Coming in May: Amazon Coins, a New Virtual Currency for Kindle Fire

Janet Wagner, Data Journalist / Full Stack Developer
Feb. 07 2013, 10:00AM EST

Earlier this week, ProgrammableWeb reported that Amazon has released an In-App Purchasing API for applications and games developed for Mac and PC platforms. A Kindle Fire In-App Purchasing API has been available in the Amazon Mobile App SDK since early last year. Amazon has now announced that another tool will be made available for developers to monetize games and applications; Amazon Coins, a new virtual currency for Kindle Fire that will be launched in the U.S. this May.

Amazon Coins

Image Credit: Amazon Mobile App Distribution Blog

Amazon Coins provide Kindle Fire users an alternate payment method for buying apps, games and making in-app purchases. The royalty payments for Kindle Fire app developers will remain the same whether app users pay with Amazon Coins or with credit cards.

In the press release, Misha Lyalin, CEO of ZeptoLab, says about the new virtual currency:

"Everyone recognizes Amazon's success in the e-commerce world – now the Amazon Appstore has become a major player in the mobile app marketplace. Amazon's new virtual currency is designed to open new opportunities for developers and make things easier for customers. This is a great example of appstore innovation and we want to support it."

To celebrate the launch of Amazon Coins, Amazon will be giving customers "tens of millions of dollars' worth of free Amazon Coins" in May to spend in the Amazon Appstore on Kindle Fire apps. In order for developers to take advantage of this special monetization opportunity, Kindle Fire apps, games and app updates need to be uploaded to the developer portal and approved by April 25th.

Please note that the free coins given out in May will only be available for U.S. customers and Amazon Coins will be launched in the U.S.

Developers only need to use the latest version of the Amazon Mobile App SDK for their app users to have access to Amazon Coins. There is no special programming or integration required.

Visit the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Site for more information about the Kindle Fire In-App Purchasing API and Amazon Coins.

Janet Wagner is a data journalist and full stack developer based in Toledo, Ohio. Her focus revolves around APIs, data visualization, machine learning, and data-driven journalism. Follow her on Twitter: @webcodepro, Google+, or send her an email.

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