Facebook is due to make nearly $500 million from its virtual currency in 2011, new analyst data suggests.
The revenue projections would mean the money generated from Facebook Credits will have tripled in twelve months.
A new report from market research firm eMarketer believes Facebook is due to make $470 million from Credits in 2011. Last year it was thought to have made $140 million, up from $39 million the year prior.
Facebook has not verified the data.
The social network giant this year made its own virtual currency mandatory for microtransactions made on its platform. Before, companies could sell items through their own accounts.
Facebook Credits are used to buy virtual items on numerous social games, such as Zynga’s Cityville and EA’s Sims Social. Facebook takes a 30 per cent cut from all transactions.
Though Facebook Credits are projected to make half a billion dollars this year, eMarketer believes that as much as $3.8 billion will be made from ad revenue in the same period.
“We believe that Credits can and will fund a variety of monetary interactions on Facebook beyond social games,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson told VentureBeat.
“Ecommerce is one example, as is buying access to media such as TV shows or movies”
Last year, Facebook Credits were estimated to have contributed to 7 per cent of Facebook’s overall revenue.