Facebook may go Google Checkout route

New Payments Director, CFO bring fresh money-making ideas to the table

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
June 30, 2009
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 Facebook announced two big team changes yesterday that signal the social media giant’s growing focus on how to convert its skyrocketing popularity into skyrocketing revenue.

First came the appointment of new Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman, a veteran of the well-known biotechnology company Genentech. Of his fifteen years at Genentech, Ebersman’s last four saw him working as CFO for the thriving company, up until its $40+ billion dollar sale to foreign drug company Roche Holding.

Next, Facebook hired Prashant Fuloria, accoding to Inside Facebook, as the new Director of Product Management, in charge of overseeing payment processes through the website. Previously, Fuloria served Google for six years as the Director of Product Management, where he had the chance to work on a variety of projects, including Google Checkout.

Both of these changes demonstrate that Facebook is increasingly looking to monetize its popular website. And while the hiring of Ebersman as CFO may benefit the company greatly, the appointment of Fuloria should have more direct effects on actual user experience. Fuloria, with his experience working on Google Checkout, may try to implement successful elements of that application into Facebook's own online payment platform.

Though various startups and companies have tried their hand at providing, Facebook has yet to employ any sort of universal payment platform.

Mobile monetization company Echovox, established in 2000, has developed a mobile payment system called Zong, which Facebook developers can use to charge users for various services. Further, Slide, one of the leading developers on Facebook with over 80 million applications installed, is currently working on a platform for monetizing the popularity of those applications.

How quickly and efficiently Facebook can, with these new staff changes, roll out a new payment system that will expand its revenue to meet current projections will ultimately show how successful the company will be in the long-term.

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Description: Slide is the largest personal media network in the world, reaching 144 million unique global viewers each month and more than 30 percent...
Description: Zong is the leading mobile payments platform for sellers of digital goods and services. Its frictionless payment experience converts shop...