Facebook has just announced an expansion of its partnership with social game offer provider TrialPay on its DealSpot product that gives users Facebook Credits in exchange for watching branded videos. We covered in detail Facebook and TrialPay’s initial partnered around DealSpot earlier this year, but now Facebook will be presenting the option to earn Credits for video views around the site in its sidebar modules. Video providers Sharethrough, EpicSocial, SocialVibe, and SupersonicAds will be the first companies to have their videos shown in Facebook’s sidebars as well as games via DealSpot.
Facebook says the goal of the expanded partnership is to help game developers monetize a higher percentage of their users by educating users about how to earn and spend Credits and getting more of them to carry a balance of the virtual currency.
To initiate the DealSpot flow from within a game, users click on an icon skinned by the developer to say “Earn Free Credits” or something similar. This will open a video player which users click to start. At the end of the video, Credits are deposited into the user’s account, and they are given the choice of following links to websites or Facebook Pages for the advertiser, or filling out an optional poll. They can then spend their Credits in that game or any other that supports Credits as a payment system — which will be all games on the Facebook Platform starting July 1st when Credits become mandatory.
While over 350 games now use Credits, only those that use Credits as their premium in-game currency can use this version of DealSpot. As on July 1st, 2011, developers that don’t work with Facebook’s approved offer providers (TrialPay is currently the only one) can only serve offers that don’t require identifiable information, such as videos, and they can only reward users with virtual goods, not virtual currency or Credits.
Advertisers could previously go through TrialPay’s DealSpot to present videos as well as traditional paid purchase offers to users within games. But now, advertisers will also be able to gain views of their videos through Facebook’s DealSpot sidebar modules which will appear around the site to users who play games.
Sharethrough, one of the video provider launch partners for this extension of DealSpot, reports that video ad campaigns within Facebook games significant increase brand awareness. Initial tests of DealSpot prior to this expansion which included paid purchase offers showed that DealSpot earned nearly twice as much revenue for developers than their offer wall, which only gives users the option to earn Credits once they’re already trying to purchase a virtual good. This shows that users that typically weren’t interested in making purchases can become paying customers if given the option to earn Credits during normal, free gameplay.
Prior to DealSpot, if a developer wanted to offer users virtual currency or gifts in exchange for watching a branded video, they had to inefficiently set up relationships with video providers one by one. The partnership between Facebook and TrialPay aggregates these providers so developers only have to deal with TrialPay, making it easier for them to earn money without hiring a large sales team.
By making it easy for users to earn Facebook Credits and participate in the Platform’s virtual economy without have to pay real money, Facebook Credits Product Manager Deb Liu tells us the site hopes to “get 3, 4, or 5 percent more users to have Credits in their balance”, which would be a significant increase. The partnership could help developers make more money and make Facebook a more attractive Platform to develop on.