Facebook wants credits, not dollars

Facebook and social game developer CrowdStar have signed a potentially lucrative deal for the exclusive use of Credits as a virtual currency.

According to InsideFacebook, CrowdSource has already conducted all of its transactions in credits since December 2009, which reportedly led to an impressive 50% increase in average revenue per paying user (ARPPU).

“CrowdStar has been in a good position to try out Credits, because it gained most of its users last fall; developers that got established earlier have tended to invest more money in their own monetization services,” explained InsideFacebook’s Eric Eldon.

“[Still], many are concerned about the cost of Credits, including the 30% fee that Facebook takes out of all purchases of the currency as well as the loss of control and breakage. [So], by starting fresh, CrowdStar has less to lose even as it sees what it can gain.”

Eldon also noted that Facebook is currently testing “many different ways” of making Credits “valuable” to developers, like high-quality offers, a broad variety of payment methods, Facebook’s brand, purchase volume discounts and free advertising.

“Other developers are being enticed to make Credits the exclusive paid currency in their games and we expect more announcements on that front in the future.

“[But] a big question remains: How might Facebook require Credits? Whether or not is allows non-Credits payment options, like PayPal or third-party offers, is not clear.”