Facebook announced on Monday 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," the huge social network said in a statement.
"Customers can check out with a few easy clicks, without ever leaving the Messenger app," the statement added.
The announcement suggests Facebook may be able to monetise 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.
The company said developers have created more than 30,000 bots for Messenger, and many more developers are working on applications.
"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 statement said.
"Moving forward, we are 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," it added.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.