Amazon CoinsAmazon has just gone live with its own digital currency dubbed Amazon Coins. Announced in February 2013, Amazon Coins is described as a new way to buy Kindle Fire apps, games and in-app items from the Amazon App Store and on Kindle Fire.

To kick off the launch of Coins, Amazon also announced that they are giving away 500 coins for free to existing and new Kindle Fire customers in the U.S. Said free coins have a store value of $5, which will be deposited into your Amazon account today, assuming they’re not there already.

Not only is Amazon Coins a new digital currency for buying digital goods for customers, but it’s also another opportunity for developers to drive traffic, downloads and increased monetization of their digital products. Customers who are purchasing Amazon Coins in bulk will also be given up to 10 percent discounts. Hence, big savings for all of you lucky U.S. customers of the Amazon App Store and Kindle Fire owners.

Amazon lists the capabilities of Amazon Coins as follow:

Amazon Coins is the latest offering in an array of services that make Amazon the most complete end-to-end ecosystem for building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games. These capabilities include:

The ability for app developers to use Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) technology platform for their infrastructure needs. Building blocks such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon DynamoDB allow developers to focus on what differentiates their app rather than the undifferentiated heavy lifting of infrastructure.

App submission for distribution to nearly 200 countries globally enables developers to reach millions more Amazon customers worldwide.

In-App Purchasing on Kindle Fire, Mac, PC and web-based games. This enables developers to sell virtual items in their apps and games while allowing their end users to simply use their Amazon accounts to make the purchase.

GameCircle, which includes capabilities like Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends and Whispersync for syncing games across devices, and leads to better engagement with games.

Game Connect, which lets developers list their virtual goods for sale on Amazon, increasing discoverability of their games and making the purchase of virtual goods as easy and convenient as possible for customers, leading to increased monetization for developers.

More details about Amazon Coins can be found by clicking here. For those of who are participating in Amazon’s new marketing strategy, please let us know how it goes. It’ll be interesting to see how this strategy will ultimately affect Amazon’s online sales.

• This post originally appeared on GadgeTell, a TeleRead sister site.


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