Friday, 9 July 2010

Facebook takes back gifts

Facebook shockingly lost more than a quarter of a million users during June. For the No.1 social media site that has constantly been riding high, it seems Facebook may have finally reached its peak. With so many other social media platforms popping up literally every month, users are streamlining their memberships rather than using multiple sites.

So its no surprise that yesterday Facebook announced a major change to its site. The gift shop service where users can ‘buy’ friends virtual gifts with Facebook credits will as of 1st August be no more. Users have to earn credits first before they can send most of the gifts, which in my opinion would make this an unpopular service. However, according to Facebook users have sent millions of gifts, yet the service will be removed allowing the development of more popular areas such as photos, comments, news feed and the ‘Like’ button. I for one have never used this service and will certainly not be mourning its disappearance.

Looking closer at the credits, a key area where users can earn credits is through Facebook games, which are extremely popular (I know my news feed is full of what fishes friends have found and crops they have grown). With the amount of gaming updates I see I expect there are a lot of credits being collected, but where will they spend these credits now? At the moment users can use their credits to reward friends for interesting status updates, but how many people will want to use their earnings for other people?

Facebook could become a major player in online credits, but unless these credits can be spent on something more exciting (think reward scheme websites where credits can be used for real gifts such as branded mousemats and t-shirts to shopping vouchers and product discounts) then they are probably going to just sit there in virtual Facebook piggybanks.

What would you like to spend your Facebook credits on?

Photo source: Facebook

1 comment:

  1. I would have to say that vacations, summer holidays and weddings probably accounts to the slight drop in new members for June - I don't think Facebook is really going anywhere (especially in the UK where it is the second most visited site after Google)

    However, interesting to see the online credits introduced to the gift aspect. Though I suspect, for users such as yourself and I who have never used the function I suspect the credits won't exactly be motivating!