Facebook early this week introduced a new online payment system that will allow businesses to sell directly to consumers on its Messenger application.
“We’re kicking off the beginning of messages with payments that will allow businesses to sell products and services directly to customers in Messenger. Customers can check out with a few easy clicks, without ever leaving the Messenger app,” Facebook reports in a statement.
The announcement suggests Facebook may be able to monetize its free messaging application, which is used by over a billion people, by making it an e-commerce platform.
Facebook earlier this year opened up Messenger to developers to create new applications and “bots” which can interact with users. These bots can provide information but consumers who wanted to make a purchase had to be directed to an external website.
Facebook reports that developers and businesses have built over 30,000 bots for Messenger, they’ve on-boarded over 34,000 developers. “We believe the potential for the Messenger Platform is huge, and we continue to invest in making it better for developers to build and create.”
The company is also simplifying the payment and checkout experience in order to reduce the overall friction between wanting something and getting it. “People can use their payment information already stored on Messenger and Facebook to check out faster in Messenger threads.”
This new update to Messenger also comes with more ways to share bots through individual messages with friends using the share icon attached to message bubble. “This will be great for sharing products or various options with friends and asking for their opinion.”
Source: Facebook Newsroom