Facebook may want WhatsApp to remain a regular messaging app, but Facebook Messenger is a whole other story. With Messenger, Facebook wants to emulate the messaging giants of Asia that haven’t found much success in the West, which means the company wants to turn Messenger into the digital equivalent of a Swiss Army knife. The idea behind this type of messaging app is that you never really have to leave it in order to do things, because every app or feature you’re ever going to need is already integrated into the app. The Information reported on Monday that Facebook even wants users to be able to pay for things within the Messenger app.
The popular Facebook Messenger app could soon become far more than a chat client, with the social networking service apparently planning to offer in-store purchases through its mobile app, after the company signaled it could partner with Apple Pay for retail checkouts. Code found inside the Facebook Messenger app discovered by The Information reveals that the company is planning to allow users to pay for items through the app, bypassing credit card terminals at the store. Specifically, the app will allow customers to “pay in person” or “pay directly in Messenger when you pick up the item.” Facebook allegedly has a large team working on the project, which will eventually allow customers to buy items in retail stores, having the Facebook Messenger app authorize the credit card transaction. It’s unknown how the service will work, but Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in January that it’s possible that his company could forge partnerships with the likes of Apple to enable a payments service, such as through in-app purchases. Facebook is interested in creating a system that makes it easy for users to interact with businesses, which would enable the social networking giant to potentially charge more money for ad space.
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