Facebook has launched a new Credits page on its developers site aimed at convincing game and application companies to implement Facebook Credits as a payment option. Facebook announced earlier today that Credits will become the exclusive payment method for all canvas games and apps starting July 1st, 2011. The page explains that Credits help developers because they increase revenue and reduce costs, and that Facebook’s incentives for implementation will help grow business.
To incentivize implementation as the exclusive payment option before this mandatory switch, Facebook is offering developers “early access to product features and premium promotion on Facebook, including featured placement on the Games Dashboard, premium targeting for ads, and access to new co-promotion opportunities” as well as “advice and support from Facebook’s games and credits teams.”
The top of the Credits page displays a scoreboard of stats regarding how widely Credits have been implemented. It currently states that “More than 350 games and apps use credits. 22 of the top 25 games use credits. More than 150 developers use credits”, and Facebook will likely update these numbers as adoption grows. The scoreboard is designed to exert peer pressure on developers, implying that they don’t want to be the last to start using Credits.
The Credits Page’s arguments for increased revenue through implementation include “higher conversion rates, increased average revenue per user…and access to millions of users with stored credentials.” This last point is the true strength of Credits. Facebook’s currency facilitates impulse buying though three-click purchases, while players might reconsider and decline their purchase by the time they’ve input all their credit card details.
The Page explains that Credits help developers reduce costs by removing the need to set up local payment options across the world, allowing users to pay through a variety of gift cards, and passing the threat of fraud to Facebook. As Facebook grows internationally, the global accessibility of Credits lets developer monetize sudden popularity in more obscure countries.
- Facebook Credits is your app’s in-game currency.
- All virtual goods available for purchase with in-game currency are priced in Credits. However, goods can be available through earned currency.
- Virtual goods are not priced in local currency or another in-game currency.
Any developers who already meet the criteria should apply immediately.
The incentives include featured placement on the games dashboard that receives a over 30 million impression a month, as well as “new placements and premium ad targeting.” Some of the premium targeting options Facebook might make available include targeting users who have a current balance of Credits, or who reach a minimum engagement level with apps games. The option to beta test new products is also a valuable incentive, because it gives developers a head start in formulating best practices of how to use the products.
The Page concludes with links to executive summaries of the success three gaming companies have had with implementing Facebook Credits. Arkadium notes that it only took two weeks to make Credits the sole payment option. Digital Chocolate cites a 60% drop in consumer contact rates and reports of billing issues as well as a four times increase in conversion rates since implementing Credits. PopCap, makers of Bejeweled Blitz, notes that Credits helped reduce method development time and increase revenues.
Nowhere on the Credits page is Facebook’s revenue 30% cut explained. Still, unless this cut equates to a significant loss, developers may as well switch early and take advantage of the incentives rather than wait for the July deadline.