Facebook Credits may become the de facto currency of the Internet – judging by the pace the social media giant is growing, with 400 million users and some 500,000 applications, particularly games, in some form of testing.
For now, though, Facebook will be content with the “cross-application currency” providing a lucrative stream of income. It has decided that its cut will be 30 percent of revenue from game and applications developers who integrate Facebook Credits into their programs.
The virtual currency is picking up steam on the second-most visited website in the U.S., based on 133.62 million visitors registered last month. Facebook recently added PayPal as an option for users to convert real money into Facebook Credits for gaming apps and to buy virtual goods from the Facebook Gift Shop.
Facebook users can buy the virtual credits with major credit cards or through purchases on their mobile phones using the mobile-payment company Zong. Facebook advertisers can now use PayPal to pay for ads directly or by way of Facebook Credits.
“By providing a single, cross-application currency, our goal is to making transactions simpler for users, leading to a higher conversion rate for developers,” wrote Facebook product marketer Deborah Liu on the Facebook developers’ blog this week. “Specifically, our early testing has shown that users paying with Facebook Credits are significantly more likely to complete a purchase than the average Facebook user.”
The 30 percent cut is reportedly the same percentage Apple takes from developers of apps and games that charge users on iPod devices and iPhones.
Over the past several months, Facebook has brought on several prominent developers, including Crowdstar, Playdom, Playfish, RockYou, 6waves, and Zynga, into the Facebook Credits program, Liu said.
Many Facebook Credits integrations are in early stages, but the concept is starting to take shape and it is looking promising to Facebook administrators. Liu said the social media company is planning to bring on more developers over the next several months as part of the beta phase of testing.
“These announcements and the continuation of our testing are part of our long-term commitment to you to build Facebook Credits into a product that is widely adopted by users and seamless to implement for developers,” Liu said in her blog. “To accomplish these goals, Facebook will collect 30 percent of currency spent by users.”