Following the news that Facebook is aiming a full launch of its virtual currency Facebook Credits in September I, like many others, am left wondering whether Facebook will eventually take over the world.
Facebook credits will initially be used to enable users to buy games etc. through the site. However, it is thought that eventually this will roll out to allow users to use credits to purchase goods on sites outside of Facebook – making it a service to rival PayPal.
I can see that this might be very useful. I do have a PayPal account, but use it rarely and often feel both confused and nervous purchasing items on Ebay via PayPal (not, might I add, that these feelings stop me making said purchases when the need arises). Digital Prefect/social media addict I may be but that in no way instils trust in all things virtual or over rides the natural skeptic in me. So I might feel more comfortable using the known entity of Facebook to purchase my goods online.
But are we really looking for a one-stop-shop from our social networks? Admittedly, whilst I indulge many online fads initially, I do tend to return to the usual suspects for my regular status updates/photo-sharing/gossip gathering/business networking.
Yet, Facebook alone does not negate my desire to Tweet (there are celebs ahoy there and I am extremely nosy) and similarly, I have no desire to conduct my business networking in the same space that I ‘socialise’ (albeit virtually) with my friends. Potential clients may not find last weekends antics either amusing or impressive, whilst my friends have limited interest in the latest networking groups I have joined/presentations I have uploaded/new contacts I have made (though I like to think all are avid followers of this blog *ahem*). If I want people to know my exact location at any given time and earn points for regularly drinking/dining at the same venue, I would probably join FourSquare to do so (though I don’t and I haven’t). I am happy to browse the plethora of e-commerce sites available on the internet, and utilise the payment systems provided should I decide to make a purchase. Facebook does not need to be all of these things on its own.
So do we really want Facebook to become our one-stop shop for all things virtual, or do you think it should stick to what it does best, social networking. What do you think?