Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Now on Sale at Target: Facebook

Inevitable but important move for Facebook: It is now selling gift cards for its newish “Facebook Credits” currency, starting with a rollout at Target (TGT) stores this week.

Facebook Credits are a big deal for Facebook because they should create an important revenue stream for Mark Zuckerberg and company. The credits are supposed to power Zynga’s games and other virtual-goods vendors, and Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of each sale.

And gift cards are a big deal for Facebook Credits because people really like buying gift cards–they buy some $86 billion worth of them a year. In the Web world, they’re very important for kids and anyone else who want to buy things online but don’t have access to credit cards.

And they’re incredibly popular for people who want to buy someone a present but have no idea what to get–I’ve heard estimates that something like 40 percent of Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes purchases are funded by gift cards. If the Facebook folks end up with anything remotely as popular they’ll be very happy.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work