Facebook may go Google Checkout route

Ronny Kerr · June 30, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/923

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

 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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Slide is the largest personal media network in the world, reaching 144 million unique global viewers each month and more than 30 percent of the U.S. Internet audience. We help people express themselves and tell stories through personalized photos and videos created on Slide.com and viewed anywhere on the web or desktop.

Slide's products — including Slideshows, FunWall and SuperPoke! — are popular on top social networking and blog platforms, including MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Tagged and Blogger. Slide is also the leading developer on Facebook with more than 84 million applications installed and the most active users than any other developer.

Launched in 2005 and founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Slide is backed by Mayfield Fund, Blue Run Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund.



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Zong is the leading mobile payments platform for sellers of digital goods and services. Its frictionless payment experience converts shoppers into buyers at rates up to 10 times greater than traditional payment methods. Zong leverages direct connections with mobile network operators around the world to provide a secure payment solution with unrivaled connectivity and service quality. Zong is the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits and also works with hundreds of leading destination sites, such as Gaia Online, IMVU and Playdom. Reaching over 2 billion mobile users, Zong provides localized payment capabilities in over 30 countries in 16 languages. Zong is the only mobile payments platform that combines the high conversion rates of carrier billing with the low costs and flexibility of payment card networks. Zong is based in Menlo Park with offices in Paris and Geneva, and is backed by Matrix Partners, Advent Venture Partners and Newbury Ventures. For more information, please visit www.zong.com.