Facebook partners with Bango, mobile billing coming soon?

Summary:Facebook and Bango have struck a "payment services" deal. It looks like the social networking giant has found another way to monetize its mobile users: is mobile billing coming soon?

Facebook has partnered with Bango, a company that provides billing and analytics for app stores, mobile apps, and websites. It appears the social networking giant is looking to introduce mobile billing as a way to monetize its mobile users. Bango's other partners include BlackBerry App World, Gameloft, Flycell, Fox, Dada, and EA Mobile.

Here's the news release from StockMarketWire:

Bango has signed an agreement to provide payment services to Facebook. The terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Bango's board believes it is too early in the relationship to accurately forecast the level of business which it may generate.

As you can see, it's very scarce on details. Here's a bit more on Bango:

Bango provides the technology that powers commerce for businesses targeting the growing market of internet enabled mobile phone users. Bango's products collect payment from mobile users for on-line content and services, and provide accurate analytics for mobile marketing campaigns and sites. The world's leading app stores and brands plus thousands of smaller content providers and developers use Bango products to run their mobile businesses.

Facebook has over 425 monthly mobile users but as the company noted in its filing for an initial public offering (IPO) earlier this month, it doesn't make any money from them. There's already talk that Facebook will roll out mobile ads next month and now it looks like the social networking giant is also planning mobile billing.

The deal likely means Facebook wants to help its users purchase apps, Facebook Credits, and other related items on its service, directly via its mobile app and/or mobile website. By having the costs charged directly to a user's mobile phone bill (meaning they don't have to enter a credit card number for every purchase), Facebook members may be more likely to buy content.

It's also possible Facebook won't dive into mobile billing at all, and is only interested in Bango's analytics services for apps and mobile websites. Maybe Facebook just wants help tracking how mobile content is used and consumed? Such information could help build profiles to sell mobile ads. Either way, both options are on the table now that Facebook has Bango as a partner.

I have contacted Facebook about the deal and will update you if I hear back.

Update: Facebook declined to comment on this article.

See also:

Topics: Mobility, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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