Today Facebook formally announced the roll-out of two new Credits programs that were first detailed a couple weeks back at the Inside Social Apps conference: buy with friends and frictionless payments.
Facebook described the two Credits programs on the developer blog:
Buy with friends gives people the option to share a discount with their friends after they make purchases in games.
After making a purchase, the user has the option to share a discount for the same item with their friends through the newsfeed. Their friends can respond by either going to the game to buy the item, or simply making a purchase inline without losing the context of what they were doing on Facebook.
Many have suggested that this is Facebook’s Groupon competitor, however I’d be more willing to call it a deals platform for virtual goods, if I was going to make any form of comparison. The objective is to end up with more purchases and additional distribution and application discovery, resulting in a major benefit for the developers.
The other product, frictionless payments, is essentially Facebook’s one-click buying solution, making it easy for users to stay completely within the game without breaking the experience. There’s no doubt that this should help increase transaction volume, although we have no metrics as of yet. As of right now these services are limited to Facebook Credits which means they can only be used for virtual goods.
We have no idea if Facebook plans on expanding beyond that in the future, but right now they’re focused on providing tools that help developers make the transition over to Credits prior to the July 1st deadline.