Facebook executives used this week’s f8 developer conference to discuss the company’s plans for Facebook Credits, a new virtual currency that will let users buy goods across the social network.
Due to the fact that different games tend to offer their own payment methods, users generally choose not to pay for virtual goods in more than one title, according to Facebook Credits manager Deb Liu.
“We built this with the user in mind,” she said, according to VentureBeat. “The mental hurdle of moving to pay for something is high. You take out your credit card, enter the information, and then buy something in FarmVille. The next day, you play another game. If you want to buy something, you do all of that again. Imagine Facebook Credits as more like a euro, which makes it easy to spend money across countries.”
One sticking point for developers may be the 30 per cent fee that Facebook will receive for every Facebook Credits transaction, but this hasn’t stopped app publishers from testing the system, at least as a secondary form of currency in addition to the exiting ones they use.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: “There is a lot of overhead for us doing this ourselvess. It’s a lot of hard work. We don’t expect it to be profitable for a period of time.”
The social network now plays home to more than 10,000 game apps, and hosts 200 million users who play a game at least once a month.
Facebook Credits is currently being tested by 100 apps and is expected to be rolled out to the public in June.