Not All Facebook Users Are Created Equal: How Many Free Coins Did You Get?
Over the weekend, Facebook posted the following notice in my account:
Facebook Gave You 10 Free Credits! You received 10 free Facebook Credits (a $1.00 USD value). Use them to buy premium items in your favorite games on Facebook. Go play!
Well, I only find one app to be useful: Scrabble. I used Farmville twice and Yoville once… both with my son sitting next to me begging me to try them out. Once was enough (the second use of Farmville was to give my son a gift that was available only on that day. That is not a judgment of those games. They just aren’t for me).
Note: The other Facebook app that was useful was Statustalker which Craig Ogg, Keith Bussell and I created to enable Facebook users to comment on each others’ statuses. Facebook loved the idea so much that they built it into the site.
While I have no use for the free coins, I had to post a snarky Facebook status about it. It was:
Can I buy a vowel in Scrabble?
with the Facebook notice. This lead to a surprising series of comments…
What does Aunt Naomi have that I don’t?
I’m sure that there is a wide range of amounts that Facebook users received. Please add yours to the comments section below.
Testing 1, 2, 3
Facebook obviously is testing different amounts. What I’m wondering is it based on past behavior or is it to evaluate the effect of coins on future behavior?
Facebook informed me that my 10 coins had a value of $1 so my friend with 25 coins got $5 of value.
Is Facebook rewarding behavior of people who play games? My anecdotal info says no as two of the people have each played one game and received different levels of coins.
Are women worth more to Facebook? The small sample size I have says yes. This would be inline with the fact that most social gamers are women.
Is Facebook trying to see if coins motivate people and what level motivates people with different psychographic and demographic profiles? I’m guessing this is the one. Facebook must have given coins to 100 million users or more. That is a statistically significant sample. The value that I was given is nothing as the coins can only be used to buy things that have a marginal cost of zero. Give away millions of dollars of free stuff, learn from it and then knock of Zynga and other providers. That sounds like the model here.
So let’s see if we can get some data and figure out what’s up. I assume that there will be a lot more now that Facebook has learned from Zynga, Second Life and other social networks that have been using payment systems for years.
About David Lewis
David Lewis is the CEO and founder of 77Blue which operates online shopping websites. Prior to that, he worked in business development at GoTo / Overture. David was a product manager and accountant in past lives. In 2006, David won Commission Junctionâ€™s Horizon Award for Innovation and was a finalist for Linkshareâ€™s Golden Link Award. You can find David on Twitter @thedavidlewis.