Facebook, which claims to have more than 500 million active users worldwide, is in now in the video-on-demand business.
The social media site struck a deal with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution to begin testing a 48-hour rental of The Dark Night, the 2008 release in the studio's Batman franchise.
The movie -- currently available only to users in the United States -- may be rented for $3, or 30 Facebook Credits, on the website at facebook.com/darkknight. Facebook Credits, which cost 10 cents each, are a virtual currency used to buy virtual goods in games and apps on the site.
Warner Bros. said it plans to offer additional movies for purchase or rental through Facebook. Pleasanton, Calif.-based Milyoni is providing the pay-per-view transaction processing via its Facebook app for Warner Bros.
Facebook users who rent The Dark Knight can watch it in full screen; pause the movie; and resume playing it when they log back in to the site. Warner Bros. is delivering the movie in Adobe Flash format.
"Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people," Warner Bros. Digital Distribution president Thomas Gewecke said in announcing the deal. "Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world's largest social network."
The Dark Knight premiered in U.S. theaters on July 14, 2008, and Warner Bros. released DVD and Blu-ray Disc editions on Dec. 9, 2008.
Facebook has 500 million active users who spend more than 700 billion minutes per month on the site, according to the company.
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