The social network is also allowing app developers, which include many brands, to roll out subscriptions, with users being offered updated content or premium experiences for a monthly fee. The feature will be available from July, but is already being tested by developers including KIXEYE and Zynga, whose games account for about 12% of Facebook’s revenue.
Facebook says by supporting pricing on its platform in local currency it hopes to simplify the purchase experience, making it easier for brands to reach global audiences who want to pay for apps and games.
It took the move because most games on Facebook – particularly casino based games like poker – have implemented their own virtual currencies, reducing the need for Credits. Facebook takes a 30% cut from transactions made on the site.
Many users may have previously found it difficult to work out exactly how much they had spent on Facebook, given the number of different virtual currency systems used across different games on the platform.
Some developers, however, may be dissatisfied with the move because by converting Credits into their own virtual currencies, they could incentivise users to spend more.
It also might make it difficult for developers to implement a standardised pricing strategy on the platform, similar to the way brands originally struggled initially to work out optimum pricing for mobile apps. Facebook developers will be able to price items differently on a market-by-market basis under the new system.
Facebook’s move to shake up its payments system comes in the same month it launched its own app centre, making it easier for users to discover apps. It was also designed to help grow the company’s mobile app roster as it struggles to prove to investors it has a long-term mobile growth strategy.
Any users who currently have Credit balances will find these have been converted into their local currencies for use on in-app items from July.