Facebook Uses Credits To Increase Promotional Gift Engagement

-Branded Terminator Gift-Want to send a branded Terminator gift to your friends? Maybe not but what if you knew that the gift would also generate money for your friends, would you do that? I would guess that there’s a much better chance you’d send the gift. In a campaign for the new Terminator movie, Facebook is incentivizing users to send out gifts to their friends by also including 10 gift credits for free. The promotion also includes a custom gifts tab within the Terminator Salvation page.

Facebook keeps working on creative advertisements that will drive user engagement and this is one of the best strategies I’ve seen yet. Often times it’s difficult to get users to send a free gift to their friends unless it’s truly a gift the user connects with. Through this new model, users would have an incentive to send the gift even if the didn’t connect with it. While 10 gift credits is little incentive (it’s worth approximately 10 cents), there’s no better form of money then free money!

Facebook has been testing out a credits system for some time now and even more recently Facebook confirmed that they are preparing to launch a beta test of their payment system for developers. Prior to integrating with applications, Facebook is testing out the credits for promotional purposes within profiles and with gifts. It’s clear that virtual currency will be a big part of Facebook’s future and other social networks are also rushing to lead the charge.

hi5 has made numerous announcements recently related to their payments platform. Back in December hi5 announced the launch of their virtual gifting platform as well as their virtual currency, hi5 coins, and now the company appears to be working with developers. Just last week, RockYou partnered with hi5 on their “Pets” game to integrate the hi5 coins currency. It’s a trend that we’ll continue to see over the coming year: the integration of social platforms and virtual currency.

This is only one promotion in a series of promotions that I’d expect to see over the coming weeks and months, but it’s most definitely a creative way to start driving more user engagement. Would you send a gift to your friends because it had free credits attached?