Facebook Will Let You Buy Mobile Apps Without A Credit Card

Facebook new headquarters with Zuckerberg

Photo: Facebook and Laughing Squid via Flickr

Facebook is letting developers of mobile Facebook apps send charges to your phone bill, so users don’t need a credit card to buy the apps.This won’t work on native apps — Facebook and Apple have a deal where all Facebook apps must be sold through Apple’s App Store. A spokesperson told us that it won’t work on native Android apps either.*

But it will work on Web apps.

In the U.S., participating carriers will include AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

We thought this would be coming when Facebook bought Bango, a company specializing in mobile carrier billing, last month. But today, the company confirmed it on a blog post.

In the same blog post, Facebook explains that it’s also making it easier for Android users to discover Facebook mobile apps without having to go through the Android Marketplace.

Specifically, Facebook is now letting developers use its Open Graph platform to push apps right on Facebook. For instance, if I use Foodspotting to recommend a particular dish at a restaurant, my friends on Facebook will see that recommendation. That might encourage them to download the app themselves.

Facebook already lets iOS and Web app developers use Open Graph, but today it announced it’s extending that to Android developers as well.

*Correction: A previous version of this story said that Facebook’s carrier billing platform would work with Android apps. It won’t. It will only work with Web apps.

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