Facebook has announced on its official blog that it has formed an alliance with PayPal that allows Facebook users to send money to one another as part of a messaging app. The “Send Money” application allows users to send money as part of special occasion messages, such as for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. The company also says the app can be used in non-occasional messages too, if users simply wish to send money for their own specific reasons.
This is not the first time PayPal and Facebook have teamed, up, the two previously worked together to allow Facebook users to purchase products from vendors who have a Facebook page and more recently, Facebook announced that advertisers can pay for ads with PayPal as well.
The new app works much like traditional e-greeting cards in that a message and or graphic is displayed when the recipient clicks on the message and then they can follow a link that allows them to accept the cash either into their own PayPal account, or a private bank account they have previously set up with Facebook.
Facebook says there will be no fees associated with using the new app and they also say that the reason they’ve partnered with PayPal in this way is because they have found that family and friends are increasingly turning to Facebook as a means for sending greetings, well wishing, accolades or other forms of social convention to one another. Thus it seemed only natural to allow friends and family to send money to one another to allow them to express their feelings. With the new app for example, one friend may send a congratulatory message to another when they get a new job. Now the message can also hold a link to cash sent from the first friend to buy the second a beer to celebrate.
Many of the big Internet companies have been forming alliances that they believe will help the bottom line of both. Facebook and Skype, for example recently announced that their shared application has been improved to allow users to more easily place Internet calls to one another. All of this comes in the midst of one of the most competitive markets in the world today. New startups are constantly popping up to compete with the big guys, and the big guys are constantly encroaching into one another’s territory even as they forge alliances in other areas, e.g. Facebook and YouTube (owned by Google who has launched it’s only social networking site to compete directly with Facebook).
For users, it all means more choices and low prices, at least for now.