Facebook Credits will be the mandatory virtual payment processing system for Facebook's social gaming platform July 1. The social network wants to run all payments in-house.
Facebook is throwing its muscle into its vaunted application
platform, requiring that its Facebook Credits system be used by all social game
developers to process payments on the social network.
Launched to beta in 2009, Credits
is a virtual currency system that lets consumers enter their payment
information once to buy goods and earn money on games in the social network.
10 Facebook Credits cost $1 for consumers, who pay for their digital goods via a credit card, gift
cards, eBay's PayPal payment service and via mobile phones.
Facebook said Credits currently processes more than
70 percent of virtual goods transactions on the network, spanning more than 350
applications from Zynga, PlayFish and other game developers. Developers using
Credits keep 70 percent of the revenue from virtual goods transactions.
However, Facebook wants to expand the effort both in the
United States and overseas. To wit, the company is ordering the remaining 30 percent of
developers using other virtual currency platforms on Facebook to switch to
Credits, so on July 1 it will flip the switch to make all games developers use its
Deb Liu, a platform marketing manager at Facebook,
the company's platform engineers will help "onboard" developers who
are not yet using Credits.
Liu added that Facebook will incentivize developers who use
Credits as their in-game currency by granting them featured placement on the
Games Dashboard, premium ad targeting and new co-promotion opportunities.
"We're excited to give Facebook users the confidence
that when they purchase Facebook Credits or receive them as a gift, they can
spend them in any game on Facebook," Liu added.
Facebook is hardly the only Internet giant with an
interest in virtual goods payment systems. Google in August acquired
virtual payment system Jambool as part of its social software
acquisition spree that included Slide and SocialDeck, as well as a $100
million investment in Facebook partner Zynga.
Jambool's Solid Gold virtual payment platform allowed
application developers to insert payment options into online games and other
applications. The assumption with that buy is that Google is building its own
social games offering within its broad Web services network.
Adding fuel to that fire is the fact that Google recently
Johnny Chung Lee, a noted "core contributor" for the Microsoft
Kinect gaming sensor used for the Xbox 360, from Microsoft.