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I am having a difficult time understanding Facebook's internal "e-commerce microcosm" and what it allows Facebook App developers to do (and what it restricts them from doing).

Two use cases:

  • I'm an e-com retailer selling clothes and coffee mugs (real-world goods) on my website; I want to write a Facebook App that allows Facebook users to buy my real-world goods from inside of Facebook using real money ($ USD)
  • I'm highschool student trying to raise money for my senior class trip and want to build a Facebook App that allows Facebook users to donate to our class using real money ($ USD)

Are these two scenarios possible? If not, why (what Facebook policies prohibit me from doing so)? If so, what APIs do I use: Payments or Credits? And how (specifically) would it work? Do Facebook Users have to first buy "credits" (which are mapped to $ USD values under the hood) and pay/donate with credits, or can they whip out their credit card and pay/donate right through my Facebook App?

I think that last question really summarizes my confusion: can Facebook users enter their credit card info directly into Facebook Apps, or do you have to go through Payments/Credits APIs as a "middleman"?

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closed as off topic by Ryathal, Matthieu, Jim G., Walter, Mark Trapp Aug 26 '12 at 21:13

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I'm pretty sure scenario 2 is not allowed, they have a specific widget to add to an existing page to accept donations. Also I think your first scenario is not allowed in any way. –  Ryathal Jul 6 '12 at 18:13
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can't use real money on facebook, you can only deal with the "Facebook Credits", the only way to exchange values on Facebook for now.

https://developers.facebook.com/docs/credits/

This is the situation about the public part of Facebook.

In the late years Facebook is allowing some e-commerce to use their login-system to basically keep the user connected to both Facebook and the e-commerce that is requiring this functionality, this mechanism is not yet available for everyone and requires you to ask Facebook in private terms to allow your site to use this solution.

Among the few sites that offers this kind of option, there is a special reseller ( I only know this one ) http://www.beetailer.com/ which re-sell special solution to keep your shop connected to Facebook.

There is also a third solution but in this case everything is very undefined, i just provide this link to you but i do not really know what the rules are in this case, they announces this feature but i don't know how to use it and what this feature allow you to do http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=2383962130

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Ahhh, thank you @user (+1) - finally someone who can speak to me in layman (non-Facebook) terms! One more thing I'm still not getting about credits: do Facebook Users pay Facebook real money ($ USD) for credits, do they pay the Facebook App real money ($ USD) for credits, or do they earn/accumulate credits some other way? (Basically, how do Facebook Users get credits?) Tangential to that: how do they spend credits? –  herpylderp Jul 6 '12 at 21:43
    
@AdamTannon this is how to buy credits facebook.com/help/?faq=203680236341574 , right now they can spend their money for Apps, Games and in-app or in-game purchasing, just for the software and for particular services basically, not for real goods. –  user827992 Jul 6 '12 at 21:48
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