Facebook goes with the flow, relaxes Credits hardball, adds subscription options
Developers more important than platform
Back when Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) wasn't a company with an under-the-water IPO, it tended to swagger around, getting developers to jump through hoops of its own making.
Now, a more humble Facebook is refining its platform business to industry norms.
Let's be friends
Alongside the recent integration deal with Apple's iOS 6, comes news that from July it's letting publishers roll out monthly subscriptions. These are still split 70:30 in terms of revenue, as with in-app purchases.
Companies such as KIXEYE and Zynga are already testing these methods, especially in terms of premium virtual items.
And more significant is that Facebook is retreating from demands that publishers and developers charge users - whether IAP or subscriptions - using its Facebook Credits currency.
One of many friction points between it and key game players (notably Zynga), Facebook is now opening up, enabling developers to exchange real world currency for whatever in-game currency of gems, gold coins or warbucks etc that content companies want to funnel their users' dollars, euros, yen and pounds into.
This is a big philosophical shift, given that users could have used Facebook Credits across all games on the platform. The new approach locks payment into the currency used in a single publisher's or developers' games.
At least, Facebook is now aligned with other platforms such as Apple's App Store and Google's Play marketplace.
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