can generate some dollars. As TechCrunch put it

And it’s far better than having to return to the capital markets to raise money at what’s likely to be an embarrassing large discount from that ridiculous $15 billion valuation that Microsoft gave them in 2007. Maybe if enough users buy credits that can never be redeemed back for cash they can stretch their runway a little farther.

From a business perspective these are the kind of ideas that makes one wonder if Facebook’s management hasn’t jumped the shark. There has to be another way to pry a dollar out of the pockets of their users. I don’t have one personally but you have to figure that if a few smart people sat in a room over lunch they can come up with something that doesn’t require giving your ‘friends’ the equivalent of an online tip for their efforts.

Hey, if you comment here I’ll give you some credit. Doesn’t that feel good?