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PayPal to feed Facebook ads, virtual goods

How to buy bits in 24 currencies

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Facebook and PayPal have announced a partnership that will see the mega-social-networking site process both advertising and virtual goods payments through eBay's ever-expanding currency swap platform.

According to the two companies, PayPal will "soon" be an option for purchasing Facebook ads via PayPal on the social site's online advertising platform or for buying Facebook Credits, used in turn to acquire digital songs, ecards, and virtual goods.

Currently, Facebook Credits can be spent in the site's very own (virtual) gift shop and on various third-party applications beta testing this online currency.

PayPal can now send and receive money in 24 currencies and 190 markets around the world, and this, the two companies indicate, will be particularly handy on Facebook, where 70 per cent of visitors come from outside the US.

Previously, reports had indicated the Facebook was developing its own PayPal competitor, dubbed Facebook Wallet. But a PayPal spokesman tells us that any perception that that two companies are competitors should be laid to rest. For what it's worth, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel was an early investor in Facebook and he now sits on its board of directors.

The Facebook-PayPal pact is another win for the new PayPal X platform, a means of integrating the payments platform into third-party sites. PayPal has previously inked deals with Microsoft to offer PayPal payments to developers on Windows Azure and with Sun Oracle to do so on its Java Applications Store.

A PayPal spokesman says that the platform will reach Facebook Credit buyers in "the next few days" and the Facebook ad tool in a "couple of weeks." Currently, Facebook accepts payments via credit card or a third-party pay-by-cell-phone service known as Zong. ®

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