We've heard for months that Facebook Messenger would be getting a payments feature eventually. Now it would appear that such a thing is closer than ever.
TechCrunch points to screenshots taken by Stanford student Andrew Aude using iOS app tool Cycript. These have been circulating throughout Twitter.
— The Strand (@TheStrandBlog) October 6, 2014
Mark Zuckerberg talked about the feature a little during the Q&A portion of the company's Q2 earnings call in July. Here's what he said (via Business Insider):
Messenger will have — over time there will be some overlap between that and payments. But I guess what I’m just trying to say is two things. One is, the payments piece will be a part of what will help drive the overall success and help people share with each other and interact with businesses. But we’re really focused on the interactions overall, rather than the mechanism and David shares that view.
And the second thing is just that there’s so much ground work that we need to do in order to make it so that people are communicating with businesses and public figures and entities in these other apps that we’re building, which is part of the business ecosystem. And I really can’t underscore that enough that we have a lot of work to do and we could take the cheap and easy approach and just try to put ads in or do payments and make some money in the short term. But we’re not going to do that. So to the extent that any of your models or anything reflects that we might be doing that, I would strongly encourage you here to adjust that, because we’re not going to and we’re going to take time to do this in the way that we think that’s going to be right over multiple years.
Messenger is run by former PayPal President David Marcus. As you may know, Facebook recently eliminated the chat feature from its regular mobile apps, forcing users to use the Messenger app.
Between payments in Messenger and the Facebook Buy button, which is currently in the testing phase, the social network is looking to start playing a much bigger role in e-commerce in the near future.
In other news, Facebook just closed its acquisition of messaging app WhatsApp.
Image via Twitter