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Facebook blog:

We’re working with operators around the world to minimize the number of steps needed to complete a transaction in mobile web apps, which will make it easier for hundreds of millions of people worldwide to purchase apps on their device via operator billing. This will be automatically enabled where carriers support it when you integrate the Pay Dialog into your app.

Facebook is taking another step toward enabling the web to be a first-level hardware platform. Developers are willing to give Apple a 30% cut of app and in-app sales as payment for providing users through better discovery. Facebook is trying to use the same strategy. Though Facebook doesn’t own the web like Apple owns iOS, they can enable even better discovery than Apple can, through social data.

Right now, Facebook only helps users find developers’ apps that are built on Facebook, and only through ads. This signals a shift in both of those, opening up substantial new revenue streams for Facebook. Facilitating payments across the web means Facebook will have strong business reasons to drive web-app usage, which they can do by providing better discovery. Eventually they’ll allow developers to pay to promote their web-apps through that discovery mechanism, in the same style as their current “sponsored stories” ad products. Two new streams of revenue for Facebook, both driven by a competitive advantage no one is close to matching: social data.

Two final notes:

  1. Facebook seems to finally understand the web is mobile first.
  2. This is “f-commerce” that actually exists.

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