Today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, David Kirkpatrick and Sean Parker sat down with Michael Arrington to talk about the state of Facebook. There were a lot of interesting things said (more on that in posts to come), but one thing that definitely stood out was an answer Parker gave to a question from the audience.
The question asked what Facebook’s next big source of revenue would be? Parker, who was the founding President of Facebook, still works closely with the company as he’s a major shareholder. He noted that Facebook PR might not like his answer too much, but he decided to give it anyway: the Credit system.
Parker believes that the Facebook Credit system (that is, its payment platform), or any other things Facebook uses as a “tax and toll” on the Platform, will become a third of Facebook’s income in the next 12 months. In other words, he thinks it’s going to explode.
And it very well could. One of the main reasons it is believed that there were tensions between Zynga and Facebook is because Facebook was starting to push its Credits system, which gives Facebook a 30% cut of the in-game money Zynga earns. The two sides recently reached an agreement which is believed to keep Facebook’s cut the same, but gives Zynga a significant discount on advertising on Facebook.
If virtual currency and goods are nearly a $100 million (revenue) a year business (last year) for Zynga, that’s a lot of money for Facebook. And that’s only going to grow — and likely fast if Parker is right.