Facebook Credits, maybe not so bad?
tl;dr – FB has a few aces up their sleeves yet. Two neat features they’re rolling out alongside FB Credits are “Buy With Friends” and “Frictionless Payments”.
“Buy With Friends” means that you can post your purchases to your wall, and if friends decide to duplicate your purchase, they can do so at a discount. The developer can choose that discount. This could be an excellent conversion tool.
“Frictionless Payments” is even cooler. If your purchases are less than 20 or 30 credits, the payment can simple be processed with no separate, in-your-face confirmation step. So again, an excellent conversion too. (Contrast “Add to Cart” to “Checkout” on our big board, for example – a lot of people never complete purchases.) If we can build in a steady stream of 1-credit purchases into our apps (buy missing crafting ingredients, travel for credits, credits for potions, etc), and get users trained into clicking the “okay, whatever, it’s only a credit, just let me play the game” button, we’re SET.
If FB can keep following ideas like this up with more, then FB Credits could *really* turn out to be a bit winner for everyone. I still don’t like the courtesy credits nonsense, but clearly there’s some smart people working on this and trying to figure out how to make Credits more appealing both to devs and players.