Facebook’ latest ecommerce venture, Shops, will be a lifeline for many small businesses hit by COVID-19. It also serves as a clear indication of the company’s future plans, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Luke Gowland, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The future of apps is integration, and Tencent’s WeChat in China is the standout leader in this area. Its users can play games, make payments, and order food all in a single, integrated app. The model has yet to gain traction outside of Asia, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made no secret of the fact that his company is aiming to become the next one-stop-shop social network.”
Facebook has been making moves around its messaging services to make its ‘WeChat of the West’ vision a reality. The company has announced that all three of its messaging apps – Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram Direct – will become interoperable and incorporate end-to-end encryption.
Gowland concludes: “Facebook is taking another step in the right direction with Shops. Alongside ecommerce and messaging, gaming is another important part of what makes WeChat a super-app and Facebook has been increasing its presence in this market as well. In December 2019, it acquired cloud gaming start-up PlayGiga and in April 2020 it launched a dedicated gaming app, Facebook Gaming.”