When Facebook announced that its Facebook Credits gift cards would be made available at Targets nationwide, a part of me thought, so what? Lots of things are “made available at Target,” after all.
I was wrong.
Target is not just “making them available,” but making Facebook Credits gift cards a key retail offering through premium placement — or at least at the Target I visited over the weekend. Of all the gift cards the Target in Harlem makes available, the Facebook Credits gift cards get the absolute prime location: eye level, facing the aisle, and at the far right of the cards display where the eye naturally gravitates first.
Should this be surprising? Well, yes and no. No, because Facebook is the behemoth brand of the web these days. Just the “Facebook” name rubs right against the Target brand. Yes, because it is not just that Facebook Credits are an unproven real-life retailing commodity, but the retail value of anything virtual in the real world is disputable. Look at the rash of eBay retail outlets that aimed to foster transactions on the web auction site. They didn’t exactly fly.
Obviously, Facebook has broken all sorts of presumptions in its march to social media dominance, and there is no reason why this real-world venture won’t do so, as well. If Facebook succeeds, it will be a first — and that portends to other online brands making offline inroads. Now that would be something.