Shoppers at Target this weekend will be seeing the first Facebook Credits gift cards, which the retailer will be selling for $15, $25 and $50 starting on Sunday. Facebook is launching the sale of its virtual currency at the 1,750 U.S. stores and on Target.com, and is reportedly taking a 30-percent share of each sale.
Facebook has other retailers in mind for future distribution and the promotion figures to be a significant source of revenue for the company. The ubiquitous iTunes gift cards have been a mainstay at checkout lines since their launch a few years ago, and game developer Zynga has also had success selling its virtual currency gift cards in Target, Best Buy, GameStop and other retail stores.
The virtual currency market has grown into a $1.6 billion industry in the U.S., where shoppers already spend more than $86 billion each year on retail gift cards. Facebook Credits launched in 2009 as a way for users to purchase items in games played on the social network, and until now were only available through PayPal and credit cards. The new gift cards are the first-ever actual retail item available from Facebook.