After a year of beta testing, Facebook has indefinitely postponed plans to roll out its own PayPal-like payments system for users and application developers, Inside Facebook reports.
“We’ve been excited by advertising and payments solutions provided by the market, and we currently do not have anything to share around a Facebook Payments system at this time,” a Facebook rep told Inside Facebook.
Makes sense to us. We used to figure that taking a slice of any transactions between users and app developers might prove to be a nice revenue stream for Facebook. But that was when the Facebook Platform was still new and we thought it would develop into a little economy someday.
Now we know better. There’s little buying and selling on Facebook or its application platform and there probably won’t ever be much.
Facebook knows better too, which is why it’s wisely turned its engineering resources to Facebook Connect — a service that allows Facebook users to join participating sites using their Facebook accounts.
That service — unlike the failed Beacon or even the platform — is already provably profitable for partners such as Gawker Media, which says Facebook Connect boosted user sign-ups and comments.
And who knows — maybe someday publishers or, indirectly, their advertisers, will someday agree to pay Facebook for all the new traffic and engagement. Also, we can imagine Facebook providing the kind of deep demographic data publishers like to use to sell their ad inventory to marketers.