Amazon has just announced a new virtual currency for Kindle Fire owners to use on in-app purchases, app purchases, etc. in the Amazon Appstore.
The service will launch in May, at which point Amazon will be giving away tens of millions of dollars worth of Amazon coins to customers. Users then have the choice of paying for apps or in-app purchases with their credit cards or with Amazon coins.
Developers who already have their app in the Appstore don’t need to do anything to leverage the Amazon Coin system, but if new developers would like to get in on the virtual currency they must have their app approved by the Appstore by April 25.
The idea is to take advantage of what Amazon calls already-high conversion rates from Kindle Fire users on the Amazon platform and give users a new way to spend money. Amazon has been giving developers more options to generate revenue in the Appstore, most recently with the introduction of in-app purchases.
Adding a virtual currency, which takes the sting out of spending hard-earned cash, is simply the next logical step toward the goal of helping Amazon developers make money.
Developers will still get their 70 percent cut from each purchase made, whether it’s from credit card or Amazon Coins.
According to the Amazon Coin FAQ, one Amazon Coin is worth one cent, so an app that is valued at $2.99 is worth 299 Amazon Coins.
The Amazon Coin system is only available to U.S. consumers at the time of launch, and will not be eligible as payment for any subscription services.
It’s still unclear whether or not developers, as opposed to Amazon itself, will be able to reward users with Amazon Coins as part of their own promotions.