Hold on to your seats, the next sentence may make you dizzy: The virtual world (games, music, social networks, etc) maximizes its acquisition of real dollars by issuing prepaid cards that are implemented both in the physical form as well as virtual formats. Facebook certainly hopes that its virtual currency will be as broadly adopted by Target customers as other virtual/physical incarnations such as the iTunes prepaid card. In related news GifTango announced an API designed to make all the physical gift cards it offer through its gift card aggregation web site available virtually within any mobile application.
The social-network giant is getting into the gift card business, starting Sunday, with Facebook Credits cards.
The new Facebook gift cards will be available in values of $15, $25 and $50 at all of Target’s 1,750 retail stores and at Target.com. Two or three more national retailers will start selling the cards in coming months.
This will be the first time Facebook has had any presence in a retail store. Facebook already has an arrangement with online-payment services PayPal and MOL to purchase Facebook Credits.
Facebook is banking that a sizable chunk of its 500 million members will purchase the cards and use them on their favorite social games, applications and virtual goods.
The cards can initially be used on more than 150 social games and applications, including titles from gamemakers such as Zynga (FarmVille, FrontierVille), CrowdStar (Happy Aquarium, HelloCity) and Pop Cap Games (Bejeweled Blitz). Facebook gift cards do not replace Zynga’s existing game cards.
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