Facebook Adds Support for Shared Deals, Microtransactions

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On Thursday, Facebook shared two additional ways that developers can leverage Facebook credits and make some additional (real) money: shared deals and frictionless purchases.

What does that mean for consumers? For those games on the Facebook platform that allow you to buy a discounted item, that developer may allow you to share the discount with others, passing it along.

Facebook executives tipped their deals plans in January..

The second option, frictionless purchases, will apparently allow consumers to make micropurchases of virtual goods virtually instantly, and within the transaction itself. The transaction takes place within the application itself, within its context, not within the Facebook environment itself - the "friction" that the term refers to. Currently, only transactions worth less than 30 credits can be performed using this method.

Prashant Fuloria, a product management director, noted the changes in a blog post Thursday.

"These features enhance the user experience when credits are integrated as the in-game currency and premium virtual goods are priced in credits," Fuloria wrote.

Facebook has been ramping up the credits program for quite some time, and added additional payment options via monetization service PlaySpan in October.

Through credits, Facebook takes 30 percent of all transactions and awards 70 percent to developers. The social networking service made the use of Facebook Credits mandatory last month.

For the shared deals, the user has the option to share the deal, which only show up in feeds of friends who actually play the game. "It's up to the developer to decide which purchases can be shared, what level of discount to offer and how long the deal should run," Fuloria wrote. "Buy with friends has performed well in our tests -- more than half of people who were offered a deal in-game decided to share it with their friends, and the engagement and conversion rates on the resulting posts were also strong."


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