In the connected world, we all know Facebook is certainly chiseled into the digital Mt. Rushmore. Naturally, when someone from Facebook makes a point to address an issue publically, it bodes well for whoever takes the time to listen. That was the case last week when Facebook CTO Brett Taylor took the stage at the Mobile World Congress, and addressed (among other things) the need for concern about mobile billing.
Of course, this is not the first we’ve heard about mobile billing issues, as the system has long been flawed. With developers having to work with a conglomeration of different APIs in order to secure mobile payments, the result is billing systems that either become muddled with frustrating SMS confirmations, or a payment system that is unsecure (and sometimes both).
According to Taylor, Facebook has begun to work with over 30 developers, operators, and mobile producers to work towards creating a single unifying SDK (software development kit) to make billing for mobile web apps simple, secure, and practical across all platforms. Facilitating smooth operator billing is crucial in continuing Facebook’s growth as a mobile powerhouse as it will allow for access to dynamic premium content, and keep mobile users engaged.
We’ve seen the effects of streamlining billing before in the form of Apple’s App Store. By simplifying app purchases, Apple is able to offer its users access to the content they want without making them jump through hoops. While we still believe the future of mobile is moving away from native apps, it’s impossible to deny the success of the strategy.
The goal in optimizing the mobile billing process is of course to combine security with ease of use, without sacrificing content. The Android Market has seen complaints filing in about users being mischarged (often due to operating systems failing), and has finally launched a support initiative for in-app billing, however the problem remains that there is no unified system.
As more and more companies are developing software that facilitates mobile web browsing, FiddleFly included, the more we see improvements that need to be made. Time will tell if the folks at Facebook have solved the mobile billing puzzle, but it seems they’ve gotten the ball rolling in the right direction at the very least.