More Industry Comments on Facebook’s Virtual Currency Alpha Test

As Facebook plans to launch early tests of its virtual currency, Facebook credits, with Platform application developers in the next few weeks, developers and virtual currency and payment providers alike are considering how Facebook’s move to participate more directly in Platform monetization efforts will affect the Platform economy.

Yesterday, Jambool’s Vikas Gupta shared his thoughts on the impact of Facebook credits on Platform payments. Today, we’ve asked several more leading companies in the space to share their thoughts, included below.

It’s still early in the process, and Facebook hasn’t given any concrete word on its timeline for the alpha tests, other than to say they will start them in the next few weeks. Given the pace of in-house monetization-related developments so far, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these tests take a long time to develop as Facebook solidifies its own plans and roadmap.

“We think this is a good thing for the space. Even though there are plenty of users already taking part in virtual economies on Facebook, MySpace and hundreds of standalone web sites and games, there is also a certain percentage who are uncomfortable with sharing personal or payment data with third-party apps. They do tend to trust Facebook, however, so a universal virtual currency would help overcome this barrier. It should also help speed the growth and availability of new virtual goods and premium digital assets.”

– Matt McAllister, Offerpal Media

“We think it’s an exciting development for publishers, and should wind up an a reduction in the number of barriers/steps needed to make payments. This also galvanizes the whole micropayments model as the Facebook brand stands behind it. We are optimistic that it will bring in more developers to this eco-system which is a good thing for both us and Facebook.”

– Jesse Manuel, Super Rewards

“This is a dangerous development for all payment providers who derive most of their business from the facebook platform such as Social Gold, Spare Change etc. Mobile, Survey and Offer providers are less affected at this point. However this is good for the ecosystem – it will end up growing the overall market, and increasing the trust levels between users and applications. Facebook should end up making tens of millions in transaction fees in their first year after rollout.”

– Ali Moiz, Peanut Labs Media

“Obviously Facebook is in an advantageous position. But, At the end of the day, Facebook is another competitor – a big competitor, but that doesn’t mean other virtual currency or offer payment platforms won’t exist. We’re not anxious or excited, but it’s something to keep eye on. It’s going to be interesting to see how Facebook’s virtual currency test rolls out, and if the company decides to go with a full-fledged offer wall, what kind of offers it would have. With all the volume of user information it has, Facebook could do some really interesting stuff. For example, if someone wrote a Wall post about a Britney Spears concert they want to attend, Facebook might be able to use that info within an application to offer you a 10 percent discount to the upcoming Britney Spears concert.”

– Hussein Fazal, AdParlor

“We think it will be good for the market as a whole. What it will do is increase user demand. We see ourselves as an enabler of transactions. We’re a payment network, so we’re an ideal solution in the US and other countries for virtual currency and micropayments. We’re excited about what’s happening in the social networking and gaming space.”

– Paul McGuire, Paymo