R.I.P., Facebook Credits, After Sept. 12

By David Cohen 

Facebook continued the process of converting games from Facebook Credits to local currencies, which it initially announced in March, with Wednesday’s release of the local currency payments application-programming interface for developers, which now have 90 days to integrate the API.

The social network announced the launch of the local currency payments API in a post on its developer blog, cautioning developers that Facebook Credits will no longer be supported after Sept. 12.

Facebook also announced plans to convert payer promotions from Facebook Credits to local currency, and to offer a direct integration solution for developers that use TrialPay offers.

The social network offered more details on the move to local currency in its developer blog post:

Local currency payments give developers much more control over their pricing and payments. As a result of the new payments API, you can now:

  • Set prices for in-game items by market so users in different countries see the most marketable prices relevant to their currency.
  • Cache static prices with Facebook and remove the blocking server request to collect item information at time of purchase, improving your app’s performance. Optionally, the pricing callback can still be used to price items dynamically, giving you full flexibility when deciding how to price your items.
  • Realize additional reduced latency as a result of fewer server requests for payment completion, like the second server request to confirm order fulfillment and real-time updates to confirm the transaction.

Facebook also chronicled successful moves to local currency by Peak Games, Playdom, Happy Elements, and Plarium, and it offered the following tips for developers starting the process of migrating to local currency:

International pricing: To determine which currencies to support in pricing your items, consider using the app insights tool to understand which users currently frequent your app and from what countries. More information can be found on our best practices page.

In-game currency: We highly encourage you to create your own in-game currency to maintain your app’s economy and flexibly change currency packages whenever you want. This gives you more control over the pricing of your in-game items. More information can be found on our best practices page.

Mobile-specific store: To support the best payment experience for users who wish to pay with mobile, we suggest creating a mobile-specific store that allows you to optimally price items and determine quantity according to fixed carrier price points. This will ensure that your users are not subject to additional transaction fees because of these price points. More information can be found on our best practices page.

A/B testing: In an effort to make it easier for developers to migrate, we have created a simple API that allows you to test the new payment dialog and roll it out incrementally to random groups of users. This will let you compare the legacy Credits system side-by-side with the new local currency one to ensure that the migration will be a good experience for you and your users. More information can be found in our testing documentation.

Readers: Are you glad to see Facebook Credits phased out?

Currencies image courtesy of Shutterstock.