Since our alpha test of Facebook Credits started in May 2009, we have worked hard to build a program that drives value for our developers. The long-term goal of Facebook Credits is to provide a currency that makes purchasing virtual items across applications fast and simple. To make it easy to buy Facebook Credits we support several different credit cards, fifteen currencies, mobile payments, and now, PayPal. For developers, this translates into more people ready to spend, each with a higher likelihood of completing purchases.

As we move into the beta phase of program, we want to provide an update about Facebook Credits. Over the past several months we have added several of the largest developers, including Crowdstar, Playdom, Playfish, RockYou, 6waves, and Zynga, into the Facebook Credits program. Many Facebook Credits integrations are in very early stages but start to illustrate how the product can be used. As part of the beta phase of this test, we plan to bring on more developers over the next several months.

Last week we announced that Facebook users can purchase Facebook Credits with PayPal, and can use those credits to purchase virtual goods with all applications that accept them as part of our beta test. This new option is live in a few applications to a small percentage of users, and will roll out more broadly over the coming weeks.

Growing the Virtual Goods Economy on Facebook

Today more than 500,000 applications exist on Facebook, and the virtual goods within those applications (particularly games) have become an increasingly valuable part of the user experience. By providing a single, cross-application currency, our goal is to making transactions simpler for users, leading to a higher conversion rate for developers. Specifically, our early testing has shown that users paying with Facebook Credits are significantly more likely to complete a purchase than the average Facebook user.

These announcements and the continuation of our testing are part of our long-term commitment to you to build Facebook Credits into a product that is widely adopted by users and seamless to implement for developers. To accomplish these goals, Facebook will collect 30 percent of currency spent by users. We are committed to investing heavily in the ecosystem and will explore a number of ways to improve the program and increase conversion and net revenue for developers, including user education and marketing, testing innovative ideas such as bulk discounting and seeding Facebook Credits to drive discovery and repeat engagement.

Although the program is still a closed beta as we focus on scaling the product to support more users and developers, we will keep you informed as the program expands over the next few months. In the meantime, you can check out our FAQ and developer terms. If you are interested in participating in the program, please fill out this survey and we will keep you updated as our tests continue.

Also, please keep checking the developer roadmap, and share your feedback in our Developer Forum.

Deborah, a product marketer on the Facebook Developer Network team, just upgraded to a Kani Dotonburi attraction for her Happy Island tourists using Facebook Credits.