Facebook Inc. unveiled a new group to pursue payments and commerce opportunities and put David Marcus, co-creator of its Libra cryptocurrency project, in charge of the initiative. Called F2 internally, short for Facebook Financial, the team will run all payments projects, including Facebook Pay, the company’s universal payments feature that it plans to build inside all of its apps.
This is the latest step in a companywide effort to bring Facebook’s individual products and apps closer together. In the past two years, it re-branded Instagram and WhatsApp so people know they are owned by Facebook, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to integrate all the company’s messaging services.
“We have a lot of commerce stuff going on across Facebook,” Marcus said. “It felt like it was the right thing to do to rationalize the strategy at a company level around all things payments.”
The belief is that if users can make purchases on Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, then Facebook’s advertising will grow more valuable, and users will spend more time inside the company’s apps. On Facebook’s second-quarter earnings call last month, Zuckerberg said he was “quite excited” about commerce inside of messaging apps. “As payments grow across Messenger and WhatsApp, and as we’re able to roll that out in more places, I think that that will only grow as a trend,” he added.