Facebook announced this month that they are doing away with Facebook Credits and transitioning to local currency. As well doing away with their currency they are also allowing businesses and app developers to offer subscription billing instead of just one-time payments.
‘By supporting pricing in local currency, we hope to simplify the purchase experience, give you more flexibility, and make it easier to reach a global audience of Facebook users who want a way to pay for your apps and games in their local currency. With local pricing, you will be able to set more granular and consistent prices for non-U.S. users and price the same item differently on a market-by-market basis.’
This is positive news for apps that focus on revenue from virtual goods or those that are gaming focussed. Being able to collect and effectively use data to segment marketing and products to their customers is the key to success. With the addition of subscription billing, there comes the opportunity to collect data similar to what can be gathered through website accounts and profiles, which means more efficient marketing.
This new style of spending on Facebook breaks down the barrier for users about how Facebook Credits work and the exchange rates…basically it just got less complicated which will only encourage more spending. Now items will be priced in the local currency, whether that’s the U.S. dollar, pound or Japanese Yen allowing for more localisation on virtual goods sales, for example, virtual fish and chips may be valued higher in the US than they are in the UK. This mirrors what Apple and Google do in both of their app stores. There’s no single Apple virtual currency, for example. But developers can charge anywhere from 99 cents to $99.95 for packs of their own virtual currency. Facebook says it will convert any Credit balances into the equivalent amount of value in local currency.