Facebook may use Messenger to push into retail payments

Facebook is pushing the concept of Messenger as a platform, with possible new features including retail in-store payments.

Facebook is pushing the concept of Messenger as a platform, with possible new features including retail in-store payments.

Facebook is pushing the concept of Messenger as a platform, with possible new features including retail in-store payments.

In March 2015, Facebook introduced its vision to turn Messenger into a platform during the company’s F8 developer’s conference. That vision included third-party app integration, sending money to friends, and the ability to place orders with online businesses inside Messenger. This year, it appears the company is getting ready to add more features to Messenger, including the ability to support in-store purchases.

Facebook has yet to announce anything, but The Information (via The Next Web) dug around in the code for the Messenger app. The site found hints at adding the ability to pay for goods at the cash register, among other things, though it’s not yet clear how the new in-store payments service would work.

Why this matters: Facebook's one of the few major technology companies that hasn't jumped into the payments game in a big way—but it’s no stranger to working with retailers. In 2010, the company began experimenting with coupon offers from major retailers in the Facebook mobile app as part of the Facebook Deals program.

Facebook isn’t stopping at payments, however. That one rumored feature would be part of the company’s overall strategy to build up Messenger as its own platform with unique features and a unique user base. Facebook dropped the requirement to have a Facebook account to use the service in June 2015.

More than purchases

Beyond payments, The Information also found references to a feature called “secret conversations.” It’s not clear if that means you’ll be able to encrypt chats—Facebook already offers encrypted email notifications—or perhaps the ability to hide conversations in an archive similar to WhatsApp.

Facebook may also be looking at a number of other additions, including calendar sync, sharing a status update with a select number of friends, and the ability to easily share articles.

It’s not clear when Facebook might roll out these new features. But with F8 2016 scheduled for April 12-13, they could appear sooner than later.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags retailsocial mediaFacebookMessaging

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?