Facebook Expands Virtual Store to Third-Party Developers

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August 21, 2009 – Facebook is expanding the reach of their Facebook Gift Shop by allowing third-party developers to begin selling virutal and physical items through the social network.

The Inside Facebook Blog revealed that Facebook users will now be able to buy vitural and physical goods directly through site from 4 app developers including American Greetings Interactive, GreetBeatz, Someecards, and Real Gifts. The expansion also includes growth for Facebook’s virtual currency, known as Facebook credits, to purchase said items with credit cards, PayPal, or through providers including Offerpal Media and SuperRewards.

It’s estimated that developers will generate $300 million to $500 million in revenue this year alone through selling items on Facebook, creating a possibly huge income for Facebook that may signal the beginning of serious non-advertising revenue for the social network. Facebook hopes to extend the virutal store to other brands and companies in the future.

Justin Smith, a blogger on Inside Facebook, writes about the new development, “Between the Gift Shop and payment service for developers, Facebook is in the unique position to build a robust commerce business and simultaneously create powerful new monetization opportunities for developers.”

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