Facebook pushes Credits promotion with in-game units for first-time payers

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By Brittany Darwell Comment

Facebook developers can now display Facebook-sponsored promotions in their games to encourage players to make a first-time purchase, according to a post on Facebook’s developer blog.

“New payer promotions,” which the social network created in February, give users who haven’t bought Facebook Credits before an extra $4 of in-app currency when they buy $1 in Credits. Facebook has advertised this promotion through offer walls and sidebar modules, but with today’s announcement, it will also get in-game placement.

The offer is meant to turn casual social gamers into paying players. Once users add billing information to their accounts and experience the in-game advantages that come from spending Credits, they are more likely to continue to buy virtual and digital goods within applications. Facebook says early data shows that about 20 percent of the users who make that first-time purchase spend more within a month.

The in-game promotions are available through DealSpot. After developers add a piece of code to their games, players who have not previously purchased Credits will see an icon promoting the offer. TrialPay, which controls DealSpot, says it will test several icons and optimize for performance without requiring any additional actions from developers.

It is unclear how much control developers have over where the icon appears in the game. In the example provided by Facebook, the offer is placed on the right-hand side of the screen, an area used in most games for less game-critical features. This might not be the most optimal spot to get a user’s attention, but it could be more effective than sidebar modules (see below).

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