Facebook's E-commerce Designs

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…

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Later that same month, at Facebook’s annual F8 conference, the company previewed Businesses on Messenger

Not sure what difference it might make, but many businesses block all FB traffic at the router to keep the employees from wasting time there. I’ve seen it at several work places.