27 Jul 2011

Facebook In Talks With Developers To Bring Credits To Mobile Web Browsers

Facebook is apparently in talks with third-party developers to allow them to sell virtual goods within mobile Web browsers using Facebook’s Credits currency. The initiative is being mooted as a way of increasing revenue from tablet devices and smartphones.
If given the go-ahead, the plan would allow developers to use credits in apps accessed over the mobile Web, according to BusinessWeek. When users buy virtual goods in Facebook games and apps using credits, Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of the revenue that is generated.
It appears that these talks may be taking place as part of Facebook’s Project Spartan mobile effort. The project is said to be a way for Facebook to bypass Apple‘s App Store on iPhone and iPad devices and Google‘s Android Market on Android devices so that Facebook could have complete control over its platform on these devices. This would allow Facebook to take a cut of the revenue that owners of those devices would normally spend on apps by launching and monetizing games and other apps on its mobile Web platform.

Facebook makes the majority of its revenue from ads and is likely to generate over $2 billion in revenue this year. Allowing developers to use credits in mobile Web apps would allow Facebook to diversify its revenue streams and earn more money for the company. Earlier this year, Facebook forced developers to use credits as the only currency for selling virtual goods on its website.

In addition, Facebook may be introducing a new News Feed on the homepage that would display activity that is taking place in apps. This would appear on the right of the main News Feed and would feature updates about what your friends are doing in games and other apps on Facebook. It is not yet clear whether this feed is the Happening Now feed that is being tested or if it would replace that.
Given that the App Store now has more than 425,000 apps — the sales of which contributed to the $1.4 billion that Apple generated through iTunes last quarter — it is clear that there is plenty of space for a company the size of Facebook to step in and try to take a share of the mobile app market.
Facebook declined to comment on any plans for the use of credits on mobile devices.
What do you think of these plans?

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