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Zuckerberg: Facebook is working on payments but it will take time to get it right

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
ZUCKERBERG: “We’re going to take the time to do this in the way that we think is going to be right over multiple years.”

Facebook is looking into the potential of adding payments capabilities across its business, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has explained during the company’s first earnings call following the hiring of PayPal boss David Marcus to head its messaging business — but the company won’t rush into the market and expects to take several years to fully develop its offering.

“The amount of messaging and how quickly we see that growing is crazy,” Zuckerberg explained. “People now send more than 12 billion messages a day on Facebook and in April, we reached 200 million monthly actives on Messenger.

“Last month, we announced that David Marcus will be joining us from PayPal to lead our messaging efforts. We’ve stuck David [in] to continue growing Messenger, building out new experiences to serve our community and, ultimately, to build Messenger into an important business.”

“I think some of the questions around payments are connected to what we’re planning on doing in the other apps outside of Facebook; I really do just want to emphasise that there’s a lot of work to set up the foundation for having a good businesses community and ecosystem in those, that we think there’s still going to be years of work before those are huge businesses for us,” he added.

“I liken where we are now on something like Messenger to where we were on Facebook in 2006 or 2007; we are serious about doing this the right way and building out these ecosystems and I think that for some of these other apps, we’re just going to build all of the infrastructure that we need to make something scalable over time rather than having this as being an impact that you will notice over a short amount of time.

“There will be some overlap with that [Messenger] and payments but I guess what I’m trying to say is two things; one is that the payments piece will be a part of what will help drive the overall success and help people share with each other and interact with businesses but we’re really focused on the interactions overall rather than the mechanism and David shares that view.

“The second thing is that there’s so much groundwork that we need to do in order to make it so that people are communicating with businesses and public figures and entities in these other apps that we’re building, which is part of the business ecosystem. We have a lot of work to do and we could take the cheap and easy approach and just try to put ads in and do payments to make some money in the short term but we’re not going to do that. We’re going to take the time to do this in the way that we think is going to be right over multiple years.”

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