Facebook is partnering with eBay-owned PayPal, the two companies are announcing today, so that people can buy Facebook advertising and its virtual currency, Credits, using the online payment service.
Although some have speculated that Credits could become a PayPal rival, this partnership suggests that Facebook is going to continue building Credits as a virtual currency, and not as a payments service. The press release today says as much: “The goal of Facebook Credits is to give users a fast and easy way to buy virtual goods on Facebook, including items from the Facebook Gift Shop.” Other ways to buy items include mobile payments, via a partnership with Zong, and direct payments via credit cards.
The statement from Dan Levy, Facebook’s director of payment operations: “We want to give the people who use Facebook, as well as advertisers and developers, a fast and trusted way to pay across our service. As our business has grown, offering local methods of payment has become increasingly important for advertisers who want to buy Facebook Ads. Teaming with PayPal, a global leader in online payments, makes this possible.”
PayPal’s advantage is that it is a thoroughly-developed online payment service, popular abroad and with smaller businesses. It is also a mainstay option with offer walls and other payment interfaces within third-party games and other applications on Facebook.