Facebook has just poached PayPal’s president, David Marcus, to be its VP-messaging products, a new role at the company.
The hiring of a seasoned mobile-payments executive signals the social network’s intent to make its messaging service, Messenger, into a business. Mr. Marcus won’t oversee WhatsApp, however, and that business is to continue to run independently as Instagram has. He also won’t take part in Facebook’s existing payments business, where users make payments in games and other apps that run on Facebook.
Facebook Messenger has its own massive user base, however. Mark Zuckerberg said that the standalone app had reached the 200-million-monthly-user mark in the first quarter of 2014. It’s part of Facebook’s strategy to “unbundle” its services, though messaging is also still integrated into the core Facebook app. All told, the company says that 12 billion private messages are sent daily between Messenger, Facebook.com and the core Facebook apps.
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