Facebook today announced that subscription payments are now available to all developers with apps on the site.
The company originally announced the program in beta with Zynga, Playdom and Kixeye as partners in June. Now any developer can offer subscriptions for virtual goods, premium experiences or updated content within their apps for a monthly fee.
Developers can set different prices based on a user’s local currency and offer different levels of subscriptions. They can also offer free trial periods. This flexibility could help developers better monetize their apps. The model could also lead players to spend more in games and also makes Facebook a better option for developers of free-to-play browser-based massively multiplayer online role-playing games. It might also be a start to getting non-game developers to try the social network’s payment platform. For example, professional networking app BranchOut or news apps like Washington Post Social Reader might find uses for subscriptions. However, Facebook will take a 30 percent fee from these transactions.
Developers can combine subscriptions and in-app payments. For instance, a game might offer a monthly subscription for energy or supplies and sell vanity items through in-app purchases. Users can pay for subscriptions with a credit card or PayPal account, and they can cancel from their Facebook payment settings. Facebook recommends that developers provide a cancel option from within their apps as well.
Developers can learn more about implementing subscription payments here. Daily transaction data about subscriptions will be available for download through the payments reporting API introduced on Monday.
See an example of subscriptions in Disney Playdom’s Gardens of Time below.