A stronger set of features, possibly including payments, might be coming to Facebook’s messaging properties now that former PayPal president David Marcus has come to work for the social network. Both Facebook and eBay, which owns PayPal, said Monday that Marcus, who headed PayPal’s mobile payments, would be joining Facebook as head of mobile messaging. eBay did not say who would be replacing him at PayPal. Facebook’s hiring of Marcus represents a serious investment by the company to strengthen its messaging software. Facebook did not say what improvements specifically might be coming, but it’s clear the company is looking to further expand the use of its messaging apps, and maybe introduce monetization features.
How serious is Mark Zuckerberg about making Facebook a stronger player inwhat he calls “private content” and what ordinary people call messaging? So serious he just poached the head of Paypal, David Marcus, to oversee the company’s efforts on that front. Marcus, who was president of the eBay-owned digital payments service, will be in charge of Messenger, the chat tool that Facebook recently split off as a separate app. What Marcus won’t oversee is WhatsApp, the mobile messaging app Facebook bought for $19 million in February, or Slingshot, a new Snapchat-like visual chat app that briefly debuted in the iTunes store today only to (appropriately enough) disappear. Like Instagram’s Kevin Systrom and Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum sold his company to Facebook with an explicit promise that he’d be able to continue to run it with minimal interference from above. In a Facebook post announcing his move, Marcus said running a division that employed 14,000 “took its toll on me” and wasn’t what he’d set out to do in founding Zong, the startup whose sale landed him at eBay. “I realized that my role was becoming a real management one, vs. my passion of building products that hopefully matter to a lot of people,” he wrote. “So after much deliberation, I decided now is the right time for me to move on to something that is closer to what I love to do every day.”