Facebook Apps Shift from Credits to Cash
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
June 20 2012 04:51 PM ET
CREDIT: Facebook: Backyard Monsters
Social gamers on Facebook may soon see a change when they visit their favorite apps' online stores to buy a must-have weapon or a fancy tractor.
This week Facebook told developers they could start offering real-money subscriptions in July and that it would eliminate Facebook Credits by the end of the year. Instead, in-app purchases will be shown in local currencies.
Subscriptions will offer exclusive virtual items and other perks. The new model is being tested by Zynga, Facebook's biggest maker of social games such as CityVille, and Kixeye, which hosts Backyard Monsters. Kixeye is testing a $9.95 a month subscription for exclusive items to use in its game played by 2 million people each month.
The transition from credits (10 Facebook Credits equal $1) should make it easier for people to see how much they're paying for virtual goods , especially international players. With local pricing, players will see items priced in their local currency. Essentially, Facebook is cutting out one conversion step. Instead of real money to Facebook Credits to an app's virtual currency, the new plan allows people to exchange their local currency for game currency like Backyard Monster's Shiny and Zynga's Z coins.
Already, most people see items priced in their local currency in the payments flow, Facebook said.
Additionally, Facebook Credit balances will be converted into the equivalent amount of value in users’ local currency. The change should be completed over the next few months. By the end of the year, Facebook Credits will no longer exist.