At Facebook’s f8 conference earlier this week, Deb Liu of Facebook spoke about the company’s current plans with Credits, a virtual currency platform. The service has been in beta since last August, when 8 applications implemented the service. However now more than 50 developers have integrated Credits into over 100 applications and Facebook has clear ambitions to expand the service in the coming months.
Who’s Using Credits
As Deb Liu told the audience at f8, over 50 developers have integrated credits, most of which are game developers. Here’s a sample of the developers who have integrated Credits so far:
- Meteor Games
- Big Fish Games
- Conduit Labs
These developers among others have implemented credits into over 100 games. While the testing has been effective, Facebook is still operating in a beta program, and there’s a chance that it will continue this way for the foreseeable future. Right now it’s clear that the company has integrated with those developers responsible for the majority of transactions on Facebook, however there are rumors that Facebook is considering forcing all developers to implement credits for virtual currency transactions.
How Is Facebook Expanding Credits?
In addition to implementing Credits within more applications, Facebook is planning on implementing more payment options globally. Deb Liu stated that there could be upwards of 200 new payment options worldwide. In addition, the company is actively partnering with companies to provide greater liquidity through a new “App2User” credits program. It’s not about enabling users to spend their Credits in more places however, instead it’s a program that gets more Credits into the system through integration with credit cards and other company rewards programs.
Additionally, Facebook will begin “seeding” millions of Facebook users accounts with Credits for them to spend in applications. For example, let’s say that a user is playing FarmVille yet has never purchase a virtual gift in the game. In order to get the user familiar with the virtual goods purchase behavior, Facebook will provide free credits to the user. It will be presented in a way that the user will see a message like: “Want to purchase new items for your farm? Here are 10 Facebook credits to get you started!”
While the phrasing may be different (as this isn’t the exact phrase used by Deb Liu at f8), it’s clear that Facebook wants to make users familiar with the Facebook Credits product. With more than 200 million monthly gamers on Facebook (each of which play 4 games on average each month), only 2 percent currently purchase virtual goods. By seeding users, Facebook will hopefully increase the volume of transactions going through the system over the long-run.