In March, we told you about the new “payments service” from Facebook. On Wednesday, the company told EcommerceBytes it has begun rolling out the feature to users in the New York City area and has added some new functionality.
The person-to-person service works with Facebook Messenger, which is Facebook’s answer to texting. It’s not meant for users to pay for purchases such as shopping, but rather, to pay friends.
A Facebook spokesperson told EcommerceBytes New York is not the first market with access. “A number of smaller cities across the country have payments in Messenger functionality including Seattle, Portland, and Austin. This is all part of our phased roll-out approach to ensure a high quality experience.”
The new capabilities added make it even simpler to send and receive money within Messenger, right in conversations. “Whether you’re chatting about weekend plans or paying back a friend, it’s now easier than ever to finish the conversation about money in the same place it starts,” according to the spokesperson, who said new updates include the following:
- Now in your Messenger conversations, dollar amounts are automatically hyperlinked and when tapped, will start a payment for that amount to the person you’re messaging. The sender can then confirm the payment before sending. This is similar to how addresses, phone numbers, or website URLs are automatically hyperlinked in Messenger.
- If people are engaged in a group conversation, they can now pay friends individually within the group on desktop without having to leave the group conversation. People in the group conversation will be able to see who paid whom and for how much.
How do you know if you have access to the feature? “As payments in Messenger starts to roll out, people will see a money icon appear in their Messenger composer,” she said. “The money icon may appear within the “more” menu for some, depending their usage of other Messenger features such as voice calling. Simply tap the money icon to send a payment.”
Messenger can be used on mobile and desktop, and the payments feature works with Android, iOS, and desktop. For more information, see our March coverage of Facebook Messenger payments.
Users of Messenger may also be interested in a story that gained traction on Tuesday – Lifehacker explains, “You’re probably aware that Facebook collects a ton of information about you, but if you’re using the mobile Messenger app, that also means your location data as well. A new Chrome extension called Marauders Map lets anyone you’ve sent a message see that location information all at once.”