Facebook credits – putting the virtue into virtual currency

A progressive US cancer charity has become the first organisation – so says Mashable – to accept Facebook Credits in place of a donation.

The Stand Up 2 Cancer National Telethon, which was aired in the States on Friday night, gave viewers the chance to donate via virtual currency – aside from all the usual donation options.

When Facebook Credits were first introduced, they were a way for the social network to generate an income outside of ads and membership fees. When a member bought credits, Facebook took a cut; when the member spent them, the app in question got paid.

For the member, the currency opened up a world of social gaming possibilities; to-date there are more than 150 apps containing countless digital goods within Facebook.

On the one hand you have to take your hat off to Stand Up 2 Cancer. The charity is moving with the times, tapping into the zeitgeist and making charitable giving even more accessible.

Using Facebook as a platform enables users to share their donations on wall posts and extend the visibility of the campaign.

Stand Up 2 Cancer has turned dowdy old charity giving into a fun little game – just like FarmVille. Am I the only one that cringes just a little bit at that thought?

I think it’s the degrees of separation that gets me; we have to spend our actual money on virtual money to then submit via PayPal through a Facebook page. I’m not sure how close to the cause I’d feel if I did that.

And are we that cold-hearted that we need to assimilate donating money to a cancer charity with online gaming before we dip into our pockets?

The bottom line is that as a result of Stand Up 2 Cancer‘s actions, more money will be reaching a highly worthy cause. The 279 ‘Likes’ Mashable has already received for this story pay lip service to this.

Scoffing aside, my hat is raised – and my gut-reaction cringe will no doubt fade with time.

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