Facebook is taking another step to tie its massive social media applications more closely together at a time when there are mounting calls for the company to be broken up.
The company said Tuesday that it is consolidating its payment processing for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp into one brand called Facebook Pay.
Deb Liu, Facebook’s VP of marketplace and commerce, told CNN Business that the singular brand should eventually help users understand why their shipping address or payment information shows up in Instagram, for example, if it wasn’t manually entered there, but was put into Facebook.
“We want to make sure that it’s really clear to people — that they have an understanding that these are unified products,” Liu said.
But the move comes as Facebook (FB) and other tech companies face increased antitrust scrutiny. There are now 47 state attorneys general investigating Facebook (FB) for evidence of anticompetitive practices. The Federal Trade Commission has also opened an antitrust investigation into the company.
Facebook previously laid out plans to integrate its messaging platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger – which could add to the company’s dominance in the social media market and make it harder to break up the firm. Consolidating payment processing for all Facebook’s major platforms into one unit may only make it even more complicated to unravel the company’s various properties.
Facebook Pay will handle payments across all Facebook’s properties and will start rolling out this week on Facebook and Messenger in the US. In the coming months, it will also launch on Instagram and WhatsApp and will eventually appear in other countries.
For now, it will process payments for fundraisers, in-game purchases, event tickets, person-to-person payments on Messenger as well as purchases from select pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace.Facebook Pay will include a hub where people can manage their payments, see past transactions and access chat support.
Facebook has been processing payments since 2007, but doing it via a single brand is new.
The consolidation is part of the company’s attempt to increase awareness about which properties it owns and show it’s one consistent brand, according to Liu. It has struggled to do this thus far.
A recent survey by nonpartisan think tank Pew found that only 29% of Americans correctly answered that Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by Facebook.
Just last week, Facebook announced a new colorful logo to create a distinction between the corporate parent company and its apps. The logo alternates between blue for Facebook, green for WhatsApp and purple, red and orange for Instagram. In June, Facebook started adding the words “from Facebook” across all its apps.