Facebook is shuttering its Credits system for online payments across the social network, replacing it with local currency and a new subscription payments option. "Since we introduced Credits in 2009," Facebook's Prashant Fuloria told developers, "most games on Facebook have implemented their own virtual currencies, reducing the need for a platform-wide virtual currency." The new system has already begun rolling out, and all apps and games developers selling virtual items must use local currency by the end of the year.
The local currency system will give developers more flexibility, Facebook says, allowing them to be more consistent with their non-US pricing by setting different values in each market. It will also be more transparent to users, the social site argues, without the need to mentally calculate what a Credits purchase means in their home currency.
Facebook will be automatically converting users' Credits into the appropriate amount of local currency, though they'll still be able to redeem any Credits gift cards they already have. In-app local currency payments will be enabled "in the next few months" Fuloria says.
As for subscriptions, all Facebook.com and mobile web apps will be able to set up recurring payments for users, such as for regularly delivered monthly content. Expected to be operational in July, the system already uses local currency pricing.