Politics 20 June 2012 Facebook abandons its currency The social network is phasing out "Credits", allowing people to use real money again Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML Facebook has announced in a post on its developer blog that it is phasing out its proprietary currency, Facebook Credits, and allowing developers to deal in normal people money again. The introduction of Credits across the network was part of Facebook's aim to monetise its business beyond its core strength in advertising, as well as strengthening its position as a burgeoning platform for app development (incedentally, "app" overtook "application" in search traffic just before Christmas 2010). The intention was to allow developers to abstract their payments from the fiddly process of accepting difference currencies at changing exchange rates, while guaranteeing Facebook a cut. In practice, though, the most numerous and popular paid apps on Facebook are games, and most of them implement transactions through their own currencies. This introduced a fiddly two-step process – change money into Facebook credits, then credits into in-game money – which slowed uptake of the games. Facebook has now cut out the middleman in appearance, if not in practice. Developers will be able to accept payments directly, but must still use the company's own payment system, which will continue to take a 30 per cent cut. Facebook's Prashant Fuloria writes: By supporting pricing in local currency, we hope to simplify the purchase experience, give you more flexibility, and make it easier to reach a global audience of Facebook users who want a way to pay for your apps and games in their local currency. With local pricing, you will be able to set more granular and consistent prices for non-US users and price the same item differently on a market-by-market basis. A step back for Facebook, but it is in everyone's interest that they get a strong payment system off the ground eventually. Even if their 30 per cent cut for developers is untenable for consumers, the internet remains in sore need of a viable competitor the dreaded PayPal. › Microsoft Surface: good name Tetris on Facebook. Now taking dollars! Though not pounds for some reason. Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles Living the Meme: What happened to the "Bacon is good for me" boy? How the internet has democratised pornography Pepe Le Pen: Can the alt-right really "meme" Marine Le Pen to victory?