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This article was published on March 28, 2016

‘Secret conversations’ and in-store purchasing reportedly coming to Facebook Messenger

‘Secret conversations’ and in-store purchasing reportedly coming to Facebook Messenger

Facebook could be gearing up to roll out new Messenger features, like in-store payment for goods and services and new chat options.

According to The Information, comments in the code of the iPhone version of Messenger suggest that Facebook’s about to make a whole lot more effort at becoming a retail hub, which makes sense given the enormity of its user base.

The company has shied away from making any move into payments before now – and Mark Zuckerberg has categorically said he wants no part in becoming a payments processor.

In January this year he said, “On payments, the basic strategy that we have is to make it — especially in products like Messenger where the business interaction may be a bit more transactional — to take all the friction out of making the transactions that you need.”

With other payment tests including integrated Buy buttons, moving the experiment in-store too would make some sense, though it isn’t immediately clear exactly how this would work.

Facebook does seem to be open to partnerships, however.

Other comments uncovered suggested that the app will also soon get a ‘secret conversations’ option – again, this isn’t clear whether that’s a reference to encrypted chats, or simply some way to hide certain conversations on a device within Messenger.

We’ve asked Facebook for comment, but historically the company is pretty tight lipped about products until they’re fully-formed, so don’t hold your breath.

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