Amazon announced today that it’ll be giving away “millions of dollars” in the near future. But before you start angling for a piece of the pie and dreaming how you’ll spend it, those millions will be issued in Amazon Coins, the company’s new digital currency that works only to buy apps, games and in-app services on its Kindle Fire. Kinda different.
In an announcement on its blog for developers, Amazon says the virtual currency will be offered to U.S. customers when it’s launched in May. At that time, the company will toss out tens of millions of dollars worth of Coins in celebration.
Kindle Fire users won’t have to use the Coins, they’ll still be able to purchase items as they do now with credit cards.
This could be a good option for users who don’t like using their credit cards for every Kindle Fire transaction, but ostensibly the initial purchase of Coins would require the use of a credit card or other online payment method.
It’s also a clever move by Amazon to encourage developers to create apps for the Kindle Fire — if users are getting free coins that translate to real money for developers, they might be enticed to come up with an app now if they weren’t before. Amazon gets additional content to offer its customers, developers get paid and users get free money (at least at first). A win-win-win.
The Coins will compete with other online credit systems, perhaps most notably Facebook’s credits.