Film studio Warner Brothers today said it will begin offering movies for rental or purchase on the social networking site Facebook.
The first movie to be made available on Facebook is the Heath Ledger starrer The Dark Knight. Warner Brothers said it is initially testing offering movies on the social network and will add more movie titles for rental or purchase in the coming months.
"Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people," Warner Brothers Digital Distribution President Thomas Gewecke said in a statement.
"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."
Facebook said the programme is being driven solely by Warner Brothers and it is "open to developers and partners that want to experiment using its credits in new and interesting ways."
Facebook receives a 30 per cent cut of all revenue from credits, its virtual currency.
To view the movie, people would have to click 'like' on the Facebook page of The Dark Night and then click a 'rent' icon. They would have to pay 30 Facebook credits, or three dollars to watch the movie and will have access to the movies for 48 hours. While viewing the movies, Facebook users would also be able to post comments, update status and interact with their friends.
The offering, which will be available only in the US, comes as movie studios increasingly test new methods of distributing their movies and tap the the lucrative digital-distribution business. Hollywood studios have been looking at services like Amazon, Netflix, Apple's iTunes, Hulu and YouTube to distribute movies online.
Warner had also recently launched applications for The Dark Knight and Inception that allowed users to watch the movies on an iPhone or iPad without downloading them from iTunes.