The much anticipated Facebook mobile application has finally been released. After months of speculation (and leaking information) the app became available on mobile platforms including Android and iOS. Previous to the official Facebook application, the iPad and iPhone featured “Friendly for Facebook”, developed by Oecoway, Inc., and MyPad, and developed by Loytr, Inc.
The official release does lack flash, a key component to running Facebook games. Since Apple products including the iPad and iPhone lack flash capabilities, when a game or Facebook app is launched, the user is redirected to the mobile version of that app. If not installed, users are prompted to go to the Apple App Store. For example, if a user wants to play “Words With Friends”, they must then open that app on their device.
Photos are optimized to take full use of the retina display featured on Apple devices. One significant issue stands out: Facebook credits cannot be used in the app, if a user wants to purchase credits; they have to buy credits through the Apple App Store. It is not disclosed whether or not Facebook retains a percentage of these profits. This marks an on-going debate in which Facebook and Apple have been going back and forth over the use of currency for the social media company since they began discussions of the development of this app for Apple products. It seems Apple won that argument.
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eMarketer released a report today stating Facebook is reeling in close to $470 million this year from their “Credits” market. Facebook Credits is social media currency used to purchase items in games found on the social media platform. Although they do not institute the ecommerce aspect of the point of sale, they receive a cut of the revenue. That cut was $140 million in 2010, and expected to reach $470 million by the end of 2011. Although their Ad business is taking off ($3.8 billion this year), it’s not growing as fast as the 300% growth in the credits market.
The social media titan sells credits through many channels, including PayPal, personal credit cards, gift cards, and even mobile phone payments. These credits can then be used to buy items found on Facebook gaming applications.
This report sheds light on the diversified revenue streams that Facebook is accumulating. With their ads business booming, the company has literally revenue coming in from every angle. The report also indicates that their ad business is projected to hit $7 billion by 2013.
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