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Late to the party, Nook tablets will finally support in-app purchasing options

Daniel Ionescu | March 28, 2013
As Barnes & Noble struggles to keep the Nook profitable, the company announces that Nook tablets will soon support in-app purchases

Barnes & Noble's struggling Nook tablets will soon catch-up with their rivals--at least when it comes to in-app purchasing options. Nook Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, announced a partnership with mobile payment provider Fortumo today which will allow developers to sell premium features in their apps to Nook tablet owners.

Through the Nook developer program, Fortumo will provide developers the tools to integrate in-app purchases in their apps, along with access to real-time analytics and revenue data. Nook Media wasn't specific about a time frame when in-app purchases will actually become available to users, saying it will be "in the coming weeks and months."

"In-app purchasing makes it possible for developers to ensure the customer only pays when they absolutely love the app. This has proven to be a compelling value proposition for customers and a very successful strategy for developers," Rain Rannu, Co-Founder and CEO of Fortumo, said in a statement. Claudia Romanini, VP of Nook Apps at Nook Media added that she expects "thousands of more apps that feature in-app purchasing over the coming weeks and months."

The Nook app store features many of the most popular Android apps, but it's completely curated by Barnes & Noble--you won't find the full abundance of apps available in the expansive Google Play store.

In-app purchases will be available on a range of Nook tablets, including the 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+ slates as well as the Nook Color and standard Nook tablet. The checkout process will be similar to other platforms, where you register for in-app purchases once, and you can buy extras in app with one click of the "Pay" button.

Adding in-app purchases for the Nook store is merely a catch-up move from Barnes & Noble. The feature has been available for several years on rival platforms, and many freemium gaming fans--one of the larger audiences for in-app purchases--have probably migrated to other platforms by now to get their fix.

On a perhaps related note, the Nook brand has been struggling as of late. For the holiday season, the company reported a 12.6 percent fall in revenue in the Nook segment, although sales of digital content, including apps, books and magazines, grew by 13.1 percent. Despite the apparent content growth, Nook also lacks Amazon's huge inventory of e-books, and the Nook Video Store is nowhere near as well stocked as the video stores on competing mobile platforms.


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