Facebook continues to aid application developers with its phasing out of Facebook Credits in favor of local currency, following up its introduction of revised payment terms last week with Thursday’s rollout of an application-programming interface that allows developers to convert Facebook Credits into the user’s preferred currency.
With Zynga recently announcing that Farmville is about to use Facebook Credits and a “Buy With Facebook” button on Farmville, the nature of microtransactions on Facebook is poised to change. The implications of Facebook credits in abundant usage across the Facebook application platform are made more clear when we see the popularity of paid Apple iPhone applications. Studies of the success of iPhone applications (and iTunes) have revealed that a secret to Apple’s success is ‘one-click purchasing’. The barriers to buying the application or song that you want are extremely low, and Facebook’s Credits system has the potential to break those barriers in a similar way. Here we look at the long steps Facebook has taken to arrive at this point.