There is a $100M discrepancy between Facebook’s payments revenues and what it paid to developers

There is a $100 million discrepancy between what Facebook earned in payments revenue and what it paid out to developers, according to revenue figures in its IPO filing last week.

In the filing it says, “In 2011, our Platform developers received more than $1.4 billion from transactions enabled by our Payments infrastructure.”

But based on the company’s $557 million in payments revenue last year and its 30 percent share of transactions on the platform, Facebook should have paid out $1.3 billion at most. There is at least a $100 million discrepancy here. A company spokesperson declined to comment.

There are a number of possibilities:

  • Facebook may have comped free Credits for some developers.
  • There may have been initial problems with fraud in the early months of Credits, which the company may have also comped for developers.
  • Certain developers may have gotten a more favorable revenue share.
  • Facebook started doing promotions on Credits with 80 percent discounts last November.

Read the full analysis of this issue on our sister site, Inside Social Games.