What Amazon’s one-click checkout and Apple’s iTunes store have proven is that by removing the friction from the payment process, sales will dramatically increase. In fact, in the case of iTunes, it was the magical key to getting people to pay for music and for mobile apps. So it was significant yesterday when Facebook announced that they would start to accepting Paypal, especially since they’ve indicated that 70% of their users are outside of the US. But what is a bigger story is that very few Facebook apps are yet able to use their credit system. The system is still officially in beta and only a short-list of apps are included.
So while its great to see Facebook continuing to improve their payment system, what the larger Facebook development community needs is to have Facebook hurry up and finish the long drawn out beta that they have had for Facebook credits. All is not gloomy though. In 2010, social gaming is estimated to be a $1.3B business and in Asia it’s already a $7B business (http://www.slideshare.net/plus8star/social-networkings). But transacting payments with users is easier for the big companies like Zynga. The bigest beneficiary of Facebook opening up their payment system, will be all the smaller developers, of which there are many.
Still, hats off to Facebook for now working with Paypal. I’m holding my breath that they are hard at work at finishing up the beta for their credits system so that all their application partners can benefit.
UPDATED: Looks like Facebook is suggesting Credits might come out of beta fairly soon. http://developers.facebook.com/news.php?blog=1&story=364