already lets you send money to your friends and family through Messenger but the company is planning to make it easier to keep track of payments across all of its apps, including photo app
and messaging app WhatsApp.
The company on Tuesday unveiled a new service called Facebook Pay, which will roll out on Facebook and Messenger first -- starting this week in the US -- before it comes to Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook Pay users will be able to see their payment history across all of those apps in one place, according to its website.
"People already use payments across our apps to shop, donate to causes and send money to each other. Facebook Pay will make these transactions easier while continuing to ensure your payment information is secure and protected," said Deborah Liu, vice president of marketplace and commerce in a blog post.
Uniting payments on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram under Facebook Pay highlights how the social media giant is trying to tie all the companies it owns closer together even as it faces calls to be broken up. Facebook is also working on a way for users on Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram to send messages to one another without switching apps. Last week, Facebook introduced a new corporate logo that makes it more obvious the social network owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook's efforts to expand payments and commerce on the social network come as it faces criticism for not doing enough to safeguard the privacy of its nearly 2.5 billion users. It's also planning to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra next year with partners and is building a wallet to store the digital currency.
To access the new service, go to settings and click on Facebook Pay. On Messenger, you'll be able to send payments to other people, purchase games, buy event tickets and donate to fundraisers. You'll also be able to use Facebook Pay to make payments from select pages and businesses on Marketplace where users can buy and sell items. You could already do this, but now payments will be under Facebook Pay. Your activity on Facebook Pay could be used for ad targeting, the company said in a blog post.
Facebook said it plans to expand Facebook Pay to Instagram and WhatsApp, but didn't specify when this would happen. A Facebook spokesperson said the company doesn't have any more details to share. Facebook's Pay website says users will be able to send money to friends and families on WhatsApp, a feature the messaging app has already been testing in India. The site also says there will be no fees to send or receive money from friends and family on Messenger and WhatsApp. Through Facebook Pay, Instagram users will be able to send donations to charities and purchase products from brands on the photo app, which US users can do currently through a feature called checkout.
Originally published Nov. 12, 12:08 p.m. PT
Update, 2:09 p.m. PT: Adds response from Facebook and more information from Facebook Pay's website.