/// Even as It Makes Credits Mandatory for Games, Facebook Downplays Its Payment Ambitions

July 1, 2011  |  All Things Digital


On the occasion of Facebook’s preannounced July 1 deadline for game developers to exclusively process payments using Facebook Credits , we paid a visit to the company’s platform and payments executives to find out how things were going. Facebook will later today announce it is adding support for 32 additional currencies to Credits, including the Brazilian real, the Korean won, the Malaysian ringgit and the Russian ruble. That brings Facebook to 47 currencies supported. Partnerships and platform marketing VP Dan Rose said he expects that nearly all games will make today’s deadline — though my colleague Tricia Duryee has found a couple of developers who procrastinated until the last minute. Games that don’t make the transition to Credits will soon be warned that they’re violating the newly updated terms of service and face standard enforcement procedures, Rose said. Meanwhile, Facebook has put out all sorts of incentives and case studies showing that usage of Credits encourages more in-game spending. But Rose continued to downplay any larger ambitions for Facebook Credits beyond creating a more consistent experience for users to purchase virtual goods within games — even though they’re already being used to buy Facebook Deals and a limited selection of movies . “Our core business is ads,” Rose said. “We think of credits as a service to users and developers. It secondarily generates revenue for Facebook.” Rose added that Facebook has far fewer credit cards on file than other companies, though he wouldn’t do the math for me. I mentioned that Apple recently announced it has 225 million credit cards on file. Rose declined to give an equivalent credit card stat for Facebook, but noted that Facebook has said more than 200 million people play games per month, and of those only a sliver — the industry statistic is probably around five percent — ever spend money. However, that virtual goods spending in real terms is “significant,” Rose said.

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Even as It Makes Credits Mandatory for Games, Facebook Downplays Its Payment Ambitions


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