Mobile Commerce

Facebook Tests APIs For In-App Purchases

Facebook is making changes to the way third parties can monetize their use of the platform, TechCrunch reported. The company is rolling out in-app purchases and advertisements in games developed for their Messenger app, and also implementing paywalls for publications using the site’s Instant Articles feature.

On Oct. 19th, Facebook began testing interstitial and rewarded video ads with a selection of game developers. The company also began testing in-app purchases on the Android platform.

“Our early tests for IAP will follow the standard rev/share policy and transaction fees for Google Play In-app billing,” Facebook told TechCrunch. Google receives 30 percent of the revenue processed through the Google Play store, but at the moment it appears that the remaining 70 percent of revenue will go to developers.

Users can receive in-game bonuses for watching rewarded video ads.

It is likely that Facebook will choose to receive a portion of in-app revenue when the feature fully launches, TechCrunch reported.

Elsewhere, Facebook is introducing paywall and subscription features for users of the platform’s Instant Articles feature. Publishers can choose one of two paywall options: One allows non-subscribers to read 10 free articles per month, while the other allows the publisher to choose which news stories to unlock.

Instant article subscriptions are handled outside the app, on the publisher’s own site. Subscribers will gain access to all of the publisher’s digital content, in addition to the content featured on Facebook.

Publishers are pleased with the arrangement, according to TechCrunch. Handling subscriptions outside the app store means content providers receive 100 percent of subscription revenue. Apple is less happy, as it receives 30 percent of revenue from in-app purchases on iOS devices.

That’s the reason, explained TechCrunch, that the paywall feature isn’t launching yet on iOS devices. “This initial test will roll out on Android devices first, and we hope to expand it soon,” Facebook told TechCrunch.

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