MediaFile

Attention WalMart and BestBuy Shoppers – Facebook Credits on aisle 5

It’s been about nine months since Facebook rolled out its virtual currency, Facebook Credits.

Now the Internet social networking giant will make its Credits widely available in the physical world, by selling them on pre-paid gift cards available at Best Buy and FBCreditsWalMart stores in the United States.

No, you can’t use Facebook Credits to buy a six-pack of beer or a new iPod. The currency remains limited to use in the social games and applications popular on Facebook, where people can use Facebook Credits to buy virtual crops for planting in the Farmville game, for example.

Facebook began selling Facebook Credit gift cards at Target stores earlier this year, but landing on WalMart and Best Buy shelves should vastly expand the availability of its fledgling currency – at the end of 2009, WalMart had more than 3,600 stores in the United States.

Facebook won’t say what percentage of its more than 500 million users currently use Credits, though the company says the idea of selling Credits cards  in brick-and-mortar retail stores is to expand access to a broader group of people and to increase the use of Credits.

Investing in the Internet… literally.

One of the Crystal Palace Space Station domes

The headlines were salacious, the scandal was set. This was going to be the water-cooler story of the week.

27 year-old Erik Novak from British Columbia paid out a record-breaking $330,000 (USD) for a digital space station. Let that sink in for a moment.

A digital space station.

In a video game.

Perhaps even better than all the jokes you and I could write all day was the argument from the company that this was a sound investment.

from Summit Notebook:

Zynga CEO: Half of social web users will be social gamers

Don’t ask Zynga’s Mark Pincus how much money his company is making.

The founder of the hot social gaming company, which is operating at a more than $200 million yearly run rate according to sources familiar with the matter, said sharing such information would contribute to the kind of hype that would be bad for the nascent industry.

“I just hope that we can all partner to try to get the story out in a balanced way, so that the media doesn’t necessarily have to go back and forth, ‘This is the next great coming,’ and hyping it, and then two or three months later, ‘Oh they didn’t deliver on these very high expectations that we’ve all put out there,’” Pincus said in a conversation with reporters at the Reuters Media Summit.

He noted that Zynga, whose games include FarmVille and Mafia Wars, has been profitable for eight quarters and sees no reason to raise capital in a public stock offering anytime soon.

Web 2.0: Ning does Virtual Gifts and Demand Media does healthcare

With the Web 2.0 conference about to kick off in San Francisco, Internet start-ups are unveiling new products and tossing out crumbs of data about their businesses intended to illustrate how fast they’re growing.

Social-networking firm Ning led the charge on Tuesday with the news that it has grown 300 percent year-over-year to 36 million registered users and that it is jumping on the virtual goods bandwagon.

The company said it will begin selling virtual goods across the 1.6 million specialized social networks that exist on Ning for $1.50 per gift. The company said it will split 50 percent of the revenue with the Ning network creators who offer the goods on their respective networks.