Facebook has been introducing a lot of changes in an effort to get a leg up over its competition across the market. What was once a simple social media site used to communicate with long lost friends has finally started to grow up and become a useful tool for consumers worldwide. Since Facebook announced its video chat feature in 2011, there have been consistent changes to infrastructure and usability features. It won’t be long before Facebook joins in on the newest trend: mobile payments. In fact, it already has its foot in the door.
In March of this year, Facebook announced a peer-to-peer payment feature inside the messenger app. While messaging friends, you can send money to a friend in need by clicking the dollar sign, entering an amount, and inputting payment information. This past week, Facebook unveiled a new, easier way to send money to friends. Dollar amounts are hyperlinked into messages, and all the user has to do is hit the dollar sign. Additionally, the Messenger payment app now allows users to send money to an individual in a group conversation without having to open a separate, private conversation.
It seems Facebook is jumping on the mobile payment bandwagon crusading across the nation. Aside from Apple Pay and Google Wallet, social media sites have been developing their own virtual payment systems. Snapchat and Square recently teamed up to create Snapcash, which functions similarly to the new Facebook Messenger payment system. If Facebook’s Messenger pay catches on, it could be a huge deal: the Messenger app already has roughly 600 million users as it is.
The Messenger payment update comes after a slew of Facebook improvements designed to make the social network site usable for a wide range of communication, including Wi-Fi video calling, social media shopping, and sending money to friends. Not only is this a game changer for the mobile payment market, but it opens up a whole new path for small business e-commerce.