Facebook just announced plans to bring mobile payments to Messenger, but that may just be the first of many new features. TechCrunch reports that the company plans to turn its messaging app into a platform for other services similar to popular chat apps in Asia like WeChat and Line.
At first Facebook will apparently only work with a few specially selected partners, though it could open up to more developers later on. TechCrunch adds that the news will get an official announcement next week at the company’s F8 conference. We may even get look at the first new Messenger features during the event.
It’s unclear exactly what Facebook has planned first, but there are plenty of possibilities. Games seems like an obvious choice, though hopefully Facebook can keep spammy messages to a minimum. We might see something similar to Snapchat’s Discover, which features polished videos and news from popular media companies. You may even be able to buy movie tickets or pay for your taxi from inside Facebook Messenger—two things you can do with WeChat in China.
It’s possible that Messenger could eventually become more popular that the original Facebook app. That probably won’t happen anytime soon, but we’re curious to see the company lay out its strategy for turning its popular messaging app into an entire platform next week.