Facebook Credits - Games
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Updated with analyst comments. Facebook is announcing the next phase in the rollout of its virtual currency, Facebook Credits, which is leaving beta testing today. That means all Facebook game developers will be able to use Credits as their payment system for virtual goods — in fact, Facebook is requiring them to make the switch by July 1.
Facebook will soon roll Facebook Credits out to even more application developers, so it has publicly announced that it will take 30% of the revenues earned for goods sold via Facebook Credits. Facebook Credits make up Facebook's virtual currency; the currency became available to some users last spring. Those users could buy gifts with it. Facebook then made a deal that gave users the ability to purchase Facebook Credits with their PayPal accounts and offered Facebook Credits as a currency option to several application developers, including uber-huge game-makers Playfish and Zynga . Facebook says it's taking the 30% cut so it can invest "heavily in the ecosystem" by educating users and marketing to them about the currency, testing out incentives to get people to try the credits out, and seeding credits to get people comfortable with them.
Facebook is about to ruffle some feathers. We’re hearing from one source that the social network is reaching out to game developers to inform them that it is making its own, official Facebook Credits currency mandatory. Our understanding is that it will be the exclusive currency as well. Update : Facebook has confirmed that it is indeed making Facebook Credits mandatory for Games, with the rule going into effect on July 1 2011. Facebook says that Credits will be the exclusive way for users to get their ‘real money’ into a game, but developers are still allowed to keep their own in-game currencies (FarmBucks, FishPoints, whatever).
At the Facebook f8 conference earlier this year, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Open Graph as “the most transformative thing we’ve ever done for the web” and with that announcement, the disparate strands of the world wide web became more tightly woven. At the time, and to my surprise, mention of Facebook Credits was minimal at best—but as more information becomes available, it’s my prediction that Facebook Credits will be the NEXT major step Facebook takes toward unifying the online experience from simple, social interactions to true social commerce (or when tied to Facebook commerce, labeled as fC ommerce ). Before we dive into where I see that going, here’s a quick recap of what Facebook Open Graph is and how it lays the foundation for Facebook Credits to revolutionize the online experience for users and marketers alike. An Open Graph Recap The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph.