Facebook is all set to launch its payment system, Facebook Credits globally today across numerous territories including India. Bringing the project out beta in January this year, Facebook announced that July 1st would be the deadline for all developers to switch over to the system for their payment processing. The universal Facebook virtual currency can be bought with credit cards or PayPal, and will enable users to purchase items (not limited to virtual goods) and services on the social networking service, from Facebook itself, and third-party vendors and partners. This will also officially make Facebook both a social and retail platform, enabling companies to better promote and sell their wares on their pages, as well as get a full-fledged reward system.
So far, Facebook Credits have been used in over 350 Facebook apps by roughly 150 developers, representing more than 70 per cent of virtual goods transactions. The company is obviously expecting that number to grow dramatically, and incentives include premium promotion and co-promotion, as well as premium targeting for ads. Facebook will retain 30% of all the revenue earned through Facebook Credits. [RELATED_ARTICLE]
While games are a big part of the move, the system will not be limited to them. Industry pundits are divided on the future of Facebook Credits as a generic payment platform on the social networking site, with many maintaining that they are better suited for games and virtual goods, citing reluctance to use a new online retail platform that has had an history of privacy issues in other iterations.
In the meanwhile, Facebook is expected to unveil something “awesome” next week, and while few rumours are pointing to Project Spartan (a HTML5 app platform due sometime in July), other evidence points to it being developed by Facebook’s Seattle office, known for its focus on the mobile and tablet spheres, and recently integrated the m.facebook.com and touch.facebook.com sites. For now, a new mobile photo service seems to be best bet. Others believe that Facebook will launch an iPad app, finally.
What do you think about Facebook Credits? Would you be willing to use them for anything other than games? Let us know in the comments section below…