Facebook’s new Apple Pay and Venmo competitor has permission to use your actions to personalize ads.
The company unveiled Facebook Pay on Tuesday — an upgrade that combines the existing peer-to-peer payment feature on Facebook Messenger with the one-time payment option for donations and purchases on Facebook. The project, which Facebook says is separate from Libra, its cryptocurrency project, will debut this week in the U.S. on Facebook and Messenger, and later on Instagram and WhatsApp.
Users can connect their PayPal account and debit or credit cards to Facebook Pay — which will then allow them to view their payment history, donate to fundraisers, pay friends, make in-game purchases, and buy products from Facebook Marketplace and select Pages and businesses.
But convenience comes at a cost.
“As with our other products, the actions you take with Facebook Pay can be used for purposes such as to deliver you more relevant content and ads,” wrote Facebook VP and Chief Privacy Officer of Public Policy Erin Egan. “For example, if you buy a baseball glove on Facebook Marketplace, you might see an ad for a baseball bat.”
Egan said that the “card and bank account numbers you provide will not be used to personalize your experience or inform the ads you see.” But your purchase and donation history could be used to personalize ads.
The news came only about a week after Facebook, the company, announced it’s changing its logo to distinguish itself from Facebook, the social media platform.
The multi-platform approach of Facebook Pay — taken together with Facebook’s logo change and earlier this year to enable cross-platform messaging — signals that the tech giant is gravitating toward integrating its family of apps on all fronts, potentially as against proposals to break up the company.
“Facebook Pay is part of our ongoing work to make commerce more convenient, accessible and secure for people on our apps,” wrote Deborah Liu, Facebook’s VP of marketplace and commerce. “We’ll continue to develop Facebook Pay and look for ways to make it even more valuable for people on our apps.”