Soon enough, Amazon Kindle Fire users will have a new means of purchasing games, apps, and in-app items from the retail giant’s Appstore. On Tuesday, the company introduced Amazon Coins, a fresh form of virtual currency set to launch in the U.S. this May.
Better yet, the Kindle maker promises to award its customers with “tens of millions of dollars” worth of these digital coins to commemorate the currency’s launch. Amazon Coins will not replace the traditional method of paying for apps with a credit card, but will simply add another option for buyers. The company also promises to make it easy for customers to purchase these coins using their current accounts.
As for the developers, app creators will continue to earn their standard 70 percent revenue share when customers purchase apps using Amazon coins. Those already in Amazon’s store will not have to make any adjustments to their apps to enable Coin usage, but new developers need to submit their apps soon. Only those submitted by April 25 will be up and running for Amazon’s Coin launch this spring.
Amazon’s Appstore may not have the glamor and recognition of Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store, but offering its own digital currency could help the platform stand out from the competition. At the end of 2012, Amazon announced that Appstore downloads had increased by a whopping 500 percent since 2011. The company already revolutionized the electronic book genre and online retail market in the past, and perhaps this new virtual money system will allow Amazon to leave its mark on the app industry.