In case anyone doubted the popularity of social site Facebook, consumers seem to be getting excited about Target's upcoming launch of gift cards for the social site. The soon-to-be debuted cards have generated hundreds of "likes" across the web. Facebook Credit gift cards should indicate to marketers that consumers are using the site not only to engage their favorite brands, but also to buy branded items offered through the channel.
Starting September 5, Facebook Credit gift cards will be available in Target stores across the country. Consumers can get credit in $15, $25, and $50 amounts, with the $15 cards created exclusively for Target.
Target says the cards are aimed at the more than 200 million people who play games on Facebook each month. Several brands have already leveraged this trend into marketing campaigns on the social site. Brafton recently reported that Samsung's launch of the Facebook game "Thr!ve On" signified the rise of social marketing games, and consumption of Facebook Credit gift cards may drive other companies to develop similar games.
With branded games come branded goods that can be sold for avatars – simultaneously promoting a company and generating revenue. This idea underlies the new gift cards. Mark Schindele, senior vice president of merchandising for Target says, "with social gaming becoming increasingly popular, Facebook Credits gift cards provide an easy and convenient option for Target guests to purchase virtual goods."
Last month, Brafton reported that virtual products may be used to promote actual brands, and the launch of Facebook Credit cards makes this marketing (and sales) opportunity even more feasible. Virtual Greats says the virtual goods market is currently a $3.1 billion industry, predicted to grow more than 100 percent in the next three years.