Facebook adding payment platform?

Chris Crum at WebProNews.com has pieced together some very interesting pieces of information regarding Facebook, a former Googler and a new payment system.

Facebook in May announced that it was testing a new payments system that would deal in real money, rather than virtual currencies that it had been using for any number of applications. This might work fine for Mafia Wars and other light games that Facebook has increasingly added, but if you were to want to move into, say, storefronts or product comparisons, you'd clearly want to be able to deal in real currency.

Enter announcement two: Facebook has hired an ex-Google Checkout director to develop these payment systems. Given Facebook's immense and growing popularity, its standing as place for sharing opinions and favorites, its open platform and an army of marketers desperate to monetize work on Facebook, it could wind up being an absolute perfect storm.

Imagine classified ads or, bigger yet, entire storefronts integrated directly into a social networking site a la A Small World - except instead of a half million very exclusive members considering five and six-digit purchases in between their social networking activities, it's 200 million+ people worldwide who could have their friends' opinions of a product just a click away from being able to purchase it.

Chris has screenshots and more details - worth checking out.

What do you think? Would you purchase or shop on Facebook? Would your customers?

About the author

Herndon Hasty, senior SEO leader and evangelist at Range Online Media, is a key member of Range's search engine optimization practice. He brings to the team more than nine years of experience in online and offline marketing strategy — including five years in search marketing — for a wide range of travel, retail and luxury brands, including Macy's, Travelocity, Cole Haan, Wyndham Hotels and Godiva.

He is a regular columnist and blogger at Search Engine Watch, has contributed articles and quotes to publications such as DM News and Marketing Sherpa, and features musings on online marketing in general at Search Engine Snark.