Facebook Inc could be considering introducing a digital payments service in its messaging app following its stunning announcement on Monday. The company has hired EBay Inc’s PayPal president David Marcus to be in charge of its Facebook Messenger business.
This comes as a shock to many just a few weeks after Facebook was declared third best company to work in the US corporate rankings. The exact motives behind this move both by Facebook Inc and David Marcus in unclear. The president was just running one of the grandest digital payment subsidiaries in the world and had raised much hope for the future of the company at the time of his departure. Facebook Inc on the other hand is putting additional resources in its own messaging service when it just paid an exorbitant amount of $19 billion to acquire another similar app-WhatsApp.
According to a statement by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, the Facebook Messenger app is separate but equal to WhatsApp, a statement he declined to elaborate further.
The Facebook Messenger function was initially included in the main mobile app but was changed in April when the company began to force mobile users to download Messenger to send and read messages from other users.
The social media company’s co founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg explains that the messaging apps are used differently. Facebook Messenger helps people to stay in touch with friends and family and may not include an immediate response. Conversely WhatsApp provides more instant communication which replaces ordinary text messaging.
At Facebook, Marcus is expected to device a business model for the company’s Messenger which currently does not make any revenue. His mandate will however not extend to messaging app WhatsApp, which has a monthly user base of more than 500 million. Facebook Messenger has been trailing behind in many countries, with an approximate 200 million active monthly users. It is also said to record 12 billion messages sent on a daily basis.
The 41 year old executive is expected to leave PayPal on 27th June this year as confirmed by a statement from inside EBay Inc. He will then be reporting to Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Javier Olivan who heads the growth of the social network.
Marcus’ departure from EBay has been termed by analysts as challenging to the company, adding that this may make PayPal to plunge back to the problems the company experienced before.
PayPal was recently targeted by an activist investor Carl Icahn agitating for a California-based Web company San Jose to spin off the EBay payments business. This was settled through Marcus efforts and Icahn was silenced in April.
David Marcus has created a great record that has seen the growth of EBay since his joining the company in 2011 and subsequently becoming PayPal president a year later.
He furthered the payment business’ active accounts by more than 30 percent to almost 150 million users by early 2014 in addition to boosting payments volume to $52 billion in the first quarter, which was about 50 percent over the same period.
EBay’s president John Donahoe described Mr. Marcus as an entrepreneur at heart, who has made a career decision to stand with leading smaller teams to create great product experiences as what he loves most.