Facebook's virtual currency vig is not so bad

Facebook-hating is becoming quite vogue these days. Seems everybody has an opinion about why these guys are horrifically evil. Maybe they are, but one thing that's come under scrutiny certainly doesn't make them so. It is their new rule that games use Facebook's virtual currency... and that Facebook gets a 30% cut.

This is obviously a deep cut into the revenue of rising stars--particularly Zynga that has over 80 million people playing Farmville on the Facebook platform. But is it wrong?

Maybe if you live in the fantasy world where the notion of giving away unlimited value to the masses for free has become sone sort of quasi-religious moral imperative. But here's a news flash:

Facebook is a business.

Zynga is making millions of dollars running a business on the Facebook platform. Why shouldn't Facebook get a cut? Apple gets 50% of revenue from music sold in the iTunes Store. Is that any different? They created the platform, they get paid.

Ironically, Facebook is getting slammed for creating a virtual currency standard. Zynga may bemoan that fact, but it's something I'm sure they'd like to do themselves. Granted, Facebook's standard is a pproprietary one, but a standard nonetheless.

What do you think? Is Facebook evil?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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