Google was originally set to debut in-app payments support for Android applications in the fourth quarter of 2010, but recently said that the launch would be delayed until the end of this quarter. Now, it appears the real launch date of the much-anticipated (at least by many a app developer or publisher) product is May 2011.
Thank you for your use of the Jambool Social Gold platform. As you know, Jambool was acquired by Google last August. This acquisition meant that some changes to our business were inevitable, and we’d like to share them with you today.
First, the existing Jambool Social Gold product will be discontinued in favor of a new Google in-app payment product in May 2011. Rest assured that you will be able to sign in to the Jambool merchant console through September 2011, and you will receive year-end financial statements in February 2012.
Second, we’d like to invite you to participate in the pre-release beta of the Google in-app payment system. This system will enable developers to accept payments within an app, but it will not have the
full functionality of Social Gold at launch. We understand that this will not meet the needs of all developers currently using Social Gold, but we highly encourage interested developers to join the Google
in-app payments beta by submitting your information at http://google.com/checkout/inapp.
Again, we thank you for your flexibility during this transition period. Please feel free to respond to this email with any questions about your Jambool account or the new Google in-app payment product.
The Jambool Team
Three big take-aways:
- Jambool’s Social Gold service will be shut down, even though it offers more features than Google’s new in-app payments product will have upon its formal debut (which already ruined one game developer’s day, apparently).
- The Jambool team was commissioned to work on Android in-app purchases functionalities, and not – as some had proclaimed – the monetization of Google’s always-imminent-yet-elusive social networking and online gaming blitz.
- Google’s in-app payment product, currently in beta, will be launched in May 2011.
In-app payments are of course vital because they enable app developers and publishers to sell virtual goods and premium features, both major sources of mobile revenue in addition to paid apps and mobile advertising.
In a recent blog post, Jambool specified that its Social Gold product will function through May 31, 2011, after which all payment processing will be discontinued:
We are hard at work developing a web-based, in-app payments solution that combines the simplicity of the Jambool API with the power of the Google Checkout and Google accounts infrastructure. We’re very excited about the ease of use of the new system, with features such as one-click purchasing.
While this work is underway, we made the difficult decision to close new signups to the Social Gold platform today and will discontinue all payment processing on May 31, 2011. Existing developers will be able to continue processing payments through Social Gold until the end of May and log in to the Social Gold merchant console through September.
The Google in-app payments system will enable developers to easily accept payments within an app. This is the first version, and we will focus our investment in this API moving forward. Developers should expect the same innovation, and more, from us on this new platform.
The FTC will no doubt be watching with wary eyes.
(Thanks to Sagada Hapiness for the tip)
P.S.: Through carrier billing, Android developers were already able to process in-app transactions using solutions from the likes of Zong, PayPal and BOKU. Angry Birds developer Rovio event went for payments by SMS, underscoring the need for Google to get this in-app payments product up and running as soon as possible.