There has been much speculation recently about the role Facebook Credits could play in becoming a global virtual currency, and even the possibility of Facebook becoming a bank. In many ways, it already is becoming a bank – just not in the traditional sense. Facebook is harnessing the power of the social graph, and has certainly adopted an expanded definition of what ‘currency’ means. It’s time for the rest of us to hop on board.
As I’ve been conducting research for The Future of Facebook Project, the experts and thought leaders interviewed shared some compelling views about the evolution of virtual currencies, and Facebook’s potential role in their development. A big takeaway is that while we typically associate currency directly with money, the rise of the social web and quantification is shifting that reality to become more inclusive of kinds of capital that were formerly intangible.
Money is a tool we use for arms-length transactions, where there isn’t an assumption of any kind of relationship or trust between parties. But as data is being mapped at an accelerating rate – from self-quantifiation, to the contextual and relational data about our location and interactions, to our preferences and opinions, to our exchanges and transactions – we are being granted access to a much richer base of information in our decision-making toolkit.
Read it all here.