It’s hard to believe that Facebook Messenger was once nothing more than instant messaging service. Today, it’s expanded beyond an app used for talking to friends; you can send money to people, order an Uber car, and soon it’ll become a way of contacting a company’s customer service department.
According to a report from The Information, Messenger might be adding another string to its bow by allowing users to make in-store purchases with the app. Based on code discovered in the iOS version of Messenger, the report states that users will be able to bypass the likes of credit card terminals in a store and “pay in person” or “pay directly in Messenger when you pick up the item” with “no cash needed.”
While this could mean Facebook entering the mobile payments market and competing against the likes of Apple Pay and Android Pay, there’s a chance that Mark Zuckerberg will decide to form a partnership with Apple to integrate its payments service into Messenger.
"We'll partner with everyone who does payments," the Facebook CEO said in January. "We look at the stuff that Apple is doing with Apple Pay, for example, as a really neat innovation in the space that takes a lot of friction out of transactions as well."
There were more potential upcoming features discovered in Messenger’s code, including a reference to “secret conversations.” It’s not totally clear what this might be, but it could relate to the self-destructing message feature which Facebook tested on some French users last year. It could also refer to a heightened encryption option for conversations.
Other parts of the code appeared to indicate that Messenger will introduce features similar to those found in the main Facebook app, such as sharing quotes from articles and sending out status updates to select friends. There was also mention of calendar syncing and the ability to add events and “organize your day.”
As all this information comes from the app’s code, we don’t know when these features will arrive; Facebook may even decide to alter some or drop them completely.