Facebook Credits are carving a niche in overall global revenue at the social network, rising to a projected $470 million revenue total in 2011, or 11 percent of Facebook’s total.
That compares with $140 million, or 7 percent, in 2010, according to a new forecast from eMarketer.
Facebook Credits got a big bump in revenue upon July 1, when the digital currency became mandatory for all game developers, which had to begin sharing 30 percent of revenues generated from the currency with the social network.
The integration of Facebook Credits with third-party presences such as Bing and Apple’s iTunes was likely a factor in the revenue increase, as well.
So eMarketer has projected overall 2011 revenue for Facebook at $4.27 billion, compared with $2 billion in 2010.
Advertising’s projected contribution of $3.8 billion in revenues for 2011 represents 89 percent of the company’s total, versus $1.86 billion and 95 percent, respectively, in 2010.
Further projections for Facebook ad revenue from eMarketer were $5.78 billion in 2012 and $7 billion in 2013.
Like eMarketer Principal Analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in the report:
Facebook’s revenue streams will continue to diversify, with ads representing a decreasing proportion of total revenue, while other sources such as Facebook Credits will grow.
Even though Facebook has spent several years wooing marketers, many of them still believe the ads aren’t effective at driving clicks and other actions. Facebook must either work to improve its click-through rate or show advertisers that advertising on the site is effective even without a click or other action.
Meanwhile, some continue to grumble that Facebook’s 30 percent share is too steep for any type of payment product. Readers, what do you think: Are you pro- or anti-Facebook Credits?