Eric Edelstein, chief executive officer at Zunguz, was speaking to the Digital Services Africa conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, on social payments and social commerce trends, yesterday.
Although only 8 per cent of brands on Facebook transact through the social network currently, Edelstein forecasts the trend to grow swiftly, starting within in the next few weeks with the launch of virtual money gifts.
Facebook does not only capitalise on transactions through its own community pages, but also monetise through enhanced websites, plug-ins at retail stores and with Facebook credit payments.
He referred to Woolworths as being one of the most successful South African, possibly even African, brands on Facebook.
Zunguz has launched its social payments on Facebook in beta phase for South Africa.
“Facebook credit is big in the near future,” he said.
Edelstein referred to a Gartner report which stated US$30 billion will be generated through social commerce by 2015.
Other virtual currencies he referred to as potentially booming include Bitcoin and virtual wallets.
Although Facebook is most visibly active on this front, Edelstein believes the trend will spread to other social networks.
Recent cloned pages of Facebook users in South Africa and Africa poses a risk to its social commerce services as the network’s security reputation is at stake.
HumanIPO reported last month on cloned Facebook pages resulting in theft via false friend requests.