Facebook as a force in both payments and e-commerce is a topic I’ve long been interested in, and today it manifested itself in an article I was able to write for the public side of Fool.com.
In the past few years, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has made a series of moves that made industry insiders and the business media openly question if the social-media giant was about to enter e-commerce or the payments industry in a big way.
It began in the summer of 2014, when Facebook poached PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) president David Marcus to head their mobile messaging. Unsurprisingly, the very next year, Facebook announced several e-commerce and payment-solution initiatives. These included:
* In March 2015, Facebook announced you could now send money to friends via Facebook Messenger by linking your debit card to your account.
* Later that same month, at Facebook’s annual F8 conference, the company previewed Businesses on Messenger, a platform enabling “rich and personal conversations with businesses.”
* In May 2015, at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, CFO Dave Wehner said he believed there would be “opportunities” to bring some of those same business-to-consumer communication features to WhatsApp.
These new features make it clear Facebook is working hard to build Messenger and Whatsapp into what could be the most holistic customer experience in e-commerce. Soon, consumers will be able to make their orders, track their shipments, talk to a customer representative, and probably post reviews – all through these popular apps. Oh, and of course, they’ll probably be able to pay for everything through these platforms, as well.
I try to make the point in the article that while Facebook probably won’t enter into the payments industry, there are clear indicators it has its sights set on e-commerce in a big way with Messenger and WhatsApp. If you care to, please read the whole thing at http://www.fool.com/investing/2017/01/15/investors-should-ta…
Long FB, PYPL
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