Facebook has been busy in the payments department recently.
The world’s largest social network has axed Facebook Credits and announced two major updates to their payments product – subscriptions and local currency pricing.
Subscriptions offer developers a new way to monetize online content. While many developers sell apps as a one-time purchase, subscriptions enable them to establish a recurring revenue stream by charging a monthly fee in exchange for updated content or premium experiences.
The subscription feature doesn't launch until July, but it is already being tested and interested developers can sign up for the feature here.
Facebook also announced the death and replacement of Facebook Credits. Credits was launched in 2009, and according to Facebook, there is not much need for it anymore because most games on the social network implement their own virtual currencies.
As a result the new payment method to support pricing is local currency – such as the U.S. dollar, British pound and Japanese yen. This should simplify the purchase experience because it offers more flexibility and provides Facebook users with a more familiar way to purchase apps and games.
Additionally, while subscriptions are already using local currency pricing, all apps and games that sell virtual items are required to use local currency by the end of the year. According to the company's blog, the transition from Credits to local currency will be seamless for Facebook users, with all remaining Credit balances eventually be converted into local currencies.