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Facebook abandons Credits, allows app developers to charge monthly fees
Facebook abandons Credits, allows app developers to charge monthly fees
June 19, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

June 19, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
More: Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Facebook recently made some significant changes to the way it approaches in-app payments, as it has killed off Facebook Credits and has enabled apps to charge recurring monthly fees.

Facebook first introduced Facebook Credits in early 2011 as a universal currency across all of its apps and games. According to the company, many apps have instead implemented their own forms of virtual currency, so it has chosen to abandon Credits in favor of supporting local currencies like the U.S. dollar, the British pound, and the Japanese yen.

Facebook claims that the transition will remain seamless for existing users, as all Credits and unredeemed gift cards will automatically convert to the appropriate currency.

In addition, Facebook also announced that in July, it will enable developers to charge monthly fees on their Facebook apps, allowing them to gain an additional revenue stream on top of the existing in-app purchase model.

The subscription functionality is planned to debut in full next month, though Facebook noted that game developers like Zynga and Kixeye are already testing the new feature.

For more information on these new monetization changes, check out Facebook's official developer blog.

Gamasutra contacted Zynga to get its thoughts on the decision to abandon Facebook Credits, and a company spokesperson told us, "Zynga supports any improvement to the Facebook platform and player experience that makes it easier to play and pay. We’re proud of the long term partnership we have with Facebook and today’s announcement doesn't change the economic relationship between the two companies."

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Mathieu Rouleau
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Am I glad I didn't implement FB Credits into our framework? Yes I am.

Vin St John
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I think it's important to note that they haven't really abandoned anything except the name "Facebook Credits." Everything still works the same way it used to, for the most part - the big difference is just that when they display the price of things (or the user balance), it's shown with a $ sign in front instead of a Credits logo at the end.

Nooh Ha
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FBCs were implemented so badly. Just trying to find out your FBC balance was almost impossible let alone trying to top them up.

Duong Nguyen
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FB runs into its biggest problem, engineering depth. Unlike Google, Microsoft or even Apple they just don't have the engineering depth for big projects. So when they try to implement even something as semi-ambitious as unified platform currency model, we'll we see the result. It's not like FB doesn't do some good stuff, on the social network side sure, but the further they stray from that path, their lack of depth shows. It's not something even billions can buy overnight, since it takes time for teams to form, people to gel and leadership to arise.

Harlan Sumgui
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And it doesn't help that their long term vision doesn't include much in the way of 'providing increasing levels of value for users.'