Pay it with Facebook

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After years of trying to come up with a half decent revenue model to justify its billions of dollars of “worth”, it seems Facebook is turning to agriculture to make some moolah. And when we say agriculture, we mean, of course, Farmville.

The Bugsy Malone execs at Facebook have had something of an epiphany when it comes to users’ daily transactions with the Mafia for fertilizer and dairy cows, and have come up with a "Pay with Facebook" model which could potentially pay off big time.

Zynga, makers of both Farmville and Mafia Wars, has somehow managed to suck in some 75 million monthly active users (see, desperate housewives and pre-pubescent teens), with 25 million of those busy daily, ploughing away at their virtual crops.

And while users are reaping what they virtually sow, Facebook has something of a social economic plan in place to harvest a hefty 30 per cent on every transaction users make using its pay scheme. 

Some reckon this might even rake in more cash than Facebook currently makes on ads, especially as the virtual goods market in the US is set to reach $1.6 billion in 2010, with social gaming making up a whopping $835 million of that.

According to Zynga, Farmville alone made almost $250 million in 2009 and managed to raise an earth shattering $1.5 million for Haiti in just five days on special limited edition virtual game goods. 

All we can say is that it doesn’t look like “Farmbook” is in any danger of having its cash crop wilt any time soon. Ker-ching.