Facebook & Bango deal might give BIG clue to Facebook’s mobile strategy…

The frustrating thing for Facebook at the moment is that while they have a mobile strategy, it is hard for them to talk about it in public when they have filed their S-1. Mobile has been identified as a critical risk issue for Facebook. They know that, we know that and everyone knows they are doing things about it. Doesn’t stop the rest of us speculating though.

I think Tim Bradshaw at the FT has picked up on a piece of that puzzle as he notes Bango’s share price boosting (40% jump on day) deal with Facebook that possibly allows Facebook to offer direct-to-carrier payments for virtual cows, sheep etc and thus find a way to by-pass the awkward Apple rule about paying 30% of revenue through iPhone and iPad apps…

“But Facebook was unable to allow users of its iPad and iPhone apps to use Facebook Credits to buy tractors on Farmville, as they do on the desktop version of Zynga’s game, due to Apple’s rules around in-app payments. The Cupertino computer company demands a 30 per cent commission on all purchases within the App Store.

“Facebook does enable such transactions on its mobile web app, which is accessed through the iPhone’s browser rather than the App Store and is therefore exempt from Apple’s tax. But if Facebook really wants to make paying for virtual goods as seamless as it is through Apple’s iTunes, carrier billing is a smart solution.” Full story from Tim here.

Nice work Tim.

If making mobile work in business is your thing, (it should be), you should also have a look at our Making it Mobile (MiM2012) Forum on March 22nd. No sales pitches. Just big companies with budgets talking about what they are doing in mobile, mobile companies competing for our MiM Award and eager investors.

Here’s the programme to whet your appetite.


One response to “Facebook & Bango deal might give BIG clue to Facebook’s mobile strategy…”

  1. Jay Gould says:

    We don’t know much about the deal at this point, but we do get a clue to one of the options which Facebook may be exploring in its search for ways to monetize the mobile traffic to its site. And in doing so, the social network will inevitably find itself in a direct confrontation with Apple and Google, its sometime rivals. Facebook will do everything it can to make it more attractive for its users to download third-party Facebook apps directly from the developers’ websites, rather than doing so through Apple’s and Google’s app stores. This is hugely important, because in the former case, it will be Facebook who will collect the sale’s commission (to the tune of 30% of the transaction amount), while in the latter case the commission will be pocketed by Apple or Google. And yes, Bango’s direct-billing platform is likely to play a big role in this strategy. http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/facebook-signs-mobile-payments-deal-battles-with-apple-google-loom