Facebook brings in subscription billing for apps

Phasing out Credits

Facebook is introducing subscription billing for apps on its social network in a move that will let developers charge users a monthly sum, rather than depending on isolated purchases of virtual goods or for downloads. From July, users will be able to subscribe to a particular developer on the system, such as games firms Zynga or Wooga, and receive a bill at the end of each month. Facebook is also phasing out Credits, which is the only currency users have been able to complete transactions with, in favour of local currency as it attempts to simplify payments on its system.

The move is designed to make it easier to monetise apps on Facebook, as the firm attempts to draw in more developers to its ecosystem. It is also likely to make Facebook more of an attractive platform for non-game developers, making it possible for firms such as Hulu or Netflix to sell monthly subscriptions to their movie streaming services. The system would also make it possible for companies to roll out limited trials in an effort to bring more consumers on board.

Although Facebook is making its payment infrastructure more attractive to third-party firms, like Apple it still takes a 30% slice of transactions on its site. While this developers’ fee is standard, it remains a barrier.

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