It looks like Facebook isn’t playing around when it comes to transforming its Messenger app into a full-blown platform, equipped with a new in-store mobile payment option it plans to release.
According to The Information, there are clues all over the code of the Facebook Messenger app for iOS, as the publication extracted and viewed these software files from the latest version of the app.
There were commands like “pay in person” and “pay directly in Messenger when you pick up the item” that led people to believe that Facebook might be preparing an in-store purchasing option. The tech company has yet to respond to requests for comment.
Messenger has already made it possible for users to send money to a friend, but the new iOS code points to the possibility that Facebook plans to expand Messenger as a payment tool.
As reported by Engadget, a similar discovery predicted the peer-to-peer payment feature months ahead of its official release, as some sharp eyes caught the details in the app’s code.
However, founder Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that took place back in January that Facebook is not preparing to release its own payments fulfillment product.
Instead, the young CEO name-dropped Apple Pay as a potential partner for the digital payment service. Zuckerberg then said that Messenger might be the perfect platform to host business interactions of this sort, as it could help “take all the friction out of making the transactions that you need.”
Therefore, Facebook is not looking to become a payments business. Rather than doing that, the social network wants to team up with anyone who does online payment easier.
This is the category where Apple Pay fits in, as their “really neat innovation in the space takes a lot of friction out of transactions.”
Some other hints about the plans for Messenger were also found hidden in the app’s code, such as an unexplained “secret conversations tool.”
While The Information didn’t throw its two cents about what this could be, some believe it hints at encrypted chats, like the ones offered by WhatsApp.
The publication also talks about a piece of code that gives the platform the capacity to add events and “organize your day.”
But even though this information is not speculation, we have no guarantee that these features will actually make it into Messenger. Facebook could eventually decide to change some and even drop them entirely.
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