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Facebook (FB) Working on Monetizing Strategy for Messenger

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Yesterday, at Tech Crunch: Disrupt annual conference in San Francisco, Facebook Inc.’s (FB - Free Report) VP of messaging products, David Marcus announced that the Messenger platform will now include “native” payments.

Per media reports, Facebook’s Messenger will provide tools to developers in order to enable bots to accept payments, thereby eliminating the need to redirect to an external website. This should enhance commerce services as the credit/debit card details stored on the platform will be readily available for purchases within bots. Reportedly, Facebook has collaborated with the likes of PayPal, Visa MasterCard and American Express and others for the bot payment feature.

Marcus added that revenue contribution from Messenger will continue to be insignificant in the near term. However, Facebook is working on a long-term strategy to monetize the platform and it involves extension of Facebook newsfeed to Messenger. Marcus while talking to CNBC said “There's no better product we think than Facebook newsfeed to start creating intent, but when you need to complete that intent and start creating a relationship between you, the brand and your customers, we believe Messenger is the best place to do that.”

For Facebook, its subsidiaries Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus are extremely prized possessions. After opening its ad platform to worldwide advertisers last year, Instagram emerged as an important cash cow for Facebook. Again there were no exact numbers with regard to contribution from Instagram but Facebook had earlier said the platform had over 200,000 advertisers.

Though Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus have not yet been monetized, they have long been dubbed as multibillion dollar opportunities. At its F8 developer conference; Zuckerberg first introduced chatbots on its Messenger platform.

Messenger is the company’s third 1 billion user platform after Facebook and WhatsApp. The company remains pretty excited as it opened the app to developers for creating chatbots that will enable businesses to extend customer service and other transactions. Chatbots is the new buzz word in the tech space. Messenger has seen a threefold jump in the number of bots on its platform from May and now boasts 30K bots made by 34K developers. Chatbots could serve as a powerful strategy to monetize the platform. 

At present, Facebook sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Others stocks in the tech space worth considering includeChangyou.com Limited (CYOU - Free Report) , NetEase, Inc. (NTES - Free Report) and NetApp, Inc. (NTAP - Free Report) . All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Interested in IPOs? Check out the special edition of Zacks Friday Finish Line below, where Editor Maddy Johnson and Content Writer Ryan McQueeney interview Kathleen Smith of Renaissance Capital about the IPO market in 2016 (see part two here).

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